That is the real question that is left to us after the redacted Mueller report dropped yesterday.
So if you read the various links DD posted in today’s Open Thread, you get a great summary of the current summaries of the Mueller Report. Mueller and his team decided that “collusion” wasn’t a legal thing, but that there was definitely coordination (as in conspiracy) between the Trump campaign and Russia. And no one on the Trump campaign contacted the FBI about these contacts. There’s the lying, the (attempted) manipulation of staff to lie or to obstruct, all of the habits of a crime family looking to keep the gravy train going. The doc shows 10 cases of clear obstruction of justice, plus criminal intent plus a recommendation that Congress act. Certainly, the claim of “no collusion” has morphed into “this is bullshit” pretty fast.
Now we are at the point where everyone is looking at Democrats for what’s next. First up, it is appalling that only Democrats are feeling the heat for a next move here. Mueller expected Congress to deal with the results of his investigation, and one more time, all of the media and punditry are spun up over what Dems will do next. Steny Hoyer got too far and too quickly out in front of the impeachment question by saying it was not worth it. He’s walked that back a little, but it is frustrating for Democrats to be tying their own hands this way.
Still, it would be fantastic if the GOP got a turn on the hot seat on this. Unfortunately, the media gets that they are not interested in either governing or constitutionality and will not even examine their motivation for utterly abdicating their responsibilities and their approval of the corruption and the obstruction. And the lying to Congress.
So, impeachment. I get that House Dems see these things:
**Impeachment is a political (rather than legal) process
**Successful impeachment means that the GOP needs to be a good faith partner
** Dems really want to be successful in 2020
I’m really tired of Dems telling me that the GOP needs to cooperate for any real work to get done. Really. Tired. Of course, you have to be able to count votes and nothing happens without a voting majority.
But I am not comfortable with a landscape where Dems are widely expected to be the reasonable and responsible ones, but reasonable is supposed to include letting this level of corruption and obstruction get a pass because we can’t get to “bipartisanship” over this issue. Being reasonable and responsible turns loose more Congressional power and responsibility. Being reasonable and responsible leaves DNA in our Executive and Legislative Branches that criminality and corruption are going to be AOK if you can’t get bipartisan agreement on what the rule of law looks like. Being reasonable and responsible still leaves Democrats looking like they are not on the current field of play. They cede any responsibility for rule of law or constitutionality to the folks who won’t show up for bipartisanship. Which is the problem of leaving this up to voters in 2020, right? It puts rule of law and constitutional integrity squarely into the tribal politics of a Presidential election. Which let’s every elected off of the hook.
On the other hand, not matter what the media narrative is, this is not over. Dems still have multiple open investigations and can open more. The SDNY still has 14 referrals from Mueller which have yet to play out. The GOP is reaching for ways to keep the “both sides ball” in the air and it looks like investigating the investigators plus investigating the Steele dossier are going to be up in the Senate. Even though the Steele dossier has had much of its own detail confirmed.
2020 *is* important. Increasing Dem majorities pretty much everywhere is needed plus a Dem President so we can stop the bleeding. I don’t give a damn about “impeachment just stirs up his base” because they can at least be grateful to be stirred up about one true thing. There’s definitely polling out there that indicate that majorities of Americans (and Dems) don’t want to see impeachment. But I do need Dems to keep up the oversight, do better messaging around their goals and what they need to get there and not take any damn thing off of the table. I need Dems to better leverage the responsibility and accountability that the media assumes they have. Someone should pay for so much degradation of our Democracy.
I was not one of those who thought that Mueller would take the GRIFTUS out, but I did hope that he would provide enough data for Dems to get him out. I do think that there is enough here to start proceedings. How would this impact the work SDNY is doing? I don’t know. But I am sure that if I was in Congress right now, I would be calling for impeachment. Because that is what reasonable and responsible looks like right now.
Given the Dem investigations and the SDNY work, Dems do have some time to make this choice. But the longer it waits, the more political it gets. If Dems use the work of investigation and the SDNY work to build a case for a President who is too corrupt and criminal to go on, that would be worth it.
I get the potential political cost of impeachment. But I am also sure that we will regret the day we didn’t make the case for it.
What do you think — impeach or no?