Trump vs. Impeachment Round 2: Everything You Need to Know
The House of Representatives, with Nancy Pelosi leading the charge, has once again decided to have a vote Wednesday for the impeachment of president Donald Trump. Lest we forget, we’ve been down this road before – back in December of 2019 the House successfully voted to impeach Trump due to ‘abuse of power’ and ‘obstruction of Congress’, two articles brought forth after he attempted to manipulate the president of Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponent Joe Biden while pushing the idea that Ukraine, instead of Russia, was behind the foreign interference of the 2016 presidential election that Trump won over Hillary Clinton. He then attempted to obstruct the investigation of his actions by telling his political constituents to ignore any related subpoenas issued for the charge. Unfortunately, the Republican led Senate decided to acquit the president of the charges, leaving Trump in office and completely unaccountable.
This latest attempt to impeach comes in the wake of the Capitol riots that took place last week, which has seemed to leave a bad taste in just about everyone’s mouth, even a handful of GOP and Republican politicians that have been shamelessly supporting Trump and his brand of divisive politics. Despite constantly spewing hateful rhetoric and disproven conspiracy theories for the past 4 years, many people have been feigning surprise and disgust over Trump’s inciting of violence the day of the riots and the end result. While the specifics of who directly is to blame for the riots, there is one thing for certain that pretty much no one is arguing against – Trump and his cult have gone too far.
With less than 8 days left of the horror that is the Trump presidency, all of this begs the pertinent questions – why now? And what exactly is the point? Does it have any chance this time of passing if a vote reaches the Senate? I decided to do some research into the facts, so you can be armed with everything you need to know to understand why this time around it might actually be worth giving a shit about. So lets start with the basics.
What is Impeachment?
“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
The above quote is from the U.S. Constitution (article II, section 4), and the History, Art & Archives website of the House of Representatives further explains that “the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials.” So basically, the House has the ability to bring about articles of impeachment whenever the president commits some sort of crime while in office, and if the majority votes yes then they are officially considered impeached. It is then up to the Senate to decide whether or not to proceed with an investigation and possibly remove the president from office, which then triggers the 25th amendment which also comes with a few other negative caveats such as barring them from ever running for reelection and possibly facing jail time.
To truly put into perspective just how big of a deal it is to be impeached is, there have only been two other presidents in American history to be impeached – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – both of which were saved by the Senate which voted not to convict them for their crimes (for more info, check out this detailed NBC article). Trump became the third president ever to be impeached, and after the House vote on Wednesday, which is expected to pass, he will become the first president ever to be impeached twice.
The subject of what exactly is an impeachable offense has always been up for debate. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is pretty vague, so it is up to our elected officials to do their due diligence and operate within the best interest of the country. But of course, party politics and political self-interest tends to get in the way of both the House and Senate agreeing on just how far to take impeachment hearings.
Why is Trump Being Impeached… Again?
House Democrats are attempting to charge Trump with “incitement of insurrection”. They’ve chosen to define the Capitol riots as an insurrection, which is a violent uprising against the government. Leading up to the riot, Trump used his typical incendiary rhetoric to charge up his cult, get them angry and told them to “fight like hell” to overturn the election which was “stolen” from him. While I would argue he didn’t say or do anything different or out of the norm for Trump, his remarks finally garnered action from his base, resulting in 5 people dead, a handful of lawmakers contracting Covid and pipe bombs and other weaponry recovered in and around the capitol. Many politicians are finally recognizing the danger in his speech and spreading of misinformation, and this impeachment seems to be an actual attempt to finally hold him accountable for it.
Will it Pass in the Senate?
While it is expected to pass in the Democrat controlled House, the Republican controlled Senate on the other hand is a bit of a toss up. While a handful of Republican’s, who in the past have been willing to follow Trump to hell and back, have come out in defiance of Trump in light of recent events, it doesn’t mean they will vote to have him removed from office. Vice president Mike Pence has expressed no interest in enacting the 25th amendment, and others have had the audacity to support simply letting the president ride out his last week in office stating that impeachment would be “divisive” for the nation. But in a surprising twist, majority leader Mitch McConnell recently came out and said that he does believe Trump’s offense is impeachable. But again, that does not mean he will definitely vote to do so… which now that I think about it would be very strange if he voted against it.
