May 26, 2019

For those of us steeped in politics on a daily basis, the question of Donald Trump's actions rising to the level of impeachable crimes is unquestionable. The pace in which the new Democratic majority has moved towards much needed oversight seems glacially slow.

The mainstream media is little help, often questioning if the Democratic leadership is "overreaching" or hurting their electoral chances (a question never brought up at the ten Benghazi investigations), or giving Republican enablers a platform to whine about how no one has ever been as persecuted as Donald Trump with little to no context.

There's also the issue of inside vs. outside voices. It is naive to assume that any politician's public words are actually what they believe privately. Despite their public support, many, if not most, Republicans privately loathe Donald Trump. Nancy Pelosi, as the Speaker, may be publicly reluctant to say "impeachment," while behind closed doors, she may be plotting out a deliberate and bulletproof pathway to it (and no one should ever question the political savvy of Nancy Pelosi, the most effective Speaker in modern history). But that is no comfort to millions of Democratic voters who turned out in 2018 with the hope that the Democrats would put a check on this norm-busting would-be tyrant.

Joy Reid has been on a bit of a tear about the Dems taking the step of opening an impeachment inquiry of late. To her, it's not only a question of oversight of the current White House occupant, it's a message to future politicians that norm-breaking and rule-breaking will not be tolerated, because historically, every subsequent candidate has pushed his powers further than the last.

So credit to Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) for trying to stick with the Democratic Party's official line on impeachment in the face of tough questioning by Reid. Unfortunately, I think he displayed the very specific weakness of the Dem argument with this one summation of Reid's:

It sounds like what you're saying is that the American public has to take the burden of reining in a president who is out of control and that Congress is going to, A), wait for public sentiment to lead congress, rather than congress leading the public, and that, B), we're just going to wait and let the electorate handle Donald Trump.

Over and over, the Democrats have stayed on the wrong message that we need to focus on voting out Donald Trump in 2020. While that is indisputably true, that doesn't answer the problem of checks and balances. That doesn't answer the problem of what consequences will Donald Trump suffer for his lawlessness. That doesn't answer for the Dems circumventing their own constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, which they were elected to perform.

Rep. Khanna gamely tries to present this as a systematic progress towards an inevitable impeachment, but it's pretty clear that Reid's pointed questions show the failures of the logic of the Dem leadership.

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