After the Mueller Report, Should Trump Be Impeached?

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French Ambassador Araud: Like Louis XIV, Trump believes he is the state.

W.J. Astore

The redacted Mueller Report is out, and there’s plenty of evidence that President Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation, which he saw as a partisan “witch hunt.” Indeed, Trump was saved by his aides, who refused to follow his orders to impede the investigation and to fire Robert Mueller.  Predictably, Republicans still support Trump, whereas prominent Democrats like Elizabeth Warren are calling for impeachment.

Should Trump be impeached?  No, I don’t think so.

I’m no fan of Trump.  I think he disqualified himself as a candidate in 2016 when he said he’d issue illegal orders to the U.S. military, which his generals would be obliged to follow.  Trump is not a public servant; in fact, he’s not much of a leader, period.  His basic instinct is to divide and conquer.  He looks for toadies and yes-men.  He cares little for anyone but himself and his immediate family.  He’s a master of regressive politics, a fomenter of discord.  His idea of justice is everything for Trump.

In sum, I don’t reject impeachment because I favor Trump.  I reject impeachment since the process will consume Congress and the country.

We have much higher priorities to address in America.  People are hurting.  Congress should focus (for once!) on helping ordinary people, not chasing Trump down various rabbit holes.

The outgoing French ambassador to the U.S. put it well in a recent interview.  Comparing Trump to Louis XIV, Ambassador Araud said “You have an old king, a bit whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed, but he wants to be the one deciding.”  Part of his act is to humiliate his subordinates as a way of showing his “mastery” of them.  He saves his admiration for other “strong men” like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.  That’s who Trump is.

Trump’s an awful president.  But impeachment won’t kill him — it will likely make him stronger.  Put differently, Trump has already been convicted in the court of public opinion.  Even some of his followers recognize that Trump’s a con man who can’t be trusted.  The point is not to remove him via impeachment, but to defeat him in 2020 by offering a progressive vision rather than a regressive one.

Focus on helping the American people, Congress.  Leave the “old king” to his ignorance and whimsies.

8 thoughts on “After the Mueller Report, Should Trump Be Impeached?

  1. I agree 100% – no impeachment! That’s just what both sides of the aisle want, blame somebody else for their own mistakes. They’re all guilty: Congress could cut off all these senseless wars in a minute by refusing to fund them. The ‘liberal’ Dems could finally get started on a National Health System that’s fair for everyone. The Russiagate, Trumpgate, etc. is a great excuse to keep taking bribes from MIC & Health Insurance companies.
    Living in France, I got a chuckle out of our worthless Gov’t Officials, who don’t know their history. Louis XIV was actually the last decent King France had. Comparing Trump to Louis XV would be more appropriate; a lazy life of drinking champagne (invented under his reign), plenty of girlfriends, depleting the State coffers. Not much of a Dad either, he set the stage for his son’s beheading.

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    1. Interesting point about Louis XIV. I assume the French ambassador knows his own history. The young Louis XIV was a clever and ambitious monarch, but I can’t speak for his wisdom in old age. As you say, Louis XV was a disaster.

      Trump would love to see his own dynasty. Rumor has it that Ivanka sees herself as a future presidential candidate. Meanwhile, her husband is charged with negotiating peace in the Middle East, reinventing government, curing the opioid epidemic, improving relations with Mexico, and lord knows what else. The court of Louis XIV may have been sane by comparison.

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  2. As we all know from watching the various iterations of Law and Order, the Police may think they have a case and the prosecutor may also think he has a case. However, there is a jury that will decide guilty or not guilty. So here the Democrats in the House may think they have a solid case for impeachment.

    The Jury is the Senate. The Senate Republicans are firmly bound in orbit by the immense political gravity of President Agent Orange. Any Republican who would try to ignite the booster rockets to escape President Agent Orange’s gravity would feel the wrath of The Base.

    The “News Networks” CNN and MSDNC keep pushing the impeachment route – good for ratings you know. Bear in mind just a year ago or so Michael Avenatti was the darling of CNN and MSDNC with his client Stormy Daniels. Anyone would do for CNN and MSDNC as long as that person could smear President Agent Orange. Today Michael Avenatti is hip deep in his own financial scandals.