Another factor is that impeachment can be a bit of a lengthy process. The House has rushed it on their end and requested VP Pence to use his power to enact the 25th amendment along with the support of the president’s cabinet, but again he doesn’t seem interested in doing such a thing. It might be unrealistic to think the Senate, which is currently on recess, will investigate it on their terms and then hold a vote before January 20th. There has been talk that this could continue after the 20th when Joe Biden becomes president and Trump gets the boot, but that is a bit unprecedented and many are unsure if it is constitutionally sound to do so.
So What is the Point?
At first, I found the whole thing to be ridiculous. As stated earlier, Trump never stepped outside of the realms of what we all have grown used to as his normal behavior. Since the beginning of his run for office he has been on an active campaign to discredit our democracy and anyone that opposes him. He has always used charged language to plant this idea into peoples’ heads that the Democratic party, and any association or ideology affiliated with them, are evil human beings instead of people that simply have alternate views on governance or possess a different political philosophy. He has gone to extreme lengths to lie to truly drive whatever point he wants to make home and has pushed conspiracy theories as if he was secretly Alex Jones in disguise.
At every turn he has somehow managed to avoid any form of accountability for his actions, and then he gloats like a villain, doing that weird dance that makes him look like he’s giving dual hand jobs at truck stop bathroom. I find it absolutely repulsive that this has been aloud to continue and that so many corporations and people have made so much money off of him simply being so incendiary. Everyone from Facebook to major news networks are rolling the dough, and it’s weird to think that now is the time they have some sort of moral dilemma and decide he’s terrible for the country on so many levels. It all just feels like one big cosmic joke.
But this time might be different. For once, Republicans are finally admitting the fact that Trump and his brand of politics are not a good representation of their party. A surprising number of them have stepped up to publicly state that this is just too far. And that is important because it feels as though they haven’t been living in reality or possess any sense of logic and reasoning for the past 4 years. Personally, I believe since he lost, their incentive that existed by supporting him to further their own political careers has all but disappeared. So now seems like a good time to be reasonable instead of continuing to sell out your integrity to support someone so counter to everything you claim to believe.
The fact is that it would pretty much be career suicide if they supported the insurrection attempt, and since it’s official that Trump lost they can finally get behind the party distancing itself from him. On top of that, there are plenty of Republicans that would love to run in 2024, and if impeachment passes in the Senate, Trump would be barred from ever running again, and any presidential hopefuls wont have to worry about debating a man child (at least not him anyway).
For those of us that still can’t believe that we live in a country where someone like Trump could be elected and maintain a position such as president, I believe impeachment presents some perks. For one, impeachment, even if not passed through the senate, becomes the shit stain on the drawers of your political legacy. Many people across party lines believed that Bill Clinton was a good president, but even despite that you can’t talk about Bill without bring up Monica Lewinsky and everything else included in his impeachment. For Trump, his legacy will be forever shrouded by the fact that he’s the only person to fuck up so much that he was impeached, not once, but twice.
It will also solidify the language and terminology used when discussing this point in history. With this second impeachment attached to his name, it will always be regarded as “inciting a insurrection”. History books far into the future will have to discuss the fact that he attempted to rile his base up to basically overthrow the government, and when his wish came true, the cult came out with a lust for blood.
I believe this is absolutely worth paying attention to. I don’t believe that the Senate will vote yes and the 25th amendment will be enacted, as great an ending that it would be to the shitty novel that is the Trump presidency. But I do believe that passing in the House will have long term effects that are absolutely necessary. My biggest fear is that his time as president will be romanticized when being taught to children in schools. But with this second impeachment there will forever be an addendum that will open the flood gates of just how horrific he is. This will hopefully educated future generations about the ills of electing a celebrity narcissist to the highest position in public office, and maybe, just maybe, we can prevent this mistake from ever happening in this country again.