Yesterday on Twitter the hashtag #RepublicansForImpeachment started to trend and eventually topped the trending list. Here’s an example of a typical post:
Referring to the Mueller report and the impeachment debate among Democrats, Trump tweeted yesterday morning that, “The Radical Left Democrats, together with their leaders in the Fake News Media, have gone totally insane!” But in fact there are plenty of Republicans and former Republicans who don’t like the president and what he has done. No Republican in Congress has yet grown the spine to oppose Trump and his core cult of followers, but a number of rank-and-file Republicans have turned on Trump in the wake of the Mueller report. These aren’t the “Never Trump” conservatives who hated him from the start, like Max Boot and George Will. These are newer converts, including J. W. Verret, a former member of Trump’s transition team, who published an excellent article in the Atlantic yesterday entitled “The Mueller Report Was My Tipping Point.” Here’s an excerpt:
Depending on how you count, roughly a dozen separate instances of obstruction of justice are contained in the Mueller report. The president dangled pardons in front of witnesses to encourage them to lie to the special counsel, and directly ordered people to lie to throw the special counsel off the scent. This elaborate pattern of obstruction may have successfully impeded the Mueller investigation from uncovering a conspiracy to commit more serious crimes. At a minimum, there’s enough here to get the impeachment process started.
Link to full article:
It’s heartening that more Republicans are standing up to Trump after the redacted Mueller report was released. Whatever the Democrats decide to pursue, the more Republican support they can garner the better. Censure and impeachment are most effective when members of both parties lend support. If at least a few Republicans stand up to Trump’s corruption and lies, more Republicans in Congress will feel empowered to consider standing up to Trump. It’s not about removing him from office. It’s about rebuking Trump in a stinging way that goes beyond partisan politics, and that chips away on the margins at his support from non-cult voters. Here are some interesting stats that give historical context:
- Nixon’s approval rating before Watergate: 48%
- Americans favoring Nixon’s impeachment: 19%
- Trump’s current approval ratings: 37%
- Americans favoring Trump’s impeachment: 34%
The political landscape is significantly different today than in Nixon’s 1970s. And as Democrats hold hearings and bring nefarious details to light–while Trump whines and obstructs and stonewalls–public opinion is likely to continue to turn against Trump. Keep in mind that sentiment doesn’t need to shift very much to help Democrats. Trump won the 2016 election by the thinnest of margins in three states. And his approval-disapproval spread has widened significantly since his election, as the outcome of the 2018 midterm election confirms so dramatically. So every little bit helps.
Embrace Republicans for Impeachment, and keep resisting…