Maureen Dowd defends herself—and Nancy Pelosi—against the Purity Posse

July 28, 2019 • 11:15 am

As you know, Nancy Pelosi has been reluctant to push impeachment proceedings against Trump, for she feels—rightly, I think—that although an impeachment (the call for a trial) might be successful given the Democratic majority in the House, the trial itself will surely fail in the Republican-dominated Senate.  And that will energize and solidify Trump’s base.

This has put Pelosi at odds with other House Democrats who want, as Rashida Tlaib said, “to impeach the motherfucker.”

Maureen Dowd, columnist for the New York Times, recently wrote two columns extolling Pelosi (here and here) as well as criticizing Pelosi’s biggest Democratic detractor, “squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for playing the race card when Pelosi criticized her and the other three squad members. In the second column, “Scaling Wokeback Mountain“, Dowd called out the “Progressive” Democrats’ rigid ideology as well as their insistence on impeaching Trump—something that Dowd thinks would be disasterous. As Dowd wrote:

The progressives act as though anyone who dares disagree with them is bad. Not wrong, but bad, guilty of some human failing, some impurity that is a moral evil that justifies their venom.

. . . In the age of Trump, there is no more stupid proposition than that Nancy Pelosi is the problem. If A.O.C. and her Pygmalions and acolytes decide that burning down the House is more important than deposing Trump, they will be left with a racist backward president and the emotional satisfaction of their own purity.

Well, a certain stripe of Democrat couldn’t let that rest. This is the kind of Democrat for whom the futile fight to successfully impeach Trump is so pressing that they disregard the fact that it may well help Trump get re-elected.  Many of these Democratic miscreants work for HuffPost, which has been on a single-minded mission to get Trump impeached and defend “the squad.” No matter that that squad started the fracas in the House by going after Pelosi (remember that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a demonstration in Pelosi’s office even before she was sworn in) and trying to bend the entire party to their agenda, also a fruitless task.

Witness this attack on Pelosi by HuffPost:

Carter couldn’t abide Dowd’s first column, and here tries to tar her as an elitist who’s lost touch with the Democratic mainstream. (Do note that the Progressive Democrats are on the wrong side of issues that concern many Democrats, including immigration reform and healthcare.) In fact, the Progressive Dems, wedded to their own socialist vision of America, don’t seem to realize that most Americans, including fellow Democrats, do want immigration reform rather than open borders and decriminalization of illegal immigration, and don’t want their private healthcare wrested from them.
At any rate, here’s part of Carter’s attack on Dowd and Pelosi:

On Saturday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that reads like an excerpt from The Great Gatsby reimagined for the 21st century. In Dowd’s telling, Pelosi savored chocolates “with delight,” decked out in “purple Manolo heels” as she regaled Dowd with war stories about “her vineyard getaway in Napa” and the time U2′s lead singer attended a speech she gave in Ireland.

“Bono came,” she told Dowd, apparently with a bright grin. “And that was really fabulous.”

Pelosi has had a rough go of it lately, and the Dowd interview is the strongest evidence yet that the most powerful Democrat in America is losing touch with the country. Pelosi dismissed calls to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, claiming that Trump “self-impeaches” practically “every day” ― whatever that means. She downplayed former President Bill Clinton’s affair with a White House intern as “doing a dumb thing as a guy” ― a curious position in the Me Too era ― and suggested that Trump himself might have helped Democrats secure liberal priorities in a recent immigration bill had he not been so busy in North Korea.

But the interview really went off the rails when Pelosi lit into freshmen Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who all recently voted against that immigration bill, objecting to billions of dollars in fresh funding for the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement ― two agencies the president has relied on to wage a campaign of terror against children, refugees and communities of color.

As Pelosi was devoting time from her congressional recess to badmouthing her colleagues, the targets of her wrath ― Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley ― were spending much of their time away from Capitol Hill visiting Trump’s border camps and detailing their horrors to the public.

According to Pelosi, the opposition from Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley didn’t matter, because Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley don’t matter. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

. . . Politics is a messy business at the best of times, and these are not the best of times. But Pelosi’s leadership is damaging the Democratic Party. By catering to a very narrow, very elite slice of the electorate, she has removed herself from the mainstream of party thought and distanced her caucus from the interests of working people ― who vastly outnumber the people who base their votes on pricey footwear.

Well, make of that what you will. I suspect that if Democrats were given a choice of Pelosi or Ocasio-Cortez as Speaker, they’d choose Pelosi. And rightfully so, because she’s seen a thing or two and has been remarkably effective. Now there are four more unruly cats to herd, and they’re threatening to not only divide the Democratic party but, worse, help Trump get re-elected.

In today’s Times column, Dowd, clearly pissed off at HuffPost and her critics, struck back. It’s a good column:


Dowd has been in Washington for a long time, has impeccable liberal credentials (though has also been subject to criticism for caricaturing people and situations), and points out the disconnect between wanting impeachment on the one hand and the likelihood that this futile exercise will, in the end, help Trump on the other. She calls it “puritanism”, but I think it’s really a hatred of Trump that is so deep and strong that people will do anything to get at him, even at the risk of being hoist with their own petard.

Some quotes from Dowd’s piece. She starts out by, as they say, “throwing shade” on her critics:

After I interviewed Nancy Pelosi a few weeks ago, The HuffPost huffed that we were Dreaded Elites because we were eating chocolates and — horror of horrors — the speaker had on some good pumps.

Then this week, lefty Twitter erected a digital guillotine because I had a book party for my friend Carl Hulse, The Times’s authority on Capitol Hill for decades, attended by family, journalists, Hill denizens and a smattering of lawmakers, including Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Susan Collins.

I, the daughter of a D.C. cop, and Carl, the son of an Illinois plumber, were hilariously painted as decadent aristocrats reveling like Marie Antoinette when we should have been knitting like Madame Defarge.

Yo, proletariat: If the Democratic Party is going to be against chocolate, high heels, parties and fun, you’ve lost me. And I’ve got some bad news for you about 2020.

That’s a good start. Then she gets into the meat of her argument:

The progressive Puritans think we must honor the Constitution and go for it because it’s the right thing to do.

You can argue that impeachment, morally and constitutionally, is the right thing to do. But you also have to recognize that, historically and politically, it is not the right thing to do because it will lead to disaster.

The attempt to impeach Trump is one of the rare cases in which something obviously justified is obviously stupid.

Unbelievably, Pelosi — long a G.O.P. target for her unalloyed liberalism — is derided by the far left for her pragmatism. But she has been through enough Washington wars to know that idealism, untempered by realism, is dangerous.

An impeachment could return Trump to power. The highchair king from Fifth Avenue would exult in his victimhood and energize his always-ready-to-be aggrieved followers.

