In a Saturday interview on MSNBC, 2020 Democratic hopeful Sen. Cory Booker told his party to damn the politics when it comes to impeachment.
Instead, the New Jersey senator said he doesn’t want to look back on this moment in American history – when a president was trampling on the U.S. Constitution and rule of law – and find that he and his party did nothing.
“What will history say?” Sen. Booker asked. “And I can’t sit here, having sworn an oath as a United States Senator to uphold the Constitution, to stand idly by as the president trashes that Constitution and wants to step towards authoritarianism.”
He added, “The right thing to do is when someone wants to violate our Constitution and not subject themselves to the checks and balances, that we must hold them accountable.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 15, 2019
I have a lot of empathy for Nancy Pelosi. I sat with her about a week ago. She’s in a difficult position of trying to navigate, I’m sure, a lot of countervailing forces and winds, and she’s going to make her own decisions. I sat with my core team and we had a very honest conversation about … some people brought up the issues of politics and I said, wait a minute, this is one of those moments that 10, 50 years from now, people are going to look back and say, when a president stood up and said I am no longer part of the constitutional framework, I am above the law, I am above checks and balances, my question to my team is, what will history say? I can’t sit here, having sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, to stand idly by as the president trashes that Constitution and wants to step towards authoritarianism. So I know the politics may be very difficult. The politics might not be right for the Democratic Party right now, but in the long arc of history, I swore this oath to do what is right and the right thing to do is when someone wants to violate our Constitution and not subject themselves to the checks and balances, that we must hold them accountable.
Leaders should care more about history than politics of the moment
Even Cory Booker admitted on Saturday that he and Nancy Pelosi are in very different positions when it comes to the impeachment issue.
As a U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, he acknowledged that he isn’t contending with the same “countervailing forces” that Pelosi is.
But the longer Donald Trump brazenly flouts the law and even openly commits crimes, the more difficult it is for anyone in the Democratic Party to use politics as an excuse not to take the toughest possible steps to rein him in.
The politics of this moment pale in comparison to what history will say if leaders do nothing as a president of the United States tries to push this country toward authoritarianism.
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.