Texan Dem Representative Al Green is confident enough that the House will vote on impeachment before Christmas that he is not framing it as a prediction, but as an announcement. Not “there may be” or “wouldn’t it be nice if there were,” but there “will be” such a vote. Watch:
Ã¢ÂÂ CSPAN (@cspan) November 8, 2017
I rise because I love my country. Because I love my country, I rise to thank those who voted to reject bigotry, racism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, sexism—hatred in all of its forms.
Because I love my country and because I cannot accept these things… I now announce that before Christmas, there will be a vote on the chief inciter of racism, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, sexism, ethnocentrism. There will be a vote in the US House of Representatives… on the impeachment of the president.
This vote will take place because before Xmas because there still is a need for the public to weigh in… I called for the impeachment of the president, right here on the floor of the House. Since that time, I have read articles of impeachment. These articles of impeachment have been circulated and we’re giving people an opportunity to respond. Momentum is building…. more people favour impeachment than not. Momentum is building.
Green goes on to urge people to speak openly about how they feel about impeachment, and that while he has been told he might suffer political consequences, he accepts them, as rejecting hatred is more important to him than his congressional seat.
It is not clear whether, when he says “more people favour impeachment than not,” he is referring to members of Congress or the public. The most recent public poll I can find is from early August—prior to Charlottesville—and shows that 40% of Americans support impeaching Trump. I can’t imagine it has gone anywhere but up since then. I hope that another poll on it comes out soon.
If with that statistic and his repeated avowals that “momentum is building,” he means among members of Congress—this is very big news.
The House Judiciary Committee would have to initiate the process, as I understand, and they’re going to be questioning Jeff Sessions re TrumpRussia and his knowledge of contacts between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials in an open hearing on Tuesday—something they were not willing to do previously.
I think two factors drive any movement toward impeachment: 1) damning information that comes out of the Mueller Trump/Russia investigation, in the form of indictments, statements such as Papadopoulos’s, leaks, etc.; and 2) perceived voter sentiment, as expressed in approval/disapproval ratings, polls and—most convincingly—elections. #1, of course, affects #2.
In other words, Congress Republicans are walking a tightrope: the information coming out is increasingly damning, but they are loathe to impeach while Trump’s voter base remains strong, as they want to accomplish their legislative agenda and not split the party. However, a clear signal that Trump’s base is eroding and disgust at his antics is becoming the reigning voter sentiment, will make them feel impeachment is necessary. (Andy Borowitz satirically explains here.)
Arguably, last night’s electoral Dem wave all across the nation was a very clear signal. The MSM is certainly interpreting it as a rejection of Trumpism, drawing on exit polls and other indicators.
Imagine you’re a Republican congresscrittur, especially one who’s up for election next year. How do you feel?
As always it’s caveat emptor with speculation, but—I suspect Republican dread, as well as rational consideration toward their electoral fates, might be behind Green’s confident declaration. Note he refers to last night’s election results at the outset.
Santa may have the biggest present ever for Americans who have been nice rather than naughty this year!