It could also lead to Democrats losing the House as their moderates fall and help Republicans hold the Senate. No Republicans would vote for impeaching Trump and some Democrats might refuse as well. Even if the House acted, Mitch McConnell would smother it in the Senate, just like he did Merrick Garland.

It’s better to pull out Trump by the roots in the election and firmly repudiate him. The Democrats should focus on the future, not the benighted past that we have been relegated to under Trump.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign focused on what a terrible person Trump is. It turned out that enough voters knew that and didn’t care. They wanted a racist Rottweiler.

Now the Democrats are once more focused on what a terrible person Trump is. Message received, many times over.

. . .The progressives’ cry that they don’t care about the political consequences because they have a higher cause is just a purity racket.

Their mantra is like that of Ferdinand I, the Holy Roman Emperor: “Fiat iustitia, et pereat mundus.” “Let justice be done, though the world perish.”

I agree: this is a real case of throwing out the baby (no, not baby Trump, but the Democratic prospects for 2020) with the bathwater. Was Trump guilty of lying and even criminal behavior? Yes, I think so. Were they the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required for a successful impeachment? That’s above my pay grade, and should be up to the Senate.  Will the Senate convict him? Not on your life.

And do I want Trump gone? Of course I do—more than anything. So does Dowd. That’s why she’s defending Pelosi against the Pecksniffs who simply want to create a circus in the House. The stakes are too high for that.

127 thoughts on “Maureen Dowd defends herself—and Nancy Pelosi—against the Purity Posse

  1. While I think, in theory, that Trump should face impeachment – I agree that it is not the way to go right now. We need an electoral victory without blemish if we want this country to move forward. I understand that that in itself is a lot to ask for – but I fear that the more radicalized right will accept nothing less when the time comes.

    I just finished listening to an excellent podcast I would recommend without hesitation. Journalist Leah Sotille, in cooperation with Oregon Public Broadcasting, gives us Bundyville (part one deals with the Bundy armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge back in 2016 and part two deals with political extremism in the American west). It is good food for thought.

    1. Do you have a link for the podcast? Sounds interesting.

      As for your first paragraph, I agree with you and Jerry. I wrote a post about it a few months ago, and my position has only solidified.

      At the moment, there’s a chance that Trump can be taken out at the next election, though it’s by no means a done deal. I’d say 50/50 right now. The polls show better than that, but they’re national polls. The Electoral College works differently, as 2016 taught us.

      If Trump can be got rid of by election, he will be an aberration in history. Imagine four more years of him, where he can behave without having to worry about either the GOP or reelection. You think he’s bad now. Just wait.

      The reason my position has got stronger is that if Trump is impeached, not only would that create huge resentment in the GOP public, it would result in Pence as president. Quite frankly, he’s even scarier than Trump. He’s a Christian extremist of the worst kind. A true believer, who’s looking forward to the Rapture. Get him together with Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, nuclear war is on the cards.

      Having said all that, the Dems must continue to investigate Trump. If, by chance, the public, including a majority of Republicans, do start calling for impeachment, then it’s okay to go ahead. Either way, Trump’s crimes must be exposed so he can be charged after he leaves office. There must be NO impeachment without the support of Republican voters. Worst case scenario, it could trigger an attempt at a civil war by all the Right-Wing militia groups. They are very dangerous. and already talking about fighting for Trump.

      Also, the Squad are wrong. They do not currently represent the Democratic Party, though they may in the future. Almost all the Dem winners in 2016 and especially 2018 were moderates.

      1. “If Trump can be got rid of by election, he will be an aberration in history.”

        Trump may be gone, but Trumpism won’t be. The forces that created him will still exist and be as dangerous as ever. Those white folks who supported him will be as aggrieved as ever and more bitter. Since they are the base of the Republican Party, we can expect the Trump toadies to be as obstructionist as ever in the effort to appease the base. Of course, nothing is more important than getting rid of Trump, but don’t expect peace and harmony if that happens.

        “There must be NO impeachment without the support of Republican voters.”

        I disagree with you on this as I explain in comment #9. Rest assured, impeachment will not be supported by Republican voters. If Trump is impeached by the House Democrats, he will not be removed by the Senate. Remember, impeachment is an indictment; the Senate holds the removal trial. I would not be overly concerned with violence at this point if there is just an impeachment. However, violence will be a real possibility if Trump loses the election and refuses to accept the result. At that point, militant right wingers may resort to violence, which will create fear and chaos throughout the land. Democrats need to be prepared for such a contingency. So, the catastrophe of Trumpism will not go away after the 2020 election. Democracy will still be in peril.

        1. What you say at the start is what I meant. As I said in my post opposing impeachment, the only way GOP senators will vote for impeachment is if their electorates want them to. There should be no impeachment vote if it would fail in the Senate. That was basically the whole premise of my post:

          I agree completely that violence is a bigger danger in the case of Trump refusing to accept the result of the 2020 election if he loses.

    2. The radicalized right has made it pretty clear that they would consider any loss by Trump to be illegitimate and likely due to massive cheating by dems and undocumented immigrants. The notion that a solid win would get them to accept defeat graciously is laughable.

      Dems need to stop caring how Republican voters will react to their actions, because such people will call the radical America haters no matter what they do.

  2. The claim that an impeachment would energize the Trump base rings rather hollow. This is a base that is already hyper-energized and will vote for their leader regardless of anything. My conservative friends are undeterred in their loyalty.

    Isn’t it more likely that a very public expose of the high crimes and misdemeanors will compel some small, but critical, minority of more moderate, old school Republicans to abandon Trump? Take a look at Iowa legislator Andy McKean. After 3 decades of public service as a Republican he has switched to being a Democrat because of Trump and the rigidity of GOP politics.

    1. I wonder if things even need to rise to the level of impeachment. There is so much that is rotten about Trump that the House could simply investigate from now to the election. Like you say, I believe his base is in a permanent state of aggravation, and neither impeachment or simply investigation is going to make them any more rabid. However if more stomach churning facts about Trump came to light at least some fence sitters might wake up. Getting the Senate to convict is not the point, and I don’t think anybody really believes that it would pass the Senate, but with broad investigative powers the House could issue subpoenas with real teeth to them that the White House could not ignore or flaunt. That’s an issue that has already be adjudicated by SCUSA in re the Watergate tapes.

      But what about energizing our base? That’s not something that Pelosi and her crew seem too interested in doing. She spends far more energy attacking junior members of her own caucus.

