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As Collusion Narrative Runs into the Ditch, Take the Slow Road to Impeachment

Don Rose 25 April 2019 One Comment

We will sell no wine before its time,” Orson Welles used to say, touting Paul Masson’s plonk on TV.

   So let’s take a tip from the master director when it comes to impeaching the Orange Menace and launch no hearing before its time. I have a plan.


   It’s clear enough that the Mueller Report offers plenty of evidence to impeach on grounds of obstructing justice alone–let alone hundreds of cases of lying to the American people, which Richard Nixon was charged with–while the House of Representatives can call almost anything it wants an impeachable “high crime or misdemeanor.” Remember, Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about the noncriminal act of oral sex. (Imagine–lying about sex! Unheard of.)

  Thus many voices, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative AOC, are saying let’s get on with it. Warren says it’s not a political issue it’s a moral issue and even if it results in strengthening Donald Trump and re-electing him it must be done.

   I beg to differ. Impeachment is a political issue and if I thought it would help re-elect Trump I would shy away, amoral as it might be.

   House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the pragmatic progressive, says whoa. She would not vote for impeachment unless it can be a bipartisan matter, as it was with Nixon. She fears, correctly I think, that a partisan impeachment followed by a failure to convict in the Senate–which is a political certainty–would almost surely wind up helping Trump, as it wound up helping Clinton. He was re-elected by a healthy margin less than two years after a bipartisan acquittal. (Remember, it takes 67 senators to convict and oust a president–never been done.)

   So what’s the answer? Now or never? Waiting for a bipartisan majority really means never. But there’s a third way–patiently waiting for the right time, which is not too far in the future.

   So here’s the strategy of a pragmatic radical:

   On one track pass some health-care legislation in the House.

    But also carry on with the investigations under way in various House committees. Do whatever is necessary to obtain the full Mueller Report, among other documents–including Trump’s tax returns–by going to court if necessary. Eat up the time–it is about 10 months until the first primaries and 19 before the general election.

     An actual impeachment hearing can be completed swiftly. It took about six months from the start of Nixon’s hearing to his resignation; Clinton was impeached, tried and acquitted all in about three months.

    My idea is to start the impeachment hearings in the course of the election campaign itself , even with a totally partisan majority. That’s when it will do the most good.  But conclude it at such a late time as to prevent the Senate trial before election day. With any luck said trial would come during the lame-duck period when Trump would already have lost his re-election bid.

   If this sounds like a nasty, wicked plan, I plead guilty. After all, this is the age of Donald Trump.

Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

One Comment »

  • DKelley said:

    This passage is incorrect:

    “[I]t (impeachment) wound up helping Clinton. He was re-elected by a healthy margin less than two years after a bipartisan acquittal.”

    Clinton ran for the presidency in 1992 and 1996. He was not impeached until December 19, 1998. He was acquitted on February 12, 1999.

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