Nancy Pelosi has been promoting the position that we should not be seeking the impeachment and conviction of the President of the United States at this time. She makes some good points about how impeachment would be very divisive and will energize — and arguably grow — the President’s so-called base. It is clear that, at this time even if the House votes for impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate will not vote to convict and remove.
But the increasing moral outrage against each new revelations about our President’s lies, manipulation, and outright thuggery shows a growing desire for Congress to do its job and hold hearings that could lead to an impeachment vote, and that if the Republican Senate refuses to convict no matter what the evidence, we should see which ones will go on the record against the laws and values of our nation. That, alone, could give the Democrats control of the Senate a year from January.
That is a dichotomy of Nietzschean proportions. Perhaps it would be a bit easier to wrap ourselves around Pelosi’s position had she revealed the political mathematics behind her position.
Succeeding in removing the President from office might very well leave the Republican Party enough energy, and access to enough funding, to actually find an electable candidate and for that candidate to become nationally known. Compared to the present President, Rasputin would look better in comparison. Any Republican not presently involved in the current scandals would do better than the incumbent would in his reelection bid. Leave well enough — leave bad enough — alone. 61% beats 39% every day of the week.
Seeing that I’m the one articulating that position and not the Speaker of the House (in these terms), it would be egotistical to quote the old burlesque comics’ line “nobody ever ‘splained that to me before.” But, think about it for a minute. The Pelosi position lacks immediate satisfaction and might further undermine the appropriateness of timely justice, but in the best interests of both America and the world, it might very well be the better move to make.
There is no reason to believe the muck the President in which he has been swimming will get deeper and will flow faster. He has been instructing his staff to not comply with lawful subpoenas and to refuse the lawful demand for his tax returns. Even President Nixon’s own lawyer is now telling him to cut that out. The President’s approval rating dropped five points in the past week, when he declared the Mueller Report exonerated him completely. Polls go up and down, but as the muck deepens he is likely sink further and faster. But… maybe not.
So we are at a crossroad. On one hand, we have a road that will take us towards ratifying we are a nation of laws, that no person, even the President of the United States and his cabal, are above those laws. This inures to the benefit of our common welfare.
On the other hand, we have the road that will take us to healing, to restoring our nation’s dignity and righting the astronomical damage done by the President and his cabal. It lacks short-term satisfaction and it invokes the specter of “justice delayed is justice denied.”
Which road should we take?
I do not know.