      I recently read something by Lucien Truscott IV that resonated with me. It’s a long quote, but such is not unknown here:

      “Pick a side and stick with it. Take a stand and don’t retreat. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the problems or the messy imperfections of what it takes to establish an honest government and pay for it honestly and run it honestly so that problems can actually be solved. Don’t get lost in the weeds of plans and white papers, and for crying out loud, stop giving Republicans a leg up by squabbling and nitpicking at each other. You’re Democrats, not suicide bombers.

      You want to know what toughness is in this election year? Republicans tell lies and cheat to win. We don’t. Republicans stand by a racist president. We stand up to him and call him what he is. Republicans will take your health insurance away. We’ll protect it. Republicans are the party of Donald Trump. We’re the party of democracy and the American way.

      We love this country. We’re not going anywhere but the ballot box and we’re going to vote, and we’re going to beat your sorry, lying ass.”

      We stand up to a lying racist President. Or we should, right? If not do we stand for anything?

        1. That is the $25,000 question isn’t it? We are so busy calling out and marginalizing the people in our party that don’t toe the line or conversely fighting with leadership that is not interested in consensus building with the progressive wing, that the party elite, the ones we have elected, are destroying the party from within. Meanwhile
          the “base” remains largely leaderless. There’s a few in Congress that have managed to fire up their bases dramatically, and I’m thinking of AOC here, for all you haters out there. Like it or not, as you will, she ran just the kind of fiery campaign that I’m talking about. And she remains as popular in her district, if not more so than Pelosi, or Schumer in their territories. That’s what it’s about, right. All politics is local as someone once said (Tip O’Neil?)

          So to answer your question, I think Truscott said it: “Pick a side and stick to it.” Communicate your truth and your passion to the electorate and if you really are in synch with their concerns you will build a powerful base.

      1. Gotta admit, names that end in Roman numerals including a “V” tend to make me leery (especially when preceded by something WASP-y like “Truscott”). 🙂

        But I’ve got to give that quote from Mr. Lucian Truscott not just a “yes,” but a “Hell, yes!”

          1. yeah, I’m familiar with his illustrious ancestry, and with his writing for The village Voice (which is how I knew his first name was spelled with an “a” 🙂 ). The rest was just my little joke, Jim.

        1. I agree about the Roman numerals, but it is a good quote.

          The Dems have to give people something to vote for though. At the moment, all they’ve really got is voting against Trump.

          Some are coming up with some good specific policies. Warren and Harris and doing well there. Bernie has some, but they scare off independents, and they have to be brought into the fold.

          Too many (especially white) USians are happy to hold their noses and vote for Trump if they like the party’s policies.

      2. But what about energizing our base? That’s not something that Pelosi and her crew seem too interested in doing. She spends far more energy attacking junior members of her own caucus.

        The law of diminishing returns. Your base has reached peak energy. By how many million more votes would you like to win California this time?

        To put it simplistically, the Dems need to convince 77,000 voters in three states, who voted for Trump last time, to vote for the Dem nominee this time. Anything that does not persuade those 77,000 — or worse, drives even more swing voters away — is a grievous mistake.

        1. Dems won the midterms in a big way by running on holding Trump accountable. If the Dems refuse to do so in the name of some electoral strategy, why are those voters going to show up?

  3. Impeachment is a judgment by his “peers”, so the Pelosi strategy to cover this Putin pussy with so much dirt that he will be judged by the electorate. Then PP Don can be indicted.

  4. In 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shepherded the complex Affordable Care Act through the House of Representatives, a prolonged, difficult political operation. Even though the Democratic Party held the majority, the ACA passed quite narrowly, 220-215. This was on November 7, 2009, at which time Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a junior at Boston College.

    1. How does citing how Pelosi navigated the ACA bill through the House relate to the issue impeachment? Isn’t that rather like fighting the last century’s war?

      1. Why, sir, you sound like the kind of person who might question the efficacy of the Maginot Line! 🙂

        1. Actually, the Maginot Line has gotten a bad rap. It was not captured or penetrated by the Germans when they attacked France in June 1940. They simply went around it.

          As one article states:

          “On paper, the Maginot Line was an astounding technical achievement which looked impregnable. It was also a complete failure. When the German army attacked France in 1940, it simply bypassed the Maginot Line by attacking to the north, through Luxembourg and Belgium. None of the massive forts were attacked by the Germans – they were occupied by German troops when France capitulated in June 1940.”

          1. In related news, none of the USians who built bomb shelters in the 1950s has yet died of radiation sickness.

  5. If there are no impeachment proceedings and the Russians rig the 2020 election (I read that there is evidence they interfered in all 50 states) so Trump wins a second term, then what?

    1. That’s my worry. Trump and the Republicans have eroded the constitution and the law generally, and seem willing to push further. We could be on the verge of a one party government, or worse. If Trump wins a second term without impeachment having gotten underway, he, and perhaps his successor (Pence?), will feel the law really doesn’t matter any more. At that point, democrats might begin impeachment to shorten his tenure, or to make a statement, but by then it will be too late.

    2. According to the polls he doesn’t need the Russians to help him. I think there’s a danger of underestimating the support for him (again).

      1. I agree Yakaru. Those of us who can see the Emperor is naked can’t even imagine how others can’t see it too.

        Lots of people think he’s no more dishonest than any other politician, and that all politicians are liars.

        Lots of people think he’s a great businessman.

        Lots of people think he’s drained the swamp.

        Lots of people believe he’s not racist.

        I could go on.

      2. A Fox News poll has Biden beating Trump in the popular vote by 10%. Obviously a lot can change between now and then but that would be pretty hopeless for Trump if it were the same on election day.

        I have noticed recently that Trump’s ability to communicate seems to be declining. For example, reading words off the autocue and being unable to pronounce them correctly “law marker”, forgetting AOC’s name and other things. This may be because I tend to watch liberal biased sources where they tend to emphasise Trump’s stupidity by picking out the stupid bits, but it may also mean he is in some sort of serious mental decline and there’s more than a year to go.

        Imagine a presidential debate in which he can’t string a coherent sentence together or, even better, shits himself on national TV (my personal fantasy).

        1. “Imagine a presidential debate in which he can’t string a coherent sentence together”

          It’s not hard to imagine. He was half way there when he debated Hilary. Every other sentence was incoherent.

    3. Well at least then we’ll be able to revel for four years secure in the knowledge we never affronted a centrist.

    4. The Russians just aren’t that smart and that capable. They can make a small difference, sure, but that only matters in a razor-thin margin election. Those happen infrequently, the last election notwithstanding.

    5. Exactly! Are dems planning on impeaching him right after he wins a second term. The pundits will declare that his crimes were litigated during the campaign and impeachment is just sour grapes.

