In late 2019, the Democrat party of the USA finally let the burning fuse of corruption, crimes, immoral acts and abuse of power hit the powder, and impeached Donald Trump. They had done extensive reviews, pulled witnesses and documents, argued in court for more access to information, and decided that they had enough evidence to build a strong case and present it to the House of Representatives and impeach for only the third time in history a President.
They did this despite knowing exactly the playbook the Trump team would use, namely:
1) Obstruction of witnesses and materials, and then claiming there were no witnesses or materials
2) Denial of crimes, and then attempting to excuse crimes as not impeachable
3) Complete GOP stonewalling of evidence or votes.
Some may question why they would engage in this at all, knowing exactly how it would play out. The Senate would never convict, being in GOP hands. No further defections were expected from the GOP, who rely on their almost 100% Trumpian base to win any election. And the American people were never going to be convinced by long arguments on the minutia of Presidential and Congressional power.
Many suggested a censure would be better, to put it in Trump’s record and play on that in the upcoming election. They also felt that would at least attract a few “moderate” GOP members, and prevent a fracturing of the nation that impeachment brings naturally.
Frankly, in my opinion those people are wrong. I think the Democrats played this perfectly.
They cited specific laws broken and then tied those crimes to simple articles of impeachment. They presented witnesses, testimony, documents and the GOP’s own words as defense of those articles. They focused on juicy topics like abuse of power and attempts at Executive Tyranny. And they cited, time and time again, the President’s own supporters and lawyers, which in any normal case would gut any attempt at defense.
They didn’t do this because they thought it would convince Republicans. They didn’t do this because they thought they could convict Trump. They did it to showcase three truths:
1) The President committed crimes
2) The GOP will work tirelessly to cover up those crimes
3) There is no accountability but what the voters show
The Democrats are victorious on all three.
Crimes committed by Donald Trump leading to impeachment
Trump has committed a variety of norm-busting infractions, is under investigations for multiple frauds and corruptions, and has openly committed and confessed to obstruction crimes like witness intimidation. There are too many to list here, which is why I focus on the crimes cited by the Democrats in writing the Articles of Impeachment.
52 USC 30120: failure to notify the FEC of campaign expenditures52 USC 30121: solicitation of campaign help from a foreign national52 USC 30124: misrepresentation of federal authority for the purpose of promoting partisan political objectivesThe Hatch Act: for using Federal Government resources to promote partisan political interestsThe Logan Act: for improperly designating Rudy Giuliani via official communications as a representative of the United States government.18 USC 371: Criminal conspiracy against the United States18 USC 373: Solicitation to commit a crime of violence – for Trump’s comments to his base referring to the whistleblower as a spy who should be executed18 USC 1505: For obstructing matters before Congressional committees18 USC 1512: For attempting to intimidate the whistleblower through public comments18 USC 1513(e): For threatening lawsuits against those surrounding the Ukraine investigation and public comments that may be interpreted as threats against the life of the whistleblower Wisely, the Democrats shortened this to Trump misappropriating Congressional funds to extort a foreign government to manufacture dirt on a political opponent. They also tacked on Obstruction of Congress in general to call out the GOP as Trump’s lackeys, and nothing more. This called to the pride of Republicans as calling for limited government, not a tyrannical executive, and pointed out even more hypocrisy.
The entirety of this process, the GOP has engaged in misinformation campaigns, hiding, and outright blatant lies to try to defend Trump. They were invited to join the investigations; they refused, then lied that they weren’t included. They were invited to call witnesses and question them; they did call witnesses, then lied and said they were denied them. They were invited to call witnesses in the Senate, to address their complaint that things were not clear; the GOP is working hard not to allow any evidence or witnesses into the trial.
The nation sees this for what it is, even if Trump’s supporters do not. There is no clearer signs of cover up than refusing to read reports, refusing to hear witnesses, and trying to rush to acquittal. And the Democrats have been masterful in using their time to point this out, as well as point out at every turn the hypocritical stances of their GOP colleagues, even specifically about Trump himself.
The Democrats stand to gain little from getting witnesses; the GOP has made it clear they will not convict Trump no matter what, and his supporters agree. But what they do by pushing for it anyway is prove that the GOP will not consider evidence, and in that, they win again.
Accountability Lies With The Voters
The last goal of the Democrats was actually a rebuke of the voting populace. In 2018 they voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, pushing the House back under their control, but they were unable to come out in enough force to overcome GOP gerrymandering and voter purges in the Senate, which is always the least representative of the nation. Because of this, hundreds of bills the House has considered and passed and any accountability check on Trump’s abuses have come to nothing, and it’s easy for the GOP to spin this as the Democrats doing nothing (while ironically doing nothing but turning back Democratic achievements).
But with this trial, the Democrats pointed out very publicly that they can do everything right, provide all the facts, call out every lie and hypocrisy, and the government as it stands will not budge. Party over country rules. And no matter what Trump does, the GOP will stand behind it, not because they want their policy goals (because Trump defies those regularly) but because they want to stay in power and need Trump’s voters to do so.
So they place the question squarely in the hands of the voters: is this the USA you thought you lived in? Where the law does not apply to the President. Where witnesses and evidence are ignored in the highest levels of government. Where hypocritical people dismiss their obvious hypocrisy as hysteria from anyone who points it out. Where elections are manipulated by outside forces not only tacitly but explicitly asked by those in power.
Is this the nation you thought you lived in? Or has it been perverted by a group so utterly dependent on a criminal that they are willing to sacrifice all American principles and American people, veterans, conservative icons, long time statesmen and even historical heroes on the alter of Trump?
That question is crystal clear now in the minds of voters.
This is usually the part, in a TV show, where the genius main characters sit back and let their plan unfold, and we get a montage of the impact it has rolling over people and setting things to right. But we all know Democrats: they are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And they can very easily screw this up.
Now they need to move on.
Enough pushing for witnesses; let the vote showcase GOP obedience to Trump and not to the nation.
Enough laying out the case; it’s as clear as you need it to be.
Enough on this topic; the lines are drawn and it’s time to show people the alternative.
Experience fighters always get to a point where they know they can win a fight, but it won’t matter anymore. The Democrats need to learn this. This fight you can easily win, over and over, but no one cares to see the same victories over and over again (Patriots, anyone?) and will root for the other side just to see something different.
My advice: let these chips fall and give the voter time to absorb them. Sure, send out some surrogates who keep pushing it, but remove yourselves as figureheads. Except Schiff; keep him there as a thorn in the side of Trump and his GOP.
Move on to why people should pick you instead. Every time you get asked about Trump, just state: “we impeached him for his crimes, and the GOP covered them up; I’d like to focus on what we can offer the American people as an alternative to that group.”
And then talk about jobs. Point out that despite having a great economy, people still suffer. That the GOP says we can’t afford healthcare and education or immigration, but we can afford to give more tax cuts to real estate developers and billionaires. That automation is a real threat and you need people on the worker’s side, not on the company replacing them with robots. That climate disasters can be better prepared for and even prevented. That wars aren’t necessary if you have a good network of allies you don’t piss off and are willing to do favors for you. And that credibility is necessary for us to be a beacon of ideas and hope for any nations yearning to breathe free.
Run on your ideals. Run on your plans. Run on what you will bring forward in America, and trust that the people know what’s holding them back.
You won the fight. Now be a gracious victor and tell people what’s next.