It is truly scary to see Mafioso Don rant and rave these days, as impeachment becomes a near-certainty. Conviction not so much, but impeachment almost a lock. When the guy is openly calling for not just Ukraine but China to help him try to find dirt on Biden, the Democrats have no choice but to slap him down.
Hardly anyone thinks the Senate will convict him, for good reasons, but it’s not impossible. When the Democrats began impeachment hearings against Nixon in 1973, he was coming off an election where he had won 49 of 50 states, and he had an approval rating in the high 60’s percent. But after the exposures via Congressional hearings of Tricky Dick’s underhandedness, lying and, especially, destruction of evidence, his approval rating plunged to 25%, and he was done, resigning in disgrace.
This crop of Republicans are more hardline, and they’re backed up by Fox News and other media that they didn’t have back then, but on the other hand how many of them truly want to be saddled with an impeached Trump hanging around their neck come elections next November? And it is not insignificant that there are internal divisions at Fox News, with at least two of their commentators, Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto, publicly refusing to go along with the party line of lip-locking on Trump’s ring.
Looking at the bigger picture, what happens with the economy could end up being decisive as far as conviction. The fact that unexpected weakness in the manufacturing sector has been revealed at the same time as the recent Ukrainegate revelations is not good news for Republicans. Absent an economy that is doing relatively well, though clearly majorly and structurally unequal and discriminatory, Trump and his minions are in very deep political doo-doo. No President has ever gone through an entire four year term with approval ratings under 50%, but that sure looks like what’ll happen for this one.
What about the neo-fascist, racist, sexist, anti-Semetic ultra-rightists who are the hard core of Trump’s support, especially in overwhelmingly white rural areas and suburbs? Will Trump’s “watch out for civil war” rhetoric move them to more aggressive and violent action?
I sure hope not. I think it’s likely that some of them are having doubts about this guy and his disorganization and relative ineffectiveness, which would lessen their willingness to risk injury or jail time for him. But even if that’s the case, it’s hard to believe that as Trump escalates his rhetoric as things close in on him it won’t lead some, hopefully a very small number, to physically attack those they see as the enemy, particularly people of color. The killing of 22 people in El Paso two months ago will sadly not be the last time this kind of heinous crime happens.
What about the question of how many articles of impeachment, beyond the immediate exposures coming from Ukrainegate, the Democrats should put together?
As much as I believe there are a very wide swath of outrages and criminal activities that should be included—like his vile, racist, family-separating southern border policies—I think the slim chance of conviction will be strengthened if the articles are mainly Ukrainegate related.
I do support progressive Democrats proposing others, even if it’s unlikely that they’ll get passed, for the very good reason of drawing attention to how over-the-top the Trumpists Republicans really are. And maybe some of those proposed articles will pass.
Finally, I’d urge those organizations which support impeachment and have a history of organizing street actions and demonstrations against Trumpist policies to join together for massive street actions this fall. We need street heat for impeachment now!
Ted Glick has been a progressive activist, organizer and writer since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.