April 23, 2019

The Morning Joe regulars argued about impeachment today, reflecting arguments within the Democratic party.

Mika wants the Dems to do it.

"With that I ask you, what is impeachment for? It's not a punishment, it's not a political sword. It's supposed to be a removal from office for someone who is unfit. What does that Mueller report show you? I mean to me, I don't even know why it's not black and white clear," she said, while also noting Pelosi has a lot of other factors to worry about.

"I'm talking as far as politics go and being part of a House of Representatives back in the 1990s who impeached Bill Clinton, when he couldn't get prosecuted in the Senate and it ended up we gave him a very nice departing gift and that is a 60% approval rating. Americans are reflexively against impeachment," Joe Scarborough argued.

Eugene Robinson said the House has to move "deliberately and it has to go forward and the first step is not to immediately convene an impeachment inquiry. It's to let the committee chairmen exercise their subpoenas and get the information and put it out and Lord knows this will take time and maybe they get to an actual impeachment inquiry and maybe they don't. They need to move forward. Guess what? If they don't push ahead, if they don't lean forward, I know somebody who surely will and that's Donald Trump."

Let me put this all in perspective:


Look at this timeline, via the Pew Research Center:

In the spring of 1974, despite the indictment of top former White House aides, and Nixon’s release of what were seen as “heavily edited” transcripts of tapes of his aides plotting to get White House enemies, the public was still divided over what to do about the president. For example, by June, 44% in the Gallup Poll thought he should be removed from office, while 41% disagreed.

Only in early August, following the House Judiciary Committee’s recommendation in July that Nixon be impeached and the Supreme Court’s decision that he surrender his audio tapes, did a clear majority – 57% – come to the view that the president should be removed from office.

But once he was gone, the Americans were not quick to forgive and forget. In September, a 58% majority said Nixon should be tried for possible criminal charges. And they took the view that he should not be let off the hook easily, if found guilty. By a margin of 53% to 38%, the public thought that President Ford should not pardon Nixon, if he was found guilty.

Stop pissing and moaning and accusing Pelosi of being a sellout. This is how it works. You have to bring around public support to make this happen. She knows what she's doing.

And as to Joe Scarborough's mantra that voters hate impeachment: Give me a break.

Voters saw a clear difference over what was first alleged to be a corrupt business deal coming down to lying over a blowjob. I can't emphasize that enough: The voting public, most of whom liked Clinton to begin with, came to the conclusion that Clinton's private sex life had nothing to do with his fitness as president.

I am not at all worried about this being good for Republicans. By the time we get there, the country will be behind us.

Relax. This will take time.

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