Didn’t news reports have leading Democrats telling their party to ix-nay on eachment-impay? Last week, they called it a “trap” to make the party look extreme and reactionary. Last night, one front-runner to run the DNC apparently walked into that trap willingly. In the CNN debate between the DNC chair candidates, Keith Ellison said Democrats should already be working on impeachment:
BASH: Thank you. Congressman Ellison, three of your colleagues in the House, Maxine Waters, Jamie Raskin, and Joaquin Castro, have people publicly raised the specter of impeaching President Trump. Do you stand with them or with House Leader Nancy Pelosi who believes impeachment talk is premature?
ELLISON: I think that Donald Trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment. I mean on day one — (APPLAUSE) — on day one, he was in violation of the emollients clause. This is a part of the Constitution that says as President, you can’t get payments from a foreign power. The day people checked into his hotel and started paying him, who were foreign dignitaries, he was in violation of that law. There’s already a lawsuit filed against him. And right now, it’s about only Donald Trump. It is about the integrity of the presidency.
So yes, I think that we need to begin investigations to not to go after Donald Trump, but to protect our Constitution and presidency of the United States, to make sure that nobody can monetize the presidency and make profit off it for their own gain.
ABC’s Rick Klein writes that the “I-word is back” as an organizing principle for Democrats … such as it is:
The “I” word is back. Of course, it never really went away. Rep. Keith Ellison, one of the frontrunners in the race for DNC chair – he’s Chuck Schumer’s choice, and Bernie Sanders’ too – said at a CNN forum Wednesday night that “Donald Trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment.” Ellison is not the first to go there; the first such calls started even before the inauguration. Cue the outrage on the right, along with the pressure from the left to go at least as far as the next possible party chair is going. But as an organizing principle, demanding impeachment hardly counts as real direction for the Democratic Party. It’s a sideshow for the opposition party – and a gift for Republicans who can still use fresh reasons to get behind a polarizing president.
For one thing, it’s not going to go anywhere. Democrats lost their fourth straight House election, so they control no committees, have no influence on floor votes, and have no hope of getting the process started at all, let alone winning an impeachment vote. All this does is escalate expectations on the Left while leaving voters in the middle with the distinct — and accurate — perception that Democrats have lost their minds. Ask Republicans how escalating expectations and not delivering worked out for them in 2006, or 2012 for that matter. As I wrote on Tuesday, nothing says “in touch with the common people” like career Beltway politicians cooking up backroom schemes to remove a duly elected president 30 days into his term, for being exactly who he was during the campaign.
Klein’s right about the impact on Republicans, too. As long as the Democrats use the impossible dream of impeachment (or a 25th Amendment coup) as “organizing principles,” they will stick closer to Trump than ever. That’s why other Democrats started warning that this was a trap. Maybe Democrats should think more closely about their leadership choice in this DNC chair election, and try to find someone who understands the First Rule of Holes … if such a candidate can be found.