One of the key arguments that some Democratic lawmakers and voters have made against moving forward with impeachment is that, even if the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump, the GOP-led Senate would almost certainly acquit him.
As a result, they argue that Trump would be able to hit the campaign trail in 2020 to claim complete and total vindication.
The only problem with that argument, of course, is that Trump has already been claiming vindication, despite the crimes laid out in Robert Mueller’s report, and the American people haven’t bought into it.
So impeaching Trump – and then failing to get a conviction from the Republican-controlled Senate – wouldn’t change that dynamic.
But as Fernand Amandi said on Saturday during a discussion on MSNBC’s AM Joy, impeachment would give Trump a branding that he wouldn’t want: an impeached president running for reelection.
“We have never had an impeached president seek reelection before,” Amandi said. “He desperately does not want to have to go through that branding of being called the impeached president.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) May 25, 2019
Let’s think about what would happen if the House leadership moves forward with what they need to do, which is to impeach this criminal president, and he does emerge out of the House with a majority of the Congress saying, yes, he’s been impeached. He’s going to have to go on the campaign trail and at every major event, every forum that he participates in that’s an official event, he is going to have to be regarded with and dealt with of the question of impeached President Donald Trump. We have never had an impeached president seek reelection before. So I think the optics politically for that are disastrous, which is why you hear Trump over and over again say this briar patch strategy of, “Oh, don’t throw me in the impeachment briar patch.” That’s exactly what he is avoiding more than anything else. He desperately does not want to have to go through that branding of being called the impeached president.
The last thing Trump wants is to be branded as an impeached president
Donald Trump has spent decades branding himself as a successful businessman, the poster child of wealth and status and, of course, a symbol of masculinity. But throughout his time in politics, each of those brands has either diminished or been completely destroyed.
The more the American people learn about his business record, the more they see that he is nothing close to a financial success. In fact, as The New York Times investigative reporting has shown, he has been nothing short of a business failure and a tax fraud.
The phony tough guy image that Trump has spent his lifetime nursing has also been destroyed. After all, you can only throw so many public tantrums before people start to recognize that the whole macho man schtick is complete lunacy.
Ultimately, branding and optics likely mean more to Trump than anything else. Having to hit the campaign trail in 2020 with the new brand of impeached president would drive him even more mad than he already is.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.