  6. As I read the reports on Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley here on WEIT, I do not see any progressive Representatives. The attitudes and arguments of these people are similar to those of many politicians, who are members of the party “Die Linke” in Germany: Much leftist populism and agitation, little pragmatism and realpolitik.

    Sahra Wagenknecht would be happy about such companions.

  7. The problem with impeachment is not that it would fire up Trump’s base but that it would enable the (false) argument that Trump has been unfairly treated. It would allow the GOP to portray impeachment as just another partisan battle, as opposed to a response to real crimes. Better to vote Trump out and leave no doubt, though there are risks that he’ll win or declare the vote as rigged against him.

    Pelosi is doing the right thing. I used to be behind AOC and the rest of the Squad but no more. AOC is smart but too ideological and craves attention.

  8. I do not have much time here as I have to head off to a party for my wife’s mother’s 100 years old event. You do not get many of these.

    I do not spend much time worrying about the progressive left or the conservative middle of the democratic party. Both sides hold enough nonsense that I believe causes more fiction than fact. If you really have it in for the progressive left then by all means, go after them and see if you can piss them off to the point of not voting. Or be part of the conservative middle that got beaten by Trump in the last go round.

    Meanwhile, Trump has compiled a list of impeachable offenses far beyond what Mueller has given us. We just tend to ignore most of them as they pop up daily. I do not care if the democrats screw themselves up so much fighting with each other that they cannot manage an impeachment hearing or it makes them run to the bathroom worried it might not get rid of him. What will really look stupid to me is if they just do nothing, he gets re-elected and then how stupid do we all look.

    We have a leader in the Senate now that blocks everything that hits the congress and goes by the name of Moscow Mich. Right now you just as well have Putin in charge but who cares, we are more interested in what a couple of democrats are arguing about.

    1. Good points. These issues worry me too. BTW, Borowitz column headline:

      “Republicans Defend Trump’s Decision to Give Putin Office Space at White House”

    2. A happy centenary to your mother-in-law, buddy.

      I loved mine while she was still among the quick, but couldn’t help myself from singing her a couple verses of this tune every time I saw her. 🙂

      Lucky for me, she had a great sense of humor.

      1. I remember that song, although I was only 11 at the time. Must have been one of my older sister’s 45s.

      1. Thanks to all for the 100 birthday. Next month her much younger sister hits 90. By the way, you don’t find a lot of cards for 100.

        1. I have another short story for those who hang around late. For her 100th birthday one of the family who had the picture of her with her first husband, had the picture framed for her. She married him before WWII, maybe the picture was 1939. He was a waist gunner in B-17s in the war and was killed during the war.

        2. My paternal grandmother made it to 100. Lived in three centuries, 1899-2000.

          Saw a thing or two in her time, she did.

          1. Amazing. My grandfather was born in 1899 but he only made it to 1980.

            I have to say, seeing this picture of my wife’s mother with her brand new husband in 1939/40 when she was around 20 or 21. Then he dies in War a few years later. She said they never told her how he died but a few years later a friend of his looked her up and told her how. The B-17 crashed on take off.

  9. Within the Democratic Party there is a debate on whether to impeach Trump. This debate is NOT between Progressives and the more moderates nor does it have anything to do with political purity (which I deplore). It is between those who think that impeachment represents a political risk and those who think the risk is worth it to uphold the constitutional provision of impeachment when warranted and, thereby, reign in the power of a proto-fascist.

    An article by Adam Jentleson, entitled “The Political Costs of Not Impeaching Trump” outlines the case for impeachment, which I agree with. Jentleson was the former chief of staff for Harry Reid when he was the Democratic majority leader of the Senate. I doubt that he approaches anything near being a leftist radical. There are few people who know more about the inner workings of Congress than he.

    Jentleson makes several points. The first is: “I don’t know how else to say this: getting impeached is bad. It is not something you want to happen to you, especially if you’re president. You do not want to go down as one of only four presidents in history to be impeached. This is a bad thing. Only Democrats, bless our hearts, could convince ourselves that it is good for a president to be impeached.” A second point is: “The decision not to impeach is not a decision to focus on other things, it is a decision to cede power, control, and legitimacy to Trump. Trump is not a master chess player, he just bluffs his opponents into forfeiting their moves—and that is exactly what he is doing to House Democrats.” He goes on to claim that “declining to impeach Trump validates his claim that Mueller exonerated him.” Then he says “Democrats should consider whether they’d rather engage that fight against a president who has been impeached for serious crimes, or against a president strengthened by the de facto exoneration bestowed when his opponents declined to pursue the evidence against him.”

    We do not know what the political results of impeachment would be. It is sheer guesswork and pundits should be honest enough to say as much. The argument that impeachment would further energize his base is one of the weakest against it I have heard. His base is already energized and will vote for Trump whether or not he gets impeached. The degree to which they are energized is irrelevant. A vote is a vote no matter to what degree the voter is energized.

    There is one thing I will say for sure. If Trump is not impeached, the impeachment clause in the Constitution is a dead letter. Trump and any wannabe successors will not have to fear it. I will go out on a limb and make the following prediction. If the House Democrats fail to impeach, future historians will condemn them as moral cowards that allowed a sociopath to run amok. Democrats need to look beyond the next election.

    1. I don’t agree with this apocalyptic take. The only reason impeachment would fail right now is that the GOP have tied their broken wagon to Trump. If they lose a few elections and/or Trump goes out due to term limits, that won’t be the case forever. Impeachment is always a partisan event but right now it is simply more partisan than usual. Impeachment is also always a practical matter. High crimes and misdemeanors are whatever Congress make them out to be. Losing an impeachment battle is too big a risk. The Dems should be more worried about making Trump a one-term President. That will be hard enough given a good economy, Fox News, the Russians hacking our elections, and the gullibility and moral turpitude of conservatives.

    2. Historian I agree totally, and I think that this is brilliant. I disagree with Mr. Topping about the risks. We must stop cringing at every real and imagined risk. It is a truism, for crying out loud, that freedom and liberty require taking risks from time to time in their defense.

          1. Yes, but this is not mathematics, and “cold calculation” is subtle and subjective in politics. My own calculation is that we have played defense for far too long, and that now might be an ideal time to go for the throat. Apparently the Democratic leadership will continue allowing Trump to destroy Constitutional norms and openly sneer at and defy the House. This should not stand. I think a large majority of the electorate will agree if all of the facts came out.

            I could be wrong, of course, perhaps democracy really is obsolete now, and cynical cold calculation rather than truth and the rule of law is really the whole tactic after all. I think that’s playing the Republican’s game.

          2. “Losing an impeachment battle is too big a risk.”

            Yep, I remember how devastating the impeachment of Clinton for consensual sex was to the GOP in
            the 2000 election …… oh never mind.

