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The Washington Post article “A freshman, a viral video and a profanity revive Trump impeachment talk“ by Elise Vieback and Mike DeBonis begins as follows:
House Democratic leaders spent two years trying to keep talk of impeachment out of the headlines to win back their majority.
This is certainly true. House Democratic leaders tried, and talk about impeachment by and large stayed out of the headlines. Only a fool would doubt that the subject wasn’t discussed behind closed-doors well before the Democrats took over the House. Obviously, not making impeachment an overall Democratic promise was an election strategy.
The next paragraph is true with a modification:
All it took was a freshman lawmaker, a viral video and a curse word aimed at President Trump to put it right back.
It should read:
A freshman lawmaker, a viral video and a curse word aimed at President Trump was the impetus to put it right back.
Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have espoused transparency. Now thanks to Rep. Rashida Tlaib they have it. If Tlaib hadn’t put impeachment back in the headlines someone else would have done it. Impeachment is something the Democrat are addressing in public, and well they should. While Pelosi may emphasize address other vital issues such as income inequality, climate change, and everything in their first bill, HR-1, is going to be the work of the House, the most important issue, an issue which has reach the level of an existential crisis facing our Democracy, is impeaching Donald Trump.
The Post article:
The unexpected attention on impeachment was a vivid and early example of the divide between the no-holds-barred style of some newly elected Democrats and the more restrained sensibility of party leaders on questions of policy and tactics in the new Congress — a split that is certain to test Pelosi repeatedly.
Pelosi, in response to Tlaib’s “impeach the motherfucker” referenced the difference between her generation and the millennial generation. Her “it’s a generational thing” could become a new meme.
Until now only Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among the freshman Democrats had achieved celebrity status. Ocasio-Cortez is now defending Tlaib, but is also making her own news because of MTV-worthy video of her dancing joyously on a rooftop reenacting an iconic dance scene from “The Breakfast Club,” while wearing a Boston University shirt when she was in college has gone viral. Here’s a sample nasty Tweet from an anonymous Trump supporter: “Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is.”
Now she shares the freshman Democratic Party spotlight with Tlaib. We’ve known since the summer where she stands on impeachment. In June 2018, she told CNN she would support impeachment based on violations of the Emoluments Clause saying there were“serious grounds in violations of the Emoluments Clause from day one” and that “we have to hold everyone accountable and that no person is above that law.” (Politico)
There are only two ways the Democrats can remove Trump from office, impeachment and beating him if he runs again assuming the Republicans don’t wake up and realize he is mentally unfit for office and use the 25th Amendment triggering a national crisis as Trump tried to prove he was the most mentally stable person ever to be president (thus proving his delusional state but that takes us into subject of Trump’s psychopathology which I’ve already written about many times).
The timing of actually opening impeaching hearings in the House will be up to Nancy Pelosi and the leadership. I assume it will depend ultimately on whether of not they think they have the votes in the Senate to actually remove the president. That looks like a high hurdle now. However, the more Trump de-compensates and the more unpopular he becomes the more likely it is that GOP senators will abandon him for their own survival.
Additionally, it becomes more likely the more he over-reaches. For example, now he is threatening a months or year-long government shut-down and declaring a national emergency to build the wall. He is he is taking the Putin line on Russian intervention in Afghanistan and Montenegro thus reviving the proposition that Putin has something on him.
That is just the past few days.
Watch polling to see if it shows a shifting voter sentiment agreeing that Trump must be impeached and make note of the Republican Senators who face reelection and how much risk they face of losing if they continu to support Trump.
Supplement: Let’s not forget that Tom Steyer has been talking about impeachment and advocating it in advertisements for well over year. There’s a good chance he will run for president and then for certain impeachment will be in the news even more often. Here he is on MSNBC this morning:
__UPDATE Jan. 9, 2019
But the reaction was obscene. Michelle Goldberg, NY Times
To judge by the media freakout that followed, you’d have thought Tlaib had threatened to grab the president by his genitals and deport him to a country full of excrement. It was astonishing, both the straight-faced audacity of Republicans feigning outrage over profanity, and the gormless clucking of pundits comparing Tlaib’s swearword to Trump’s violent misogyny and racist demagogy.
The whole tempest was so monumentally stupid that I was tempted to ignore it, particularly since it’s starting to blow over. But it’s worth trying to figure out what the uproar was really about, since it could be a sign of the kind of media coverage this brash new group of representatives, particularly female representatives, might be in for.
It certainly wasn’t about the profanity itself. In 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney delighted conservatives by effectively telling Senator Patrick Leahy, on the Senate floor, to go copulate with himself. (“It’s sort of the best thing I ever did,” Cheney later boasted to right-wing comedian Dennis Miller.) In October, Kanye West used the same term as Tlaib in the Oval Office, and few pretended to be scandalized.
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