Tulsi Gabbard made a really good point about impeachment. Some Democrats started talking about impeachment the minute Trump won the election. That chorus grew larger and larger as time went on. But the motivation for many of them wasn’t that there was credible evidence of criminal activity, it was that “Orange Man Bad.”
Gabbard correctly recognized that if the impeachment process is deemed as a partisan operation, then half the country will not go along with it. Even if one genuinely believes that the Ukraine situation involves impeachable offenses, there have been too many partisan calls for impeachment. “We’ll impeach first, and find a crime later.”
Unfortunately, that cannot be fixed. Once the credibility and trust have been drained, it takes a long time to build them back up. A lot of people aren’t going to believe even strong evidence for impeachment because there has been too much partisanship and “Orange Man Bad.”
The best solution would have been for Democrats to keep their powder dry and calm down from January 2017 onward. It’s too late for that now, but it’s not too late to tell Democrats in Congress to cool down and then proceed in a manner focused on evidence and law.
But even then, each passing day makes impeachment less relevant. Trump and his defenders will correctly point out that we are having a national election in one year. By this time next year, early voting will have already started. So why not wait until then?
On the other side, Trump apologists need to cool it with accusations that this is a “coup.” This is not a coup. It may be partisan, and it may be done in bad faith, but it is not a coup. Impeachment is a political process, and Congress is acting within its Constitutional powers. If the Democrats voted today to impeach Trump and send it to the senate for trial, they would be acting within the law and their Constitutional authority. Pretending this is a “coup” is planting the seeds of civil unrest. That is highly irresponsible.
The rhetoric needs to be turned down several notches on both sides.
I posted this as a note on Facebook on October 19.