            Side note. Maureen Dowd’s critique of Gore was he was an artificial stiff with a bad wardrobe, unlike that genuine Texan, the kind of guy one would like to have a beer with or so went the MSM meme.
            She is about the last person on earth who should be opining about the purity police.She just had a different standard, based on image not substantive policy.
            Budget surpluses, prosperity what’s that compared to the “I invented the internet” gaff, which Gore never actually said.

    3. “There is one thing I will say for sure. If Trump is not impeached, the impeachment clause in the Constitution is a dead letter.”


      If the Dems could find a way to impeach him without setting themselves up to lose and look like fools like they usually do, I’d be for it.

      Failing that, they’d be better off presenting a united front behind a sensible couple of candidates who run positive nomination campaigns, (preferably not run by any of Manafort’s mates like Bernie’s was last time).

    4. I agree.

      Something has to be done and now is the time. Russia is still messing with our elections apparently. Put Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders in and lose regardlesss of Russia’s interference? What the heck then?

    5. You do not want to go down as one of only four presidents in history to be impeached

      Actually, Trump would only be the third president to be impeached. It took me only a minute to verify that with Google. It takes the shine off Mr Jentleson’s authority IMO.

      It happened to Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. While it is fair to say the only reason I know the name Andrew Johnson is because he got impeached, I don’t think Bill Clinton’s reputation has really suffered due to his impeachment.

      Furthermore, this president is like no president we have seen before. What a normal person thinks of its bad does not seem to apply to Trump. He will change the narrative to turn it into persecution by the blowhard Dems.

      The impeachment clause in the constitution is already a dead letter. We all know that , if Trump is impeached tomorrow, he will be acquitted by the Senate. And it is that acquittal that will determine precedent not the initial impeachment.

      Some things you might impeach Trump for:

      – obstruction of justice

      – nepotism

      – using the presidency for personal gain

      If you impeach for these offences and he gets acquitted, you set a precedent. For example, tTrump employs his daughter and son in law in his administration. It’s not strictly illegal, but, until now, it has not been the done thing. If Trump is impeached for that and acquitted, you have a precedent. It’s OK to give your family jobs (and override security concerns along the way).

      1. You are correct that only two prior presidents (Andrew Johnson, Clinton) were actually impeached with both not being convicted in the Senate. It is very easy to forget that Nixon was not actually impeached, resigning before that action would have been taken.

      2. Articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon were voted out of the judiciary committee (aka the “Rodino” committee, after its chairman, Peter Rodino). I saw it with my own eyes on live tv.

        Nixon just hightailed it outta Washington, DC, before the full House of Representatives could vote on the articles of impeachment — after the Republican Party patriarchs, led by former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, paid him a visit and told him he didn’t have a chance in hell of surviving a trial in the Senate. (When Dick asked how many votes he could count on in the senate, ol’ Barry told him, “Not many, and not mine.”)

        Would that this nation had Republicans like Barry Goldwater now!

        1. After his retirement, Goldwater’s seat in the senate was taken over by John McCain. I like to think that, once the Mueller report fingered Trump for obstruction of justice, John McCain would’ve given Trump the same Roman-Emperor-style thumbs-down that he gave Obamacare repeal in the senate.

          They ain’t makin’ Republicans like John McCain anymore either. (There’s no bigger heel in American politics right now than McCain’s old runnin’ buddy Lindsey Graham.)

    6. Democrats do need to look beyond the next election, but I would settle for them looking beyond the next five minutes. For the next five minutes, a majority of Americans will be against impeaching Trump, and the vast majority of that majority will remain ignorant of the facts of his crimes and misdemeanors.

      If the Democrats investigate in non-impeachment hearings, those will be covered by … C-SPAN. If impeachment hearings proceed, those will be covered by every media organization on earth, and even pretend-covered by Fox News.

    7. Historian
      I agree with everything you wrote except this,

      “There is one thing I will say for sure. If Trump is not impeached, the impeachment clause in the Constitution is a dead letter.”
      Do you honestly believe Jim Jordan and his “Freedom Caucus” torch carriers, would hesitate for so much as a second, to start an impeachment of a Democratic president if they were in the majority?
      They had ten hearings on Benghazi alone.
      It is pure speculation on my part but it is also my conviction that if Clinton had won as expected by most everyone, she would have been impeached almost immediately.
      “Lock her up” was not just an organically produced catch phrase but rather a purposely chosen one to set the tone for her administration and BTW Republicans weren’t about to wait for the 2018 mid terms.
      Forget the reason they would have chosen,they don’t care, they’ll make one up. They would have done for the same reason the party all went to their knees once Trump was in office,it is what their base wants.

  10. I agree that the business about “energizing the Trump base” is a very weak, speculative argument. It is incontestable, however, that the Republican-controlled Senate would not convict after the House of Representatives voted impeachment. [In fact, given Mitch McConnell’s past behavior, it is quite conceivable that he might simply refuse to take up an impeachment sent by the House.] This means that an impeachment vote by the House will be futile.

    Against this evident futility, it is argued that impeachment would nonetheless set a precedent, and thus prevent actions like those of Trump by future presidents. Uhhh, does that mean that the impeachment of Bill Clinton prevented the rise to power of presidents who enjoy extra-marital affairs? Or even one whose fixers pay hush money to keep such affairs covered up? On which planet do impeachment proceedings in the House have this super-power?

    1. LOL. You have one President with his eh.. dick out and lying while being President and one doing the same before being President, as zero sum games go, it’s a draw.
      I’d like to add to all this energize commentary, Dems need to energize AND mobilize, start making noise about unity not differences.

    2. ” This means that an impeachment vote by the House will be futile.”

      Not at all. Impeachment proceedings can lay out the case publically against Trump. Make the case strongly enough and people who generally don’t pay attention will see that impeachment is deserved.

      When Rs in the Senate inevitably vote against impeachment you don’t act like Dems lost and should go curl up in a corner. You attack every single R for protecting a criminal president. You label them accomplices. You force them to run on their refusal to hold a criminal to account.

  11. I don’t think it is a matter of purity.

    I think it is that the Dem mainstream, straight after Trump’s win, pushed the Russia story hard.

    At that point the fair left stated that they didn’t particularly care, but it was more or less what the Dem mainstream were running on.

    Nancy Pelosi condemned Facebook for its role in enabling Russian interference in America’s elections, as recently as May.

    She was on the stage with Jerry Nadler when he said, “Mueller found multiple instances where all three elements for charging criminal obstruction of justice were met.”

    That’s not a long time ago, that was on Wednesday.

    So here’s the thing, if Russian interference in the election was so serious as to merit the attention the Democratic establishment gave it for so long, then impeachment is called for.

