You’ve probably seen multiple instances on social media by now of Democrats and liberals calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump despite the fact that he’s barely had time to organize the contents of his desk, say nothing of getting around to committing any high crimes or misdemeanors. The sore losers marching in the streets are also carrying signs which invoke “the I word.” But as much as the DNC leadership would probably like to please their most ardent fans, such a course of action holds considerable peril for them. With that in mind, some of the Democratic leaders in Congress are getting nervous and suggesting that their members tone it down a bit. (Politico)
They call it the ‘I’ word.
Just a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, Democratic Party leaders are trying to rein in the talk of impeachment that’s animating the grass roots, the product of a restive base demanding deeper and more aggressive investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Democratic officials in Republican-dominated Washington view the entire subject as a trap, a premature discussion that could backfire in spectacular fashion by making the party appear too overzealous in its opposition to Trump. Worse, they fear, it could harden Republican support for the president by handing his party significant fundraising and political ammunition when the chances of success for an early impeachment push are remote, at best.
We can probably leave aside for the moment the fact that there is essentially nothing which the Democrats could bring up in terms of charges to get the ball rolling right now. To do so would be such a tremendous overreach that they would likely wind up shooting themselves in the foot. Those with long enough memories to recall the 90s will probably tell you that the attempt to impeach Bill Clinton backfired in spectacular fashion and he actually came out of the process with higher approval ratings than he had enjoyed for a couple of years.
But the Democrats don’t have to actually do it for it to become a problem. If there are too many of them talking about it publicly, it will probably turn into a powerful fundraising tool for the Republicans in general and muster some additional support for the president among voters who may not care for some of his policies but are not ready to pull the trigger on something that drastic.
But there’s a flipside to this quagmire as well. You can think of it as something of a parallel to what the GOP was dealing with from 2009 until the next midterm elections. Their own base was up in arms but they had to be careful not to charge too hard against Barack Obama or risk looking like they were opposing him just for the sake of opposing him. The Republicans don’t have the race card to play if that happens to Trump but it will still look bad. Politico is quoting Nancy Pelosi and other senior Democrats who are already getting quite nervous over being tagged with a label as the party that simply wants to stop Trump at all costs. But if they don’t deliver something for their extremely angry base they may find themselves looking at primary challenges next year.
Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be Chuck Schumer right now. It’s getting ugly out there on the streets and his voters may be causing more problems for him than they will for the White House.