The Democrats’ punch-drunk base has demanded that President Donald Trump be impeached ever since the 2016 election when they suffered a knock-out in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and then went down again in the recounts.
Then they couldn’t turn the Electoral College rogue, and failed with something called the Emoluments Clause, and botched their smears of Trump’s judges and couldn’t convince anyone that the new first lady is last and the last first lady is first.
Of course, they attempted all that not for the purpose of succeeding, but for the purpose of making them feel virtuous. That’s what they do.
Former President Barack Obama brilliantly capitalized on this mindset. Instead of arguing that proposals with which he disagreed would not work, he simply condemned them as unvirtuous. He declared at least 46 times, “That’s not who we are.”
Saying, “That’s not who we are” is who Obama is. It worked with his Dems, because their discourse isn’t about problem solving; it’s a revival meeting.
Not all the Dems have been drinking the virtue Kool-Aid, however. Take Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives. A savvy politician, Pelosi knows that impeachment is a loser for the Dems, virtue be damned.
Because Pelosi can count. Impeachment by the House requires only a majority, and the Dems hold that majority. But it would go nowhere in the Senate where the Dems are 19 seats short of the necessary 67.
So the president won’t be removed and everyone who can count knows it. What, then, does impeachment accomplish?
It would certainly gin up the wild ones in the Dem base — a group that can’t get ginned up about an old establishment white guy with high-beam teeth that are often obscured by his implanted foot, a grouchy old socialist with three houses and two heart stents who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and a woman who claimed for much of her professional career, falsely and oddly, that she was a Native American.
But the Dems’ timing for their gin party is lousy. If the people want to remove this president, there’s a sure way to do it just 13 months from now. Ask Jimmy Carter.
If the people don’t want to remove Trump in that upcoming election, they certainly don’t want a bunch of partisan Dems to do so sooner in another cheap spectacle. Think of “I am Spartacus” last year by a Dem candidate for president, or the weird parody of the Ukraine issue with which the Dem head of the oxymoronically named House Intelligence Committee launched a hearing last month, or a Dem congressman’s worry that Guam might tip over.
Pelosi knows all that. That’s why for years she refused ongoing impeachment feel-good calls from her intoxicated base. The end result would be a loss for the Dems.
But Pelosi finally gave in. Sort of.
She announced in a big press conference that … (drum roll) … she was unilaterally declaring … (drum roll) … a formal impeachment inquiry.
She’s not setting up a formal committee for her formal inquiry. And she won’t take a formal vote of the House of Representatives for her formal inquiry because, well, she might lose. And she’ll give no formal time frame for her formal inquiry. It’ll just be handled when politically convenient, when the political winds blow and when the Dems’ media arm, CNN, needs to fill air time.
There’s no vote, no new subpoena power, no time-table, no specific allegations.
The excuse for this charade, a place called Ukraine (think Russia-lite), appears to be another Dem dud. The so-called whistle-blower turns out to be a Dem stooge who never actually saw the foul he blew his whistle on and whose whistle-blowing letter was written by a Dem lawyer.
There was no “quid pro quo.” It wasn’t like, for example, a certain recent Dem presidential candidate who took numerous quarter million-dollar fees for giving canned speeches to corporations currying political favor.
So why did Pelosi bother renaming the Dems’ tawdry little show to something that might be dubbed “The Permanent Impeachment Inquiry”?
She did it to give permission to her party to do what her party does: party. She knows that their melodramatic sermons — always with one eye in the mirror — are simply because that’s who they are.
Drunks love a revival meeting. Followed by shouting. Followed by self-congratulatory virtue signaling. Followed by more drinks. Followed by trashing the house — the House of Representatives in this case.
Fine, but what follows all that is a hangover. Love him or hate him, this president won’t go down in a drunken brawl. He won’t be removed except by a vote of the people.
That’s as it should be. Even the Dem fans who enjoy impeachment-palooza know it’s just low-brow amusement. It’s like a clown show with a bear in a tutu snapping towels in a junior high locker room while kids in the corner do unspeakable things with matches.
But the 2020 election is serious. There, the grown-ups — sober moderates who decide such things — will get their say. They’ll judge Trump and his antics, as they should. And they’ll also judge these Dems and theirs.
(Published Oct 6, 2019 in the Aspen Times at https://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/glenn-k-beaton-impeachment-lite-is-a-ginned-up-farce/)