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.