Impeachment is not for cowards

Dear President Trump,

In his WP PostEverything piece this morning Daniel Drezner makes a compelling argument that not only would impeachment hearings that are fully embraced by House leadership be totally righteous, but they would also distract the crap out of you and could prevent you from doing as much damage during the rest of your time in office as would otherwise be the case. For someone who is a strong and largely adept proponent of the ‘distract with obnoxious shiny objects’ game, you also can’t seem to keep yourself from getting hooked when someone is calling you out publicly. You really do seem to obsess and devote way more attention to whatever it is than any normal, reasonably emotionally healthy adult would, and way the hell more than someone who is POTUS should. So I think Drezner has a pretty good argument.

There are, however, a few things missing from his case conceptualization (this is not his framing but it seems apropos). First, you are not some benign old crank who just gets fussy when he’s prodded or threatened by people he finds to be a bother and clearly a full-on impeachment hearing would not be just a bother even to you. No, you are someone who lashes out viciously. You are someone who is patently unstable and just as likely to find a country-sized gas can to kick over and drop lighted matches on as you are to Tweet-attack the principals arguing for your removal. This is why whenever things get hot in the impeachment version of the world order I always close the loving-kindness blessing asking that you not start a war.

Second, you’ve surrounded yourself with yes-minions who appear to have no capacity to pull you back from your own worst instincts and who also appear to have plenty of their own very bad instincts. Thus, if faced with the spectre of impeachment hearings, not only would they not help you bring some heretofore unseen version of your best self forward, they would run distracting circles around you fretting that the sky really is falling. The real problem, though, is that many (most?) of them would panic that their access to all the goodies will be going bye-bye very, very soon. This is not a situation that bodes well for the public interest and it argues for quite dire consequences in the form of last-ditch efforts by those in your administration to milk and bilk the system out of every last possible dime they can get their greedy, grubby little hands on. I also wouldn’t put it past any of them not to deliberately sabotage things out of pure spite.

Then there’s the third issue that could put a fly in Drezner’s impeachment balm – the GOP, that mighty bulwark against reason, ethics, and the common good. Because your noxious fairy dust still has most registered Republican voters bonded to you in some weird Stockholm syndrome deal, by their bullshit calculations the GOP continues to have no choice but to alternately prostrate themselves before you and ask how high you want them to jump. So even if we had the best case scenario and you became a completely distracted nincompoop who could think of nothing but the impeachment proceedings (i.e., and didn’t impulsively lash out in life threatening ways), we have to factor in the very real threat that the GOP is going to act out like animals caught in a Leg-Hold Trap (this is the real name of a horribly cruel trap), ready to gnaw their own appendages clean off (in this case any morals or scruples they might still possess) to save their seats (asses). Additionally, with a hefty assist from you, the GOP will do its best to further inflame, rile and stoke fear and prejudice to rally the base even if it means conjuring incredible dark conspiracy tales and inciting violence. Thus, what a confused, frightened, angry, and vengeful base might do in the face of impeachment proceedings is factor number four that Drezner’s argument leaves out.

So impeachment, like aging, is clearly not for cowards. But like aging, impeachment is really the best available alternative and we are just going to have to brace ourselves for the theatrics, hysterics, and very real dangers that will be coming at us from all sides.

May we be safe as we take the high road and pursue impeachment.
May we be willing to take a stand for democracy and the rule of law.
May we see that not taking such a stand could well deal democracy a mortal blow.
May you not start a war.

Tracy Simpson

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