First, let me dispense with this absolutely, positively, right off: Yes, there is more than ample evidence that Trump should be impeached. You give ME a vote that matters and I will do it in seconds.
Unfortunately, that is NOT the only political calculation. I see many posts cheering on those that have led-off with “Impeachment should begin now,” and maybe they’re right.
This is something without an objective “truth” obvious ahead of time. So, if I can admit I might be wrong, I hope that others will simply “consider” my point.
First, as an attorney, please let me assure everyone that there is NOTHING like hearing the evidence from the witness themselves. No amount of paper, quotes, nothing can translate “what happened” like sitting and listening to the person “there.”
Anyone doubting that ought to once, only once, hear from someone who investigated a murder scene, talk about the scene, or had to live through watching it. There is simply nothing, no movie, nothing that prepares you for the gut-punch.
It is absolutely the same in reading a “report,” versus hearing from those who had to go through it.
Trust me, even the Trumpies will “gulp” when seeing a McGahn, or a Sessions, sit there and uncomfortably “talk” about what it’s like to be ordered to break the law. What it feels like to have someone believe it’s worth YOU going to jail so HE remains in power. It is HARD not to sympathize with that person.
Why does that matter?
Because not enough people in the nation favor impeachment right now. True, there will likely never be enough Republican sens who will vote for it. Equally true, THAT is not the test. The test is whether we stand for the rule of law, and force them to vote against it.
That pays political dividends, while also doing all we can to hold power accountable, ALL power.
But, we’re not there quite yet. It is FAR too close to 50-50 to “lead off” with “Impeach!”
And it is completely unnecessary.
Because that equation will absolutely shift as two things happen. One is the public hearing from the witnesses themselves. Again, it’s infinitely more powerful. The second is there is MORE evidence, and as it comes to light, more people distrust the MF, especially since he declared himself exonerated, and kept hiding.
So, wait, what? I am talking about witnesses while also stating that we don’t “lead” with impeachment?
We “lead” with, “This is now in Congress’s lap, it is Congress that is charged with the duty to decide, and thus Congress, and ONLY Congress, can gather the evidence, ALL the evidence, and that is what we intend to do. Only AFTER we have the evidence, ALL the evidence, can we make an informed decision.”
It is the message that a majority DO want to hear. They know, now, especially, that Trump enjoys hiding, obstructing, all that, and want to be sure nothing ELSE is hidden.
Things like taxes. Finances. Conflicts.
Nothing infuriates the American public like a cover-up, nothing. We hate feeling duped.
The toughest action is to force the Trumpers to continue to cover-up!
But here is the key, if you are simply “investigating,” then you take away ANY justification for a “cover-up.”
If you start with: “We are impeaching you,” it allows Trump to say: “Of course I am withholding everything! It is nothing but a witch-hunt, all they want is to dump me! It is all political. They admit it!”
We do NOT have to give him that easy a line. We CAN say; “No, no not at all. There is enough smoke and fire, that we need to see it all. And by the way, if it’s all nothing, what exactly is the problem with “seeing it all”?
Of course, ignore the hopeless 30% or whatever that doesn’t care that Trump is a criminal. We’re talking about that fringe that “can vote for either side.”
The LAST thing we want is to give Trump ANY wiggle room to play the victim.
But leading off with; “We need to go straight to impeachment, we have enough,” it gives him an opening, that perhaps 10% squeak through.
If you need further proof, look at the number of “man on the street” interviews this week with RWers. What did they ALL say: “The Dems will only hurt themselves if they continue to investigate now that …”
Ha! I call B.S. They know that there is likely more, much more, they don’t want to hear it, and would vastly prefer it “all go away” because THEY will benefit.
But that applies only to “investigation” and not leading with “We must impeach.”
It is equally true that calling for impeachment right now doesn’t gain a single voter. WE know, WE want him gone, today, not next week.
But WE won’t be making that decision. That is up to that mushy middle. That’s reality, and we don’t like it, but it’s what we’re having to live with.
OUR bottom line is that he must be removed from office. So, which way is it MORE likely to happen? I believe:
You look as responsible as possible,
You look level-headed as possible,
You look as non-political as possible, and
Wait for a movement to grow organically for impeachment, OR, making it flat impossible for him to get re-elected.
We might damn well take a few apologist Senators with us.
Trump WANTS to play the victim of the “witch-hunt.”
He LOVES dividing, making it “Good versus Evil” in the mind of the twisted right, and too many in the middle.
There is NO reason to give it to him, IMO. You do as Pelosi has done. You state: “No, impeachment isn’t there yet. But there damn sure is reason to do our own investigation.” You DO NOT take it OFF the table, either.
WE gain nothing by appearing as rabid wolves, uninterested in bringing the country along. We gain a lot by uncovering the truth, while looking like grown-ups.
We only make those gains driven by a search for truth, and accountability, not driven by an agenda.
At least that’s how I see it. I might be wrong. I am open to arguments on both sides.
It is not an objective fact, it is not “climate change is real,” it is a subjective opinion on the best course forward, things impossible to “know” ahead of time.
He MUST be gone. So, the best way forward is the most solid plan to make it happen. He really really doesn’t want to continue to justify hiding.
And the support for your community writers is appreciated, and still essential. My novels are here, where there are very few things “obvious” from the beginning, except that they gotta go. “They” being an interesting group themselves.