From coast to coast, the Resistance is cheering the impeachment of President Donald Trump in the House. They shouldn’t be. For in seeking to destroy him, they have only made him more powerful, and undercut themselves.
Let’s not mince words: Wednesday’s vote was the culmination of efforts that began on November 8, 2016, with Trump’s shocking triumph over Hillary Clinton – or maybe even before, on whatever date the FBI actually began investigating the Trump campaign for “Russian collusion” per accusations coming from Democrats.
All those paths, from “emoluments” and “Hamilton electors,” via the ill-fated Mueller Report into “Russiagate,” to the “whistleblower” complaint about the Ukraine phone call, they all converged on this inevitable conclusion. The actual “high crimes or misdemeanors” never mattered – or materialized, really – all anyone needed to do is repeat the mantra, Orange Man Bad.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) wore black and intoned about sadness and solemnity of the day for the American Republic and its importance for “our democracy.” It was a bonfire of hypocrisies, as the party that has spent years denouncing everything about America – its flag, anthem, founders, and even the political system – now claiming to be defending it all from the “clear and present danger” Trump somehow represented.
Even now, it is unclear what they sought to accomplish. There is no indication that the Republican-majority Senate will actually vote to convict the president and remove him from office – and the Democrats know this. Nor is being impeached going to somehow disqualify Trump from being on the ballot in 2020, no matter what some “Republican” commentators on MSNBC and CNN may argue.
If the plan was to sabotage Trump’s second-term campaign, it seems to have backfired spectacularly. With every hearing before the Intelligence or Judiciary Committee, the public support for impeachment actually decreased. Even CNN was forced to admit the existence of “growing evidence that the public impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump may actually be helping him politically.”
Indeed, what better way for Trump to solidify his bona fides as the populist outsider than to be impeached by the coastal elites and the Washington Swamp, in what amounted to a nakedly partisan process?