I don’t have a real hot take on the issue of the Trump impeachment, but I thought it important to lay down some of my thoughts. My opinions follow directly from my political cynicism: 1) it’s more political theater than a sincere desire to save the republic, 2) it’s a bad idea, and 3) it’s not going to work.
I’ll expand on each of these opinions in turn.
1) I have a difficult time believing that any of the venal, cynical sociopaths infesting our governmental bodies have anything other than themselves in mind. Trump is one of those creatures, by the way. He is just the most transparent. I still can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not to have someone so obviously divorced from truth and good governance in office, because at least then the underbelly is on top. Trump, though, revels in spectacle, whereas the other liars in Congress prefer to wallow in the stinking cesspit of their own byzantine procedure to uphold the veneer of dignity and gravitas that ought to come with the office. This makes it more theater than spectacle, but it’s still done for the sake of signaling their virtue for political gain.
2) Trump said during his campaign that he could shoot someone and not lose any of his supporters. That’s more true now than it was then, I think. The failed Russiagate and Kavanaugh stories only strengthened people’s (true) belief that the Democrats will latch onto anything that might be used as a weapon to destroy Trump. I think Trump ought to go, but impeaching him is going to backfire. His supporters – and, worse yet, a lot of fence-sitters – will see this for the political theater that it is and conclude that the Ukraine story is more fake news. At the time of writing this, I still can’t say one way or the other that it is an offense that’s beyond the pale, but a lot of people will not see it that way. They’ll see it as just the latest “we got ’em now” story the Democrats are latching onto.
3) The reason I believe this is because of my belief in 1) and 2) above. For anyone who believes Trump will be escorted out of the White House in handcuffs, they’ll be sorely disappointed. Not only because a sitting president can’t be indicted, but because the impeachment itself won’t work. The Republicans will put on their own political theater in thwarted the Democrat’s attempts, turning the whole thing into a boondoggle that will make everyone look bad to the people who already hate them. But it’s also because the Ukraine story isn’t a slam dunk – there seems to be plenty of plausible deniability. The Democrats are obviously hoping that the impeachment investigation will expose other sorts of corruption that Trump and his administration have been up to, because they have to know that this story isn’t going to stick. Especially among Trump’s Republican toadies in Congress and his supporters around the country.
Anyway, that’s my take on the story. I think Trump will at the very least serve out the rest of this term in office without being ousted. I also won’t be surprised if he wins again in 2020, possibly helped by the impeachment boondoggle this will turn out to be.