All eyes are on the Mueller testimony to Congress starting at 8:30 this morning. Trump and his advisers are clearly freaking out and trying to distract us with attacks on the squad and crazy statements about Article II of the Constitution granting him limitless power. But in the end, it’s likely that Mueller’s visit to the Hill will not amount to much. At best, it could give Nancy Pelosi the cover she needs to agree to impeachment hearings. But it seems probable that it will turn out to be an epic nothing-burger. I hope I’m wrong.
Meanwhile, more Democratic members of the House are calling for Trump’s impeachment. Here’s an excellent video from California Congresswoman Julia Brownley on her recent decision to push for impeachment. She starts by saying that she has “followed with dismay, disgust and heartache as president Trump has torn apart so much that we hold dear.”
Many Democrats in our district are calling on Rep Antonio Delgado to join the impeachment chorus, and some are becoming increasingly impatient. He faces daily pressure on Twitter to declare for impeachment, but NY-19 is, at best, a purple district and Delgado seems to be proceeding with deliberate caution. He ran on a broad platform of policy ideas and priorities, but one of the main issues in our district was the need for the Democrats to be a check and balance on the executive branch. It’s not a good look when every action you take is merely a political calculation aimed at holding or increasing power (even though the Republicans do it every single day. See Mitch McConnell). There are times when leaders must actually lead. And it’s especially critical to lead when the rule of law and the foundations of our Democracy are in jeopardy, as Rep Brownley articulated. Here’s what Charles Blow of the New York Times tweeted yesterday:
Holding a corrupt and criminal executive branch accountable to the rule of law only when it’s politically advantageous is likewise “cowardly, weak and spineless.” If you don’t have the courage of your convictions, don’t be in a leadership position. When your principles become negotiable, you have none, and voters see that. The voters in our district don’t want craven partisan calculation. They want principled action. They want liberals to uphold the rule of law and act with integrity–since the Trump White House won’t.
Rep Delgado has done a great job in office thus far, and I will vote for him again whether or not he becomes a cheerleader for impeachment. But there are many voters on the margins who might not show up at the polls if they think political power is more important to the Congressman than holding a criminal in the Oval Office to account. It’s a risk to impeach, but it’s also a big risk to ignore obvious crimes and demean the spirit of justice that Congress is sworn to uphold.
It should be crystal clear to anyone paying attention that Donald Trump is guilty of crimes. At the very least, he participated in a felony election fraud with co-conspirator Michael Cohen when he authorized the scheme to pay off Stormy Daniels so she wouldn’t sway the election. And he clearly obstructed justice while President when, among other things, he asked the White House Counsel to lie to Congress about his actions and statements regarding the Mueller investigation.
And yet, Trump continues rampaging through our culture unchecked, sowing the seeds of hatred and violence as he revels in his demented Klan rallies and signals to his supporters of his willingness to reach for ever greater depths of cruelty.
The goal of the impeachment process isn’t necessarily to remove the president from office. It can also serve to educate the public about the president’s moral bankruptcy and draw a percentage or two of the voters away from him in the election. So I will continue to urge Rep Delgado to join the call for impeachment, and perhaps the Mueller testimony will give Delgado the narrative he needs to join the chorus.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”