“Oh, Then as of this moment, they’re on double secret probation!” — Dean Wormer
It seems futile. There are only 11 more days of the Trump presidency. Half of his cabinet is either gone or led by an acting secretary. So, a 25th amendment remedy is a longshot at best. We’ve already done the impeachment thing and we saw how that worked out. So, why in the world would the House of Representatives do it again?
I can think of three valid reasons to go through the process again. I will build to the best reason in a kind of creshendo. So, we start with the symbolic reason for doing it. Obviously, only three presidents have been impeached. No one has ever been impeached twice. That would put Trump clearly in the history books for all eternity.
Why does that matter? A famous person once said that all it takes for evil to triumph in the world is for good people to do nothing. Yes, you can sit back and stew for a week and a half. You can accept the fact that the clock will run out on the Trump presidency. You can accept the fact that almost all of his political allies have abandoned him. What does that say to future generations?
Susan Collins infamously said that she did not vote for conviction during the last impeachment preceedings because she felt “he had learned his lesson.” He sure did. He learned that no one was ever going to hold responsible for anything. At least, the Republicans weren’t going to hold him responsible.
That dovetails us into our second point. The Democrats can accomplish two things just by passing the articles of impeachment. They get to stand up and be counted as saying that what Trump did was unforgiveable. It’s far past time to soft-pedal what we have witnessed over the past four years. Trump committed sedition. Trump committed treason. We can’t use euphemisms anymore. We can’t excuse it and say it will go away. It isn’t an abberration. He isn’t misundertood. He isn’t going to pivot. There’s nowhere to pivot to.
Impeachment says we saw what you did and we want to hold you to account. Naturally, it will take Republicans to finally hold him to account. That’s the second point. This would force them once and for all to go on the record. Are you for America or are you for Trump? There is no third way. There is no middle ground. There is no yeah…but. You have to choose and you have to choose now.
It would produce a watershed moment for each Republican individually and the Republican party as a whole as a national party. If you vote for Trump you are dead politically. Sure, there will always be individual districts that go conservative. Maybe a new conservative party can emerge to take control of those districts. As a national party they will be dead if they fail to do the right thing in this moment. There are no more excuses.
Finally, we get to the real ramifications of voting to convict. Trump can’t be removed from an office that he no longer inhabits and it is likely that Senate proceedings would last beyond January 20th. However, a part of that impeachment and removal would bar him from ever holding public office ever again.
A large part of Trump’s power and his graft has been the threat of running again in 2024. That allows him to continue fund raising. That allows him to act as the de facto head of the Republican party. He isn’t likely to run again no matter what, but he can continue to bilk the masses out of their hard earned money by making them think he will.
It would be more likely that Donald Jr. or Ivanka would think they could take up the mantle. A Senate vote to convict would almost certainly be the precursor to more legal problems for the whole family. They might all be wearing orange before those elections come about.
The hard part is what to do with the rest of us. Senator Hawley saw a Simon-Schuster book deal go up in smoke because of his support for the president. He complained about cancel culture. His first amendment rights were violated. Bullshit. The first amendment doesn’t protect you from personal blowback of your speech.
It is time to freeze out those that still support the president. They need to have whatever power and influence effectively neutered. I’m looking at Hawley. I’m looking at Ted Cruz. I’m looking at Lindsay Graham. I’m looking at Ken Paxton. I’m looking at Dan Patrick. They all need to suffer horrible political deaths. It will be the best thing that can possibly happen. Let it be said from this point forth that if you supported this president after he got the ball rolling on this attempted insurrection that you will have your political balls cut off in front of God and everyone.
What that means for us in our daily lives is obviously more challenging and more tricky. This isn’t about liberal vs. conservative. My conservative friends were wholeheartedly against all of this. This is America vs. Trump. If you stand with Trump I don’t want to know you anymore.