By Rick Salutin
November 10, 2019 "Information
Clearing House" - The Trump impeachment
frenzy in the U.S. among Democrats, especially by
party heavies like Nancy Pelosi, makes zero sense on
First, there’s no
chance they’ll succeed: they’ll impeach (i.e.
charge) him in the House and fail to convict in the
Republican Senate. Why waste resources on losing
instead of building a credible, vote-garnering
It’s not about
healing divisions, since this will make those far
It’s a dreadful
issue to base an impeachment on: Trump’s klutzy
efforts to bully Ukraine’s president into providing
dirt on potential rival Joe Biden. It’s obscure and
distant (Ukraine!). What’s a good impeachment issue?
Organizing a seedy criminal burglary (Watergate)
from the White House — which was the case for
Nixon’s impeachment. Or having sex with a young
woman in the oval office (Clinton). People can
relate. Those are gripping, titillating and
Plus, an election’s
a year off. Why not beat him there and avoid issues
of legitimacy? Nixon and Clinton were both impeached
right after elections. That timing made sense, it
was the only expedient way to dump them.
Some say it is about
that, they’re trying to cripple Trump for the
election. But this will just entrench voters on both
sides, it won’t move a single ballot.
Pelosi’s a special
mystery. She held out against impeachment for three
years. Then along comes a Ukrainian sideshow and
she’s all in? Spare me.
What shifted her
now? I’d say the answer is: this impeachment isn’t
directed at Trump at all, it’s about undermining the
rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party.
They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party
agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the
Clinton-Obama decades — with issues like universal
public health-care and equitable taxes. They’ve even
found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the
Sanders scared the crap out of them in 2015.
He was nobody, and worse, a socialist! But
Hillary Clinton beat him back, even if Trump
beat her. Some things are worse than losing
elections. Then, instead of going away,
Bernie stayed at it — and proliferated! He
has a sibling in Elizabeth Warren and
acolytes in “the squad.” He raises more
money than anyone — in dribs and drabs.
This is their
nightmare. They threw Joe Biden at “the left” but
he’s flawed and fading. They tried others: Beto,
Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete. So far, nothing but
single digits. And If you combine Warren and
Sanders, as you should, you get about double Biden’s
support. They think, OK, if necessary, we can live
with Warren. So they shift focus: control the
agenda, not the choice of candidate. Turn the
discussion into all impeachment, all the time.
Pelosi’s on it.
Does this mean party
bosses would rather lose control of the country and
presidency than cede power in their party?
Absolutely. Look at the U.K. Labour party right now.
With an election on and leftist Corbyn as leader,
MPs who were incubated in the neo-liberal Blair
years are in full turncoat mode. The deputy leader
just quit. Ex-Blairite MPs urge people to vote for
Boris! It’s the way of power. You’d like to win
elections but you couldn’t bear losing your
So Pelosi said:
“What are you thinking? ... Remember November,” as
she “unloaded on progressive policies.” A poll
showing Trump still “competitive” in swing states,
led to “freaking out” among centrist Dems like the
who wrote, “If Democrats aren’t panicking, they
aren’t paying attention.”
Let me object to
myself: Look, the first impeachment calls came from
the party’s left, like congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
and Warren. But those calls were emotional and
Pelosi, who controls
the power, resisted them. The pertinent question is
why she switched. By doing so she was hoping to
overwhelm their left wing social and economic agenda
with impeachment mania — a shrewd move. At that
point they could hardly reverse their former
positions. It’s complicated.
Finally, I want to
acknowledge my wonder at the ability of U.S. media
to cover nothing except presidential politics
interminably. No ordinary mortal could survive it
without collapsing in boredom. Their monomania over
Trump exactly parallels his egomania about himself.
Neither can get enough.
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