    Otherwise it just looks like political theater and sour grapes, not a genuine concern.

    The call isn’t for purity, the “Squad” types generally don’t give a shit about Russia, it is about following through. This is what Pelosi and the Democratic leadership fought so long for, and here they are, at the moment of truth, backing out.

    1. We are deep into hypothetical territory here, but actually convicting the President in this Senate is probably never going to happen, agreed. The real and critically important purpose of impeachment in the House is to defend the Constitution, reestablish the rule of law, and to shine light under the wet rock that is this Presidency. My own hypothesis is that this will energize anti-Trump voters, not vice versa. And for me, personally, I desperately want the rebirth of a strong, courageous, and united opposition party. If handled right, and with that much red meat out there in Trump’s closet just waiting to be served up, impeachment might well have that as a side effect. Another side effect is that acquittal in the Senate would put every Republican Senator, and the party itself on record in front of the public and history as the corrupt enterprise it is.

  12. In criminal law in the USA, an indictment means you have to stand trial. In the trial you can then be acquitted. If that happens, you are deemed innocent, and the indictment is cleared, so to speak.

    If the House passes articles of impeachment, it is an indictment, not a verdict. The president would then stand trial in the Senate. If he is acquitted, then the indictment is cleared in the same way.

    That result would be the total exoneration that has so far been falsely claimed. It is not difficult to see that such a result would benefit Trump, and do no good for the opposition.

    Although I don’t think it has ever been officially addressed, I don’t think it would be possible to try impeaching a president a second time. It makes more sense to me to hold impeachment as a last resort, to be used if Trump gets a second term and continues to abuse the office.

    1. We are deep into hypothetical territory here, but actually convicting the President in this Senate is probably never going to happen, agreed. The real and critically important purpose of impeachment in the House is to defend the Constitution, reestablish the rule of law, and to shine light under the wet rock that is this Presidency. My own hypothesis is that this will energize anti-Trump voters, not vice versa. And for me, personally, I desperately want the rebirth of a strong, courageous, and united opposition party. If handled right, and with that much red meat out there in Trump’s closet just waiting to be served up, impeachment might well have that as a side effect. Another side effect is that acquittal in the Senate would put every Republican Senator, and the party itself on record in front of the public and history as the corrupt enterprise it is.

    2. In criminal law in the USA, an indictment means you have to stand trial. In the trial you can then be acquitted. If that happens, you are deemed innocent …

      Yes, if articles of impeachment are returned by the House, and Trump is tried by the senate and all the evidence is adduced against him, yet he is acquitted by Republican senators, Trump will be deemed “innocent” … about as innocent as OJ.

      Trump’s diehard white-nationalist base would still vote for him even if he murdered a pair of innocents (say, by shooting them on Fifth Avenue, as he brags), but I’m hopeful the rest of the American electorate wouldn’t.

    3. After he wins a second term any attempt at impeachment will be deemed sour grapes and an effort by dems to steal an election they couldn’t win. Pundits will declare that dems had the opportunity to pursue impeachment and they took a pass.

      It is true what you say about the legalities of impeachment, but most of the public doesn’t see it through that lens. If the Dems present an overwhelming case for impeachment in the House but Republicans refuse to convict in the Senate. Most people won’t see Trump as exonerated, they will see him protected by an equally corrupt partisan Senate which gives Dems a stick to beat them with in the campaign.

  13. I thought Dowd’s piece started off well, but then she got side-tracked into defending Pelosi. I would have liked her to follow through on the Puritan angle. The progressives, as she calls them, really are trying to enforce an orthodoxy, which I object to on principle. Our political system isn’t built for that, and I can’t see any good coming of it. It’s not just their policies that aren’t congenial to the indepedents, but their methods. No one likes a scold. Goody Cortez and Goody Omar can take their stacks of scarlet letters, and go away.

  14. Google tells me that Clinton’s poll numbers were highest after impeachment proceedings, so there may well be something to that argument (that attempted impeachment actually gives politicians a boost).

    Regarding the Left – I think the major issue there is that there’s been little progress made in creating an overarching narrative for democrats that appeals to both the excited fringes and the moderate middle. I think Bernie Sanders made some progress in creating broad populist appeal in 2016 (and I say that as someone who is not crazy about many of his policies, but from an impartial point of view, I think it’s fair to say he made a good bit of progress in winning bipartisan populist support,) but his message has been diluted after being associated with similar but far less popular messages. For example, “healthcare for all” was turned into “healthcare for all including illegal immigrants”, so now when the topic comes up at all it becomes a divisive one.

    As I’ve said before, I wonder if part of the issue here is decreasing partisanship in the US in general, meaning both parties are simply losing their moderate wings to independents – but at the same time, you don’t have independent parties producing candidates and policies. So you have an increasingly large unaffiliated middle voting on policies created by increasingly small and polarized parties.

    1. To a great extent the Clinton impeachment was vindictive, and appeared so. It’s clear that the same impulse is at work for some impeachment backers in Congress now. If there is not a strong public majority for impeachment, it will only look like political score-settling.

      1. Given this President’s current and past actions, it is not at all clear to me that impeachment is vindictive at all, nor should it appear so to a reasonable person.

    2. … so there may well be something to that argument (that attempted impeachment actually gives politicians a boost).

      Maybe you’re generalizing too hastily here from a sample size of one, Bill Clinton.

      Perhaps if we’re to generalize so hastily, the apt precedent is Richard Nixon — who won a 49-state landslide with over 60% of the vote in 1972, who still had an approval rating higher than Donald Trump does now when the Watergate hearings started in May 1973 (with only 19% of the American public favoring impeachment), but who nonetheless got run off the south lawn of the White House on a rail (well, ok, a helicopter) little more than a year later.

      1. Obviously it is interesting to compare the Trump situation with Nixon’s but they were different times. I lived through those times and, as I recall, politicians on both sides generally tried to do the right thing. Or, perhaps more importantly, they wanted to at least appear to do the right thing. There was lying and partisanship but there were lines one couldn’t be crossed. If someone got caught in an outrageous lie, they felt guilt and shame. Trump has figured out that if you lie right from the start, and your party has mostly abandoned morality, you can just keep on lying. Make enough noise and every battle can be dismissed as partisan.

        If we look at all the crimes Trump has likely committed and imagine Dems being able to uncover convincing evidence for all of them, I still don’t see Trump and his GOP base blinking an eye. They’ll successfully portray it as a partisan witch hunt. Dems can claim they did the right thing by impeaching but if Trump can ignore it, what does it matter?

        The argument that failure to impeach somehow sets an important precedent is just not very convincing. Prosecutors in many jurisdictions choose not to prosecute if they don’t think a case is winnable. To my knowledge, doing so doesn’t affect future prosecutions of similar crimes.

