As calls for impeachment slowly grew yesterday in the wake of Bob Mueller’s press conference, Trump went on a Twitter rampage yesterday morning and followed it later in the day in a screaming session with reporters beside the presidential helicopter, lashing out at Mueller and the Democrats. Trump was so frantic, self-contradictory and downright incoherent in his rantings that it’s easy conclude he is terrified of impeachment hearings. And he should be. While some politicians and journalists, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seemed to think that Trump had been trying to goad them into impeachment proceedings, his recent behavior casts their theory into doubt. After all, Trump’s adolescent personality would say something like “go ahead and hit me, I’m not scared!” as a strategy to avoid being hit.
Social scientists and pollsters are now wondering if failing to impeach Trump would hurt the Democrats more than trying to impeach him. Pundits last night were openly wondering if the only way the Democrats could win in 2020 would be to start impeachment proceedings. This is a big shift from the national conversation we were having only days ago.
The power of Trump and Barr’s coercive and dishonest narrative about the Mueller report comes from its simplicity and delivery. Few citizens have read any of the Mueller report, but many of them have heard Barr and Trump say “no collusion.” The power of television combined with the power of social media has given Trump and Barr the advantage over a 400+ page legal document. So Mueller’s public statement proved its own powerful rebuke to Trump and Barr. But that one statement, alone, is not enough. And that’s why it’s imperative that Congress subpoena Mueller to testify publicly, and why hearings–impeachment or otherwise–are so terrifying to Trump and Barr. They would expose the facts in a way that the report could not, no matter how many talking heads try to describe it. When the facts come directly from investigators, it’s a powerful message.
Meanwhile, Trump continued to destroy our republic yesterday with yet another horrible policy blunder. He disclosed that he would add a 5% tariff on goods from Mexico, and he would periodically add another 5% and another 5% unless and until all immigration and asylum seekers ceased flowing through Mexico. It’s bad enough that our farmers are getting destroyed by the worst weather in a generation (thanks to climate change), and it’s even worse that they are getting hammered by Trump’s tariffs on China. But now the Mexico tariffs will likely be another body blow to our agricultural system. It will also be a blow to our consumers, hitting hardest those with the lowest earnings as prices rise at the grocery store.
At the time of this writing, overseas futures markets are tanking on the Mexico tariff news. So let’s be clear–Trump has no idea what he’s doing. His tiny mind has grasped onto tariffs as a bludgeon to force his will on our trading partners, but it has already backfired spectacularly. He’s already spent tens on billions of dollars on bailouts for farmers thanks to his bad policies, but it’s still not enough to help them. And he hasn’t learned a thing. He’s doubling down on tariffs because he has no other cards to play. He’s too simple minded and impatient for statesmanship, and his cabinet is too inept and unoriginal and bigoted and ignorant for diplomacy, so all he can do is swing his club.
We have to vote these clowns out in 2020. Impeachment probably won’t remove Trump from office itself, but it will force America to confront his crimes and misdeeds in a public forum rather than on the pages of a long, dense legal report.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”