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Saturday, December 22, 2018

What about impeachment?

by digby

Hullabaloo Holiday soother: a rare endangered wild fishing cat and her kitten

It's getting harder and harder to avoid the fact that Donald Trump must be impeached. It's true that the Democratic leadership in the House is refusing to say that definitively. But if you read between the lines of various comments by incoming House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, it's pretty clear that they are going hard after him on the Russia probe and obstruction of Justice, paralleling the Mueller investigation. Others will be looking at his personal finances, his company, his campaign finance criminality, his emoluments practices, the corruption of his cabinet and all the rest. It's inevitable that this will end in an impeachment trial. I don't think its avoidable.

But to have credibility, they have to build the case in a way that will pull together all these strands in a way a majority of the American people can see. Impeachment is a nuclear option and it should require thoughtful, deliberate investigation and conclusions. (This is why nobody should listen to Ken Starr or Republicans in congress --- they showed how not to do it.)

I have little hope that the Republicans will vote to remove him. It's possible that they'll sober up enough under the weight of their own issues with his policies and the evidence amassed by Mueller and the House Democrats. But at this point, I still wouldn't bet on it. If that's the case, then it will be up to the voters in 2020 to get the job done.

But that should not suggest that impeachment is a waste of time. The Democrats must compile all the evidence against this president in one place. They must present that evidence to the American people in an impeachment indictment. And they must challenge the Republicans to fulfill their duty. If they refuse so be it. The American people will be the ultimate judge and jury in the next election.

I think people like us overestimate the amount of in-depth knowledge most Americans have of this epic dumpster fire. They are busy, they have other interests, other concerns. We know the Fox and hate radio viewers are completely deluded by right-wing propaganda. But many others don't watch any news at all or just catch a few headlines. Some are inadvertently propagandized by sophisticated social media tactics from various nefarious actors. It's going to be up to the congress, the media and those of us who follow politics and current events with a discerning and informed eye to make sure the truth gets out over the next two years in a way that will make sense to the average person.

I've posted before about what I wrote for Salon on the morning after the election in 2016, having stayed up all night in a stunned stupor wondering what I could possibly say. This is what I wrote:
We wake up today to a fundamentally different world than the one in which we woke up yesterday. The nation our allies looked to as the guarantor of global security will now be led by a pathologically dishonest, unqualified, inexperienced, temperamental, ignorant flimflam man. Things will never be the same. And we have no idea at the moment exactly what form this change is going to take, which makes this all very, very frightening.

I'm sorry to say that it's even worse than I expected.

This may be the most consequential two years in modern memory. If Trump somehow slithers out from accountability and is re-elected I honestly don't know what will happen.

I do know that my colleagues and I will be following it as closely as we can, trying to keep it all straight, telling the truth as we see it and dingo what we can to turn this ship away from the iceberg. If you think this will be of value to you I hope you'll consider putting a little something in the Hullabaloo Holiday stocking to help keep this blog afloat.

If you've already donated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you haven't and would like to help support this blog for another year, the paypal buttons are on the sidebar and below as is the snail mail address.

And I wish all of you Very Happy Hollandaise!

cheers --- digby

Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405