Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Erickson Report - Page 2: Listen Up!

Listen Up!

Okay people, it's time to listen up.

There has been a lot of talk about impeachment of late, impeachment, that is, of President Tweetie-pie*. Some folks say it has to happen, some say it's inevitable, some say there is no point, and of course he has his defenders insisting that nothing he's done or accused of justifies it, it’s all "fake news" and in any event nothing rises to the Constitutional definition of "treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Well, listen up: We can't not do it. We can't not impeach. We can't say that what we have seen is acceptable. We can't say that obstruction of justice is okay. We can't say that ignoring the emoluments clause is okay. We can't say cooperating with agents tied to a foreign government to influence our elections is okay.

We can't allow endorsing white supremacy to be okay. We can't say returning to the days when bigotry was the law of the land and publicly acceptable is okay. We can't say a president acting like a mafia boss is okay.

We cannot not do it. Even if know will lose, even if we know the right wing Senate won't convict, even if we are fearful that the mouth-breathing bigots who are such a big part of his base will get all riled up, we can't not do it.

The contrary argument is that it’s better to avoid the conflict and beat him in 2020, an argument spun mostly by people like Nancy Cluck-Cluck Pelosi whose sole concern is how impeachment might affect the political fortunes of the Democrats in 2020, preferring to run and hide for fear of what the GOPpers will say about them, as if they wouldn't say it all anyway, fearful that Tweetie-pie will make himself out the victim as if he won't anyway, as if he hasn't already.

The argument, ultimately, is based on a claim about the Clinton impeachment, noting that his popularity went up in the wake of it - but the comparison is weak if not bogus.

First, Bill Clinton was a popular president: His approval rating was in the mid-50s to the low 60s through all of 1997; when scandal broke into the media in January 1998, it stood at 60.

Trump is an unpopular president; his approval rating has never been above 46; it’s averaged about 42; and is often in upper 30s.

Second, the Clinton impeachment was seen by many as purely political (which it was); many argued the impeachment was wrong because it involved a personal matter that had nothing to do with his job as president and did not involve offenses to the body politic, which are the sort of offenses the authors of the Constitution intended to be the focus of impeachment.

You can’t say any of that about Trump.

What's more, waiting for the election doesn't resolve the issue of the damage that we have seen.

If we let this pass, we are saying that a president can obstruct justice, ignore the emoluments clause, break campaign finance laws, undermine Constitutional government and corrupt the political process, ignore subpoenas, refuse to obey laws even if the plain black letter of the law says otherwise, subvert the very rule of law by turning the Attorney General into their personal lawyer, subvert free speech by encouraging violence against protestors, subvert the free press by calling any critical coverage "fake news" from "the enemies of the people"and even declaring their own twitter feed the only source of truth, even refuse to recognize Congress as a co-equal branch of government - all of that and more, with no consequence beyond maybe losing an election.

We can't let this pass without at least trying to lay down a marker saying this is not acceptable!

Listen up, people: We cannot not impeach.

*So named because of his addiction to tweeting out his every passing thought.

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