        1. You know a lot of criminal cases are lost or thrown out of court after an indictment. Should the police stop arresting wrong doers because of that?

        2. It’s true that impeachment increased Bill Clinton’s personal popularity (which was already sky-high heading into his impeachment trial in the senate), but it did NOT hurt Republicans at all in the next election, in 2000. The GOP gained seats in the House, hung on to its majority in the senate, and won the presidency (or at least “won” it in the only vote that ultimately mattered, 5-4 in Bush v. Gore, before the US Supreme Court).

      2. Yes, the good old days when there were moderate Republicans. Quotes from Wikipedia:

        On July 29, 1974 the minority leaders assessments were “Rhodes estimated that impeachment in the House would get as many as 300 votes” and “Scott felt that there were 60 votes for conviction in the Senate, a little short of two thirds.”

        Then the Supreme Court ruled that the unedited tapes had to be released, and “on August 5, 1974, the White House released a previously unknown audio tape from June 23, 1972.” This was the famous “Smoking Gun” tape, with Nixon explicitly planning to block the investigations.

        Nine days later, August 7, “Rhodes told the president that he would face certain impeachment when the articles came up for vote in the full House.” “Goldwater and Scott told the president that there were not only enough votes in the Senate to convict him, but that no more than 15 or so Senators were willing to vote for acquittal.”

        Nixon resigned on August 9.

        If there was a smoking gun in the Trump case, and the republican senators could not ignore it, then yes, an impeachment would be appropriate. The Trump case seems far less well focused to me, and the current republican senators seem willing to support Trump, and their leader McConnell, no matter what.

      3. A sample size of one is pretty much all I have to work with, which is why I said there “may be something to” the idea, not that it is set in stone.

        Nixon’s case was rather different, as he was likely going to be removed from office and then resigned (neither of which apply to Trump – that I can say with confidence.) Impeachment would be a largely symbolic gesture on the part of the democrats in this case.

        1. As I just pointed out above, while impeachment increased Bill Clinton’s personal popularity (which was already sky-high heading into his 1999 impeachment trial in the senate), it did NOT hurt Republicans at the polls in the next election, in 2000, since the GOP gained seats in the House, hung on to its majority in the senate, and “won” the US presidency.

          1. Right, but that dynamic would have been different if Clinton was the one running for another term. Since it was his second term, his personal popularity was largely beside the point.

            I will say that in the current environment, it’s equally probable, to my mind, that an impeachment attempt would barely register with voters one way or the other. I actually think that the signal to noise ratio when it comes to partisan hostility is already so high that this might be the case. (The headlines are already about Trump vs. Democrats pretty much all day every day already, it’s one story after the next to such a degree that I suspect it all blurs for many people.)

  15. The best thing that could happen is for Trump to be impeached and convicted with a high percentage of Republican votes in the Senate. Then we could dance on his grave.

    Then the entire world could become convinced evolution is true; popes, preachers, and imam’s would admit they were wrong all along; and peace would reign in the world.

    That won’t happen. The next best thing does not involve impeaching Trump. In the realm of the possible (and excluding medical events) the best scenario is a Trump election loss next year.

  16. My wife attended the last Democratic national convention as a Sanders delegate and saw this same sort of stupid, purity-based anger against Clinton when he lost. Quite a few of the Bernie supporters swore they would never vote for Hillary. Thanks for Trump guys! Let’s do it again it 2020.

    1. Hmm… but then the Bernie delegation was comprehensibly dissed by the DNC and the Clinton establishment during the convention and a lot of first time young voters were effectively driven out, feeling voiceless. If many of them ended up voting for Trump,and I don’t think that the numbers are as high as some people claim, then I place the blame squarely on the DNC, especially Pelosi, and Hillary. It should have been handled much better. I also attended Sanders rallies, and the anger I saw was not “purity based,” it came from young people who had become energized politically in a way that I have not seen in American youth since I worked for McCarthy in my first primary (still to young to vote). Yeah, and the DNC kicked us in the nuts then too, we thought. Youth was dissed and dismissed much like it was with the Bernie supporters, to the detriment of the party’s future. The Democrat’s machine style politics has always been hostile to insurgents, and now it may have become so hide bound and timid that it is incapable of progressing. And “progressive” is not an insult.

      Here is just one of the reports of the DNC hatchet job on Bernie from the Chicago Trib:

      If your wife was a delegate, was this her perception as well?

      1. Those were her thoughts exactly. I didn’t go to the convention, but we both supported Bernie who was unfairly treated by the establishment. So what? Politics has always been a rough business. When the future of the country is at stake you don’t turn your back on the process and help a monster get elected. We now have a federal judiciary being packed with far right, religious judges working to turn the country over to the wealthy and big businesses. Hopefully, the liberal, whiny babies will be able to work with other Democrats to prevent a second term for the monster.

        1. But it is not hard ball politics to alienate and drive away a large and potentially powerful portion of the electorate. That was just stupid and arrogant. And this was my point all along.

          1. At some point individuals are accountable for their own actions. Any voters who voted for Trump, whatever the reasons, they are to blame for Trump. It’s their fault.

            More than enough information revealing Trump to be a thuggish scumbag of the first order was out there in the public domain for anyone who cared to look to see it and had been for many years. Since long before he ran for POTUS. Righteous indignation does not make a person not responsible for their vote. Rather the opposite.

  17. I’ve got bones to pick with The Squad and AOC (though I’ve never thought of the latter as Prof. ‘enry ‘iggins out of GB Shaw until MoDo suggested it). And I’ll pick those bones with them right after the 2020 election (should their constituents see fit to return them to office) — or with any of the 20-whatever candidates currently seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, should any of them adopt the positions of The Squad that I take issue with.

    But until then, I’ll give no aid or comfort to Donald Trump in his unrelenting efforts to scapegoat these four congresswomen — two Muslims, a Nuyorican, and a black woman — or to make them the face of the Democratic Party.

    We are headed for the ugliest and most racially divisive presidential campaign in modern American history. Donald Trump spent this weekend attacking Elijah Cummings and his predominantly black Baltimore congressional district (as he’s previously disparaged such neighborhoods in Chicago and San Francisco, as he’s previously disparaged Haiti and African nations as “shithole” countries).

    It’s rapidly getting to where the only way to tell Donald Trump from David Duke is an outer-borough accent, worse hair, and 50 pounds of fast-food and cortisol bloat.

    1. “But until then, I’ll give no aid or comfort to Donald Trump in his unrelenting efforts to scapegoat these four congresswomen — two Muslims, a Nuyorican, and a black woman — or to make them the face of the Democratic Party.”

