Democratic donor Tom Steyer told Democrats to get their heads out of the sand when it comes to talking about impeachment as argued the case for why the Democratic Party must step up and stop dodging talk of impeaching Trump.
In his letter, Steyer wrote, “While there is much that requires further investigation, we cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand in avoidance of what is already known. Impeachment of an elected president is an act of enormous magnitude that must not be undertaken lightly or in response to routine political disagreements or policy differences. But the seriousness of the remedy speaks not only to the danger of its misuse, but to the importance of using it when appropriate. Our system depends on trust and goodwill. Breaking of norms and disregard for decency have huge, long-term costs. No one can be immune from our laws; everyone must be held to account. If Congress does not uphold that principle, it will have done more damage to our democracy than Russia could ever hope to.”
It is understood and agreed on by most that Democrats shouldn’t devalue impeachment by lightly throwing the term around. It also makes sense for Democrats not to talk too heavily about impeachment before they control the House, but there is also a message in this letter to Democrats that impeachment is potentially powerful 2018 election issue. As usual, many Democrats are looking at the issue backwards, as they are afraid the I-word will wake up Republican voters in red districts, but at some point the party needs to motivate its own supporters, and the Democratic base wants to hear that if they give Democrats control of Congress, Trump will be held accountable.
As Steyer concluded, Trump has already surpassed the Republican threshold for impeaching Clinton, “The president of the United States has admitted firing an FBI Director over an investigation into Russian election interference on his behalf — the most serious foreign attack on American democracy since our nation’s founding. We must demand answers to many grave questions arising from this crisis, but the most urgent is this: How are Congressional Republicans going to hold to account a president whose efforts to obstruct an FBI investigation clearly meet the standards for impeachment articulated by Congressional Republicans fewer than twenty years ago?”
The difference between Trump and Clinton is that Bill Clinton’s impeachment was viewed as a petty partisan matter. Republicans impeached Clinton for morals and personal matters. Trump is under investigation for obstructing justice by firing an FBI Director to derail a federal criminal investigation. Trump’s situation is more Nixon than Clinton.
The impeachment talk is spreading like wildfire throughout the party, and it is only a matter of time before Democrats can no longer ignore the issue of impeaching Trump.