It was announced yesterday that the Justice Department will be releasing the redacted version of the Mueller report this Thursday morning. The announcement sent the media into a frenzy of speculation because nobody has any idea if AG Barr will try to conceal any damning information, or if the two-year investigation even found anything damning that we don’t already know.
Some people on social media were urging followers to gear up for renewed calls for impeachment. And there’s no president in our history more worthy of impeachment than Trump. For starters, he’s an unindicted co-conspirator in felony election fraud. And he utterly failed (and continues to fail) to protect our democracy from hacking by Russia and others. But consider two things. First, the Senate is controlled by Republicans who have proven themselves prostitutes to power, especially leader Mitch McConnell, tolerating every scandal and outrage flowing from Trump. It’s hard to imagine what might be in the Mueller report that could force them to stop putting party above country and greed above people. Second, even if something horrible pushed Republicans to consider impeachment, the process could easily last beyond the 2020 election. So as a practical matter, impeachment is an unrealistic long-shot.
Beyond the impeachable actions of Trump, it’s also a fact that he’s the most disgraceful, divisive, dishonest, vile, vain and vengeful president of our lifetimes. He has destroyed or degraded many of our agencies and damaged the legitimacy of many core democratic institutions, like our voting system and our justice system. He’s also harmed many of our international alliances and caused many people outside America to question our standing and legitimacy in the world community. And he’s done everything possible to ruin and reverse our already lame response to climate change. There could be no greater priority than to remove Trump from office as soon as possible.
Yet it’s highly likely that the 2020 election will be our only opportunity to end his reign. This route has a silver lining. Losing the election won’t allow Trump to play quite the victim he would under impeachment. Sure, he will scream “the election was rigged!” without a shred of evidence, but that’s a far cry from the division and animosity he would generate if impeached. And it will greatly reduce the anger his supporters could stir up from his ouster. Losing the 2020 election would be a total rebuke of Trump and Trumpism, and winning is within our grasp as long as we remain united beyond the primary.
It’s also important that we help our fellow citizens in any way we can to flip the Senate. Our Senators in New York State are not vulnerable, but Republican leader Mitch McConnell has been singularly and uniquely ruinous to the Senate, turning the great chamber into a purely partisan tool to subvert the will of the people, so the sooner we wrest control of the Senate from Republicans the better. Imagine a Democratic president and a Democratic house with a Senate still held by Republicans and controlled by McConnell. Years of stalling on judicial confirmations, years of denying the president a Supreme Court pick. We’ve seen this movie before during the Obama years and it was an ugly disgrace thanks to McConnell.
It’s a mistake to expect that impeachment will be a magic cure for Trumpism. Instead, we need to stay connected to the political process and eventually join in the hard work it will take to keep our district blue and rid the White House of the worst president ever. Keep resisting…