    As you stated above there are higher priorities the Democrats should be devoting their political energy to, rather than trying to get President Agent Orange. So far no matter how cruel, vindictive or simply incompetent President Agent Orange is, his base will not turn against him and neither will the Republican Hierarchy.

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  3. It seems that impeachment is a cowards way of dealing with a difficult and nasty issue. It will be the “cause” that will kill off the presidential chances of many, beginning with Senator Warren who is much more interested in listening to herself yell at full voice than demonstrating how she might be a true leader.

    I have been reading some stories recently of people who served with great distinction in the military during World War II. All of them were not at all preparing for nor particularly interested in military service of any kind right up until December 7, 1941. Once the United States was attacked, their positions changed instantly and most of them were right there in line to take the oath of service to the nation.

    So now we have a document that establishes without reservation that the Russians have interfered and manipulated out most precious of institutions: our electoral process. And where is the outrage? Where is the desire for revenge? This is an attack just as vicious and perhaps much more dangerous that the sinking of some ships and a couple of thousand sailors in a place that few people had even heard from.

    So the hue and cry will now be by some for impeachment? Those voiced should look carefully at the real issue and provide the leadership this nation needs by vilifying those enemies from without who would destroy us by killing off our institutions. Vilifying also those who don’t oppose the external existential threat.

    It will take some hard work and some courage. But the result will be the elimination of not only the Russian threat from without, but their support within in November, 2020. Impeachment will solidify the fools who like the color orange. Pursuit of the real issue might solidify enough of the country to save it.

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    1. i’m shocked, i’m shocked, the russians try to influence events in the west

      what a bunch of whining, know nothing wusses

      whaaaa whaaaaa whaaaa

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  4. The weakness of the presidential system is on display here. Then again England’s parliamentary system isn’t covering itself in glory. It just is showing a different style of disfunction.

    Impeachment is absurdly convoluted and while going through the process for the sake of process makes some sense, process is pretty weak tea at this point. More people support a dictator, somebody who will just get stuff done, than impeachment after all.

    Democracy cannot possibly work when the top 1% have more wealth than the bottom 90%. Forgetaboutit.

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    1. England’s problem is they don’t have a true multi-party system like in Scandinavia or Germany. Something about their political architecture (I forget the specific political science reason).

      If they did, Brexit wouldn’t have ever arisen as an issue. Similarly, if the USA had a true multiparty system DC would be less of a mess overall.

      The entire misbegotten idea that the political spectrum can be summarized as left vs. right is rooted in the American media’s need to simplify narratives about how the electorate. In reality, you need to look at voters along the right/left (really, for/against economic redistribution) *and* the authoritarian/libertarian spectrum (really, for/against centralized political power).

      A two-variable spectrum offers a much more useful view of the actual political landscape, and shows how the two parties actually screw over the majority of the electorate – part of why voter turnout is so low (50% in legislative and 65% in executive elections in the BEST years!).

      There is no party that represents me in the United States, as a left-libertarian/ social anarchist (against concentration of economic OR political power).

      And that’s why democracy in the USA and Britain (possibly) is screwed – lack of true democracy.

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  5. I favor whatever harms Trump and his movement the most.

    Impeachment is probably not it, because there was never a chance the Senate would convict so long as 40% of the public (same proportion as before the election) approves of the orange buffoon. So I’m not bothered that the Democrats aren’t pursuing it.

    I AM bothered that they unilaterally took it off the table. The Dems cede territory again and again without extracting a material toll on their opponent. The only time they get a win is pretty much when one lands in their lap, like the shutdown nonsense.

    Symptomatic of their basic identity as a permanent loyal opposition, unable to function once they hold power and actually have to prove where their interests lie to the voters. Their role in our neoliberal dystopia is to keep the GOP from going too absolutely bonkers – of course, the system has broken down, and nobody is willing to admit how fast it is sliding towards catastrophe.

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