      Me neither!

    2. Ken, why hold back? I can’t stand the cuckoo quad. Democrats would gain credibility by speaking out against nonsense. Maybe that’s a good breakout strategy for one of the presidential candidates – show they don’t support crazy policies and viciousness. Too bad so many exposed themselves raising their hands in the last debate.

      1. These four women are first-term congressional backbenchers — years away from holding a chairmanship of a committee or important subcommittee, let alone holding a leadership position in the Democratic caucus (where the real clout in congress lies), even should they be reelected time and time again by their constituents — so why give them any more publicity?

        How many of the other 55 first-term Democratic congresspersons can anyone here name? (Hell, I still have to think twice whether the name of my own freshman Democratic congressperson is Mucarsel-Powell or Powell-Mucarsel, and I helped campaign for her 🙂 ).

        1. Have you ever raised a teenager? I tend to think of AOC and the squad like that, callow and young, but bursting with energy, ideas, and idealism. They’re often annoying and impractical, if not outright wrong, but they are still members of the family, and the way to treat them is with love, patience and understanding. Nurture and teach, but above all listen to them and engage with respect. Even if they don’t immediately listen to you or respect you back at first, this is the best long term strategy. It’s possible that I have stretched this metaphor way out of shape, but I have found that this is a good strategy in life as well.

      1. Thanks, Paul, but in the words of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman: if asked, I will not run; if nominated, I will not campaign; if elected, I will not serve. 🙂

  18. “Yo, proletariat: If the Democratic Party is going to be against chocolate, high heels, parties and fun, you’ve lost me. And I’ve got some bad news for you about 2020.”

    That’s great. Most people abhor hypocrites, the Democrats apparently are not aware of that.

  19. True, but sitting out the election when Trump was running was also stupid. They should not have let hurt feelings distract them from what was at stake. Four more years of Trump and women may have to be wealthy enough to leave the country to get an abortion. My wife worked in an abortion clinic for many years and knows what’s at stake here for the economic, mental and physical health of women. Most of them could not afford to leave the country.

    1. In 2015, most didn’t think Trump could possibly win and, therefore, didn’t see a downside to staying home on election day if their favorite didn’t win the primary. Trump won’t have that advantage in 2020. Every Dem voter must know that if they don’t turn out, Trump will win.

    2. The stupidity of the voters who sat out the election is an unfortunate consequence of hurt feelings and human nature. I maintain that the stupidity and arrogance of the DNC was an institutional flaw that has yet to be corrected. I think that’s at least one order of magnitude more dangerous than the fickleness of the electorate.

      1. “I maintain that the stupidity and arrogance of the DNC was an institutional flaw that has yet to be corrected.”

        Well thank goodness we have them telling us that an impeachment process would only help Trump.

    3. Illinois is now one of the most pro-abortion states in the country due to sweeping new laws signed by Democratic governor J.B. Pritzker. Even if the Supreme Court banishes abortion as a constitutionally protected right, matters will probably return to the way it was pre-Roe, i.e., each state can set its own laws. If this should be the case, I hope that women living in anti-abortion states in the Midwest will be able to make it to Illinois for treatment.

  20. What progressives want is not an impeachment resolution but an inquiry, which can further empower Congress to air Trump’s dirty laundry. The resolution, i.e., the senate handoff, comes after the inquiry is completed. At which time the hope is that the senate shooting it down will be seen as blatantly corrupt. Or just never pass a resolution at all and run the whole thing up to the next election.

    Also, many have called out Pelosi’s blatant hypocrisy in decrying her peers for running their mouths off on social media while she gets to run hers off to her mainstream media friends, who will dutifully publish it.

    1. Some pundits say that Dems will get more judgements go their way if they do their investigations of Trump under an “impeachment” banner, rather than a congressional oversight one. Others doubt it makes any difference to either the judges or the public. I’m no expert but the latter sounds more reasonable to me.

  21. Gotta say, I disagree with both Dowd and you.

    An assumption is made that impeachment will energize Trump’s base and guarantee victory for him.

    This is only an assumption and not factual. It seems to me the opposite could be true, that not proceeding with impeachment would result in his reelection. My reasoning is that most people don’t follow all the details, but merely the big picture. They have heard that Trump committed crimes and believe that if that were true the Democrats would certainly move to impeach, so if the Democrats aren’t acting, it must be because there isn’t any basis to the accusations. If the dems don’t move forward and Trump is reelected anyway, where does that leave them. Any attempt to impeach him after will be declared sour grapes. Pundits will say that the public knew who Trump was and chose to reelect him any way, so impeachment is just them trying to overturn a result they don’t like.

    I hear you saying, “but it doesn’t matter if the Dems advance impeachment in the house, the Rs in the Senate will vote against it no matter how guilty Trump is.”

    Well, then you attack the Republicans for constantly protecting a criminal president. Force every R in congress run on that.

    You are worried about energizing Rs, but don’t seem to consider demoralizing Dems. The mid term elected a huge wave of Dems and a big reason was a desire to hold Trump accountable. If the Democrats won’t do this because of some political strategy then what reason is there for Dems to show up and vote for them.

    1. Of course it’s an assumption and not “factual”. How could it be factual if it hasn’t happened yet? I don’t think I implied that this was anything other than my opinion. And I’d be glad to be wrong.

      But there’s a reason why Nancy Pelosi, who is not dumb, is pushing back against impeachment. My view is that Republicans in Congress (or the Senate) who oppose impeachment aren’t going to hurt themselves since impeachment will be unsuccessful.

      I hope you’re right, but I don’t think so. But let’s not assert that what I expressed as an opinion is a fact.

      1. And yet a whole lot of people, including the author are acting like it is a given that impeachment proceedings would backfire while giving no consideration to the possibility that Pelosi’s strategy could just as likely backfire.

        We don’t know the future, and to me both outcomes seem equally likely, and in fact it is possible Trump wins or loses in 2020 regardless of the path Dems take. That being said, I would rather look back on a 2nd Trump win and say “Dems did everything in their power to lay out the case of Trump’s criminality, corruption, and unfitness for office to the public, but it wasn’t enough to make them care” than, “the Dems kept their heads down and tried to be smart by not going hard after Trump’s criminality, but it just wasn’t enough to get the public to care.”

        1. Sorry, I didn’t realize you actually are the author when I posted, but the point stands. I’ll admit I only read the piece once, but don’t recall much consideration given to the cost of not proceeding with impeachment when it is clearly warranted.

          1. Nope, the comment thread is open for everyone who doesn’t jump onto this site without reading the rules and try to dominate the thread. If you look, for example, at threads about free will and Israel, plenty of people disagree with me. They’re just not as annoying as you are.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *