HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Greg Sargent, WaPo: Democ...

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:19 AM

Greg Sargent, WaPo: Democratic equivocation over impeachment is a moral and political disaster

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/19/democratic-equivocation-over-impeachment-is-moral-political-disaster/


As the political world digests the shocking scale of corruption, misconduct, and skirting of criminality detailed in the Mueller report, Democrats have been pushing back on the idea that itís time to initiate an inquiry into the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

But thereís a key tell lurking in all this pushback: Democrats are not seriously arguing that all the misconduct that has now come to light does not merit an impeachment inquiry.

This is creating a situation thatís shaping up as a moral and political disaster. Yet thereís no indication that Democrats are reckoning with the problems this poses. This, even though the basic dynamics of the situation strongly suggest that initiating an inquiry will grow harder to resist over time, not easier.

By my count, Democrats are offering at least four different rationales for refraining from launching such an inquiry.

-snip-

Embedded in many of these rationales is the idea that the politics of an inquiry are daunting: It will ultimately fail while simultaneously energizing Trumpís base in 2020. Or Democratic overreach risks alienating swing voters.

But even if those are true, these flimsy rationales create their own political problem. The basic posture seems to be that if Democrats wait until the shock of the Mueller revelations dies down, then the question of whether to launch an inquiry will recede with it.

But how can Democrats harbor that hope, while simultaneously pressing forward with multiple investigations of their own? Nadler wants to hear from Mueller and get the full report. Democrats are pursuing Trumpís tax returns, and they have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and Trumpís accounting firm to access Trumpís finances. Itís at least possible Democrats will get those returns, and aides say they expect cooperation from those outside entities.

All this has left Democrats in the impossible position of hoping the case for impeachment weakens, while simultaneously moving aggressively to establish more wrongdoing, which would strengthen that case. Are Democrats hoping their own investigative efforts donít succeed in doing that?

The case for launching an inquiry based on what we now know is strong. As Yoni Appelbaum explains, Muellerís report declares that presidents can, in fact, violate obstruction of justice statutes and amasses extensive evidence that Trump actually did so, while simultaneously declining to reach a prosecution decision. This means only Congress can decide whether Trump will be subject to a process in which he actually can be held accountable. That, in turn, means not launching an inquiry places him above the law.

Thatís not all. As Brian Beutler argues, by doing that, Democrats would essentially cede the field to the Trump propaganda machine, which wants to shift the debate into one over whether the ďrealĒ crimes were committed by the investigators, with the complicity of Democrats. Thus, not acting now paves the way for more Trumpian abuses of power.

But ultimately, it doesnít matter so much what I or Appelbaum or Beutler thinks as much as it matters what Democrats think. If they donít actually believe the known misconduct merits an impeachment inquiry, then they shouldnít initiate one, make a real case for that, and weíll have to accept all the consequences that come with it. But if they do actually think one is merited, then stalling is simply untenable.

What is entirely unacceptable at this point is not seriously engaging the question at all.

6 replies, 541 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Greg Sargent, WaPo: Democratic equivocation over impeachment is a moral and political disaster (Original post)
highplainsdem Apr 2019 OP
Post removed Apr 2019 #1
shanny Apr 2019 #2
Blecht Apr 2019 #3
highplainsdem Apr 2019 #4
dalton99a Apr 2019 #5
UniteFightBack Apr 2019 #6

Response to highplainsdem (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 11:17 AM

2. Amen.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:22 PM

4. Laurence Tribe just tweeted the link to this Greg Sargent column:





Postponing impeachment hearings no longer makes sense. That itíd be unprincipled is clear enough. But itíd be politically unwise as well: To quote Shakespeare, ďWe must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.Ē

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/19/democratic-equivocation-over-impeachment-is-moral-political-disaster/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:25 PM

5. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:27 PM

6. Is everybody hearing rumblings and talk of impeachment on the streets ? What about at

work...is everyone talking about it around the water cooler?

I have not had one person ANYWHERE mention anything about this report (yet)...let alone impeachment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread