Bob Franken


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Impeach Donald Trump? What a bad idea for the Democrats, in spite of the pressure from the party’s left flank, and in spite of various presidential candidates, like Elizabeth Warren, pandering to the ultra-progressives. After all, the ultimate goal of a House of Representatives impeachment is to set up the Senate to remove him from office. In a rough form, it’s kind of like an indictment and trial. Actually, in the Senate it’s called a “trial,” nothing rough about it. One would think that with the Democratic majority in the House, impeachment, at least, would be a lock.
That’s not necessarily the case. A lot of the Democrats who are there hail from districts that are normally conservative. They benefited from the fact that their voters were turned off by the boorishness of the Trumpster — so much so that they ignored their normal Republican instincts and elected a Democrat. So that Democrat knows full well she or he is on shaky ground. Those rookies might not be inclined to vote for impeachment if the pollsters tell them that the voters are sick and tired of the rough-and-tumble games of politics. There would be nothing rougher and tumbler … or gamier … than an impeachment fight with the Trump forces, led by a man who finds it impossible to hit above the belt. So, it’s plausible that even a Democratic-majority House would vote not to impeach. What an embarrassment that would be. No wonder Nancy Pelosi and her long-experienced team of leaders range between caution about the whole idea and outright rejection.

Suppose that the House majority held and actually did vote to impeach President Trump. It would then be handed to the Senate, which would ultimately have to decide by a two-thirds supermajority, 67 votes, to actually get rid of him. Did everyone forget that the Senate is controlled by the Republicans, 53-47? So the chances of 67 of them tossing out Trump are virtually undetectable. Even if they did remove him from office, they’d leave Mike Pence in charge at the White House, which is something else the Democrats might consider.
The point is it’s a big waste of effort. Even if they did go through these contortions, there is not enough time between now and the 2020 elections to pull off this exercise in brinkmanship, which, by the way, would leave the country even more divided and paralyzed than we already are. It would only hand to Trump more fodder for his tweet cannon.
Look how he was able to sabotage the special counsel investigation. He obstructed it plain and simple, but wasn’t called to account for obstruction of justice. That’s thanks to the fact that Bob Mueller and his talented and relentless staff of prosecutors were still no match for the Trump drumbeat of victimhood that undermined the probe every step of the way.
Nevertheless, Mueller and his not-so-merry band were able to document a pervasive pattern of corruption in the Trump White House that should be mortally disgusting, were it anybody other than Donald Trump.
When all is said and done, his enemies despise him not so much for his noxious policies and hateful declarations, but for the reality that he is what he is … loathsome. And by the way, that’s what the millions of those in his base love about him. They are convinced, with some justification, that the system that favors a few entitled elites is even more loathsome.
The word “loathsome” does not appear in the Constitution’s grounds for impeachment. It specifies “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” which really only means just about anything the politicians in Congress want it to mean.
There is time for the Democrats who run the House to investigate the daylights out of Trump and discredit him, if they’re successful. But it will be up to us voters on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, to determine whether Donald Trump is removed from office.

© 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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