The Judiciary Committee Votes to Impeach: And Some Election Update

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This was not a surprise. It was kind of a whimper. After twelve plus hours, Chairman Jerry Nadler delayed the vote. And this was a strategic decision. Republicans kept throwing all they could to slow down the process. They were hoping for a midnight vote, which would be fodder for commercials. Nor were any of them intend to vote for either article.

This was no surprise, that it was down party lines.

“Today is a solemn and sad day. For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House will act expeditiously.” Said the chairman after the vote.

Democrats acted as the moment demanded. It is a serious event, and the president will be impeached before the year is out. He will be the first president to seek reelection after impeachment. Moreover, there is no way the Senate will convict. In fact, Leader Mitch McConnell is coordinating with the White House legal team. He also joked on Fox News that he kept all of President Barack Obama’s nominees to the bench off. In fact, McConnell blocked all he could. His leadership has been damaging to the Republic.

You can watch it here.

The president in the meantime has been rage tweeting all morning. He will not face the music in the sense of facing removal from office, but he is keeping his base in a lather. As of now, the president’s actions regarding Ukraine are rejected by large majorities, and a slim one believes he should be removed from office.

There is also a small movement, how significant it is we will find out, of moderate Republicans who vow to not vote for their party in 2020. In fact, they will vote blue, no matter who, at all levels of government. They realize their party was taken over by malignant cancer, (Greed and racism if we are to mention it, with a dash of populist nationalism.)

However, some are leaving the party and joining the Dems, which may have an effect on who gets the nomination. History shows that centrists in the United States who promise the status quo, do not do well in moments of crisis. At least that is recent history, but the results of the elections in the United Kingdom will give them ammo to make the argument that against Donald Trump the party needs to run a moderate center-right candidate.

While the impeachment will happen, if Dems surrender to that pressure and nominate a status quo neoliberal, they will lose to Trump since we are still living in that populist moment. Hillary Rodham Clinton was a terrible candidate and I hear ya, but she got more popular votes. Yes, and don’t forget the Electoral College. Until we get a direct democracy, (ok, that was really funny) having more votes and not winning the electoral college will still not get you the White House.

Where those votes matter, people are angry at the status quo, which has taken away jobs and opportunities. Yes, California will vote blue no matter who. Now if Texas goes blue, that will start to change the electoral college math. These voters are not blaming the rise of the robots for their plight. They are blaming immigrants, and trade treaties. And since Democrats are signing on to NAFTA II, they will be blamed for the results as well. Oh never mind that they held on their vote until they could get some protections for those same exact workers. However, those protections will not apply to robots.

It is time for Democrats to start exploring how the economy is changing. Here is where Andrew Yang comes in. He gets it. He knows why jobs, in the millions, are disappearing. Some times it takes an outsider to point out what should be obvious to policymakers. (No, this is not an endorsement, incidentally. There are many reasons to consider the Yang candidacy as nuts as the Trump one was in 2015. And yes, experience with the system is part of it.)

Partly we cannot deal with these very real issues because we have a party that is exploiting the fear, and raising it to eleven. While the other party is unable to discuss the underlying factors for the anger.

Make no mistake. Impeaching the president is a big deal. But now we enter the main electoral season, and how Democrats react to the anger in the heartland will be critical. Nothing less than the Republic is at stake.

After all, the acceptance of authoritarian rule by Republicans should concern all of us. In my mind, we are one step away from the end of the Republic. Yes, it is that serious. But we also must understand that this is not just a party. People want this, and until we deal with the underlying reasons, we will continue to live in this crisis.

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