Elizabeth Warren is first 2020 candidate to call for Trump's impeachment

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/19/elizabeth-warren-is-first-2020.html


Thank you Elizabeth Warren, for saying the words.
Thank you, @GinaLoukareas for posting this.
Let there be light–the light of truth.

Calling all fellow Americans:
Please don’t give up hope.
Let us engage our U.S. senators in every way possible to remind them of their obligations here and now, just as we will remember them in November.

Find our allies.
What is the work in front you?

And don’t forget to take regular breaks.
Some dance music:

I have a dream.

… we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
… It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.


I suspect the leadership in Congress is playing it safe for strategic reasons - it will be that much more damning if they act reluctant, and say the President forced their hands.

Warren is also staking out a strategic position as the first to demand impeachment. It’s a little risky, but not very. She doesn’t need to be too worried about losing Republican votes, and acts like this can push a candidate over the top in the primaries. A lot of Obama’s nomination was because he opposed the AUMF…


Bill Palmer has an interesting take on why the Dem leadership imay be holding back;

Are they actually that organized? Time will tell, I suppose.


You think Pelosi knows how to whip votes? Yea, I think they’re organized. In fact, I’d be willing to bet Warren ran her position by leadership before taking a stand. She didn’t survive for years in academia by giving her teammates the finger.

That was a smart article.


I would like to think it’s true, and that they are that crafty.


We should be clear about what she is saying - Elizabeth Warren is not demanding impeachment but rather calling for the start of impeachment hearings. There is a difference.


Maybe Palmer is right. Myself, I am a Warren supporter on most issues but I pray the Dems aren’t stupid enough to launch an unsuccessful impeachment. Pelosi is right for once: it’s a terrible idea. She’s old enough to remember the blowback from the Republicans’ attempt to impeach Clinton. A Dems-only impeachment would be perceived (rightly, I fear) as an ultra-partisan campaign to houndTrump out of office, making the Democrats appear just as corrupt as the Republicans and handing Trump a solid second term.

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Winning the presidency in the next election? Keeping the House and Senate? The democrats would dearly love to be in as “weak” a position as the Republicans were after their attempt. (And it’s not like a blowjob is the same as obstruction of justice and trying to conspire with American’s enemies for political gain…)

I mean maybe there would be some blowback, but maybe there wouldn’t. Maybe everyone who is definitely going to be alienated by it is going to vote Republican anyways (likely), or maybe there are some swing voters who could be convinced by the discussion that would be forced to happen as a result of impeachment proceedings. Maybe political calculations are secondary to standing up to this kind of authoritarian criminality.


I think the simplest explanation is probably the correct one: Democratic leadership doesn’t think they have enough support in the Senate to get Trump removed from office, and they’re worried that impeachment without removal from office would hurt them politically. And they have been part of the political machine long enough that they can’t conceive of any benefit to trying to hold the executive accountable for his actions unless it helps the Dems secure more power.


Blowback? I think that’s been over-hyped. Clinton’s last years in office were impacted more than Republican’s fortunes. He had a personal popularity bump, not a political influence bump.

There was no President Gore, and Republicans held onto substantial power for a decade.

The only person who lost their pre-impeachment-drive glow was Gingrich, but he rode it high while it lasted.


I do think there is a hidden source of gravity in the political behavior of the Republicans, ever since Trump was elected. Their movement doesn’t make sense. There were a bunch of Republicans who were vehemently anti-Trump who have flipped. There were many others who resigned/retired for no apparent reason. Why did Paul Ryan retire? He’s expressed no interest in running against Trump in the primary. He was arguably at the peak of his power with the passage of the Fuck-the-99% Tax Bill.

I still think there’s something deeper at the heart of it. Something that represents an existential threat to the whole party, and they know that if Trump goes down, they all go with him.


I think your experince of academia is quite a bit different from mine.


It really is a very strategic judgement call, isn’t it? Which course of action will damage Trump/benefit the Dems? A miscalculation could be disastrous. Call for impeachment too soon, and fall short of the goal, call for it too late, and be seen as too weak.


Treason is oddly infectious. Support a traitor like Trump and you become a traitor. Fail to resist a traitor like Trump when you have the power to do so and you again become a traitor. As far as I’m concerned, Senator Warren is just doing her duty. While it’s true that I will vote for any presidential candidate who isn’t Trump, I’ll only contribute to the campaigns of those who demand his rightful impeachment.


Honestly I’m leaning toward “simplest explanation” on that one too: they can’t see past the party’s short-term goals and they’re willing to risk destroying the GOP’s long-term viability if it means keeping the White House for a little bit longer.

Basically the same approach they are taking to climate change.


They very much need to walk a tight rope in terms of minimizing the impact of any accusations about their motives. No matter what Trump is going to call an impeachment politically motivated, the GOP is almost guaranteed to do so as well. But the DNC need to be cautious how they go about it so the minimum number of people believe said accusations.

Warren is only the first presidential candidate to demand impeachment. The party higher ups have been down playing it, but the recently elected progressives in the House and many State level officials have been regularly calling for impeachment for the last year. And the same brass that down plays impeachment has been defending those people’s right to demand impeachment and the validity of their concerns. So there’s a little creep going on there, with a few more people from a little higher up the ladder saying the i word with each step. In particular it seems those with campaigns going on are getting card blanche.

Yeah I don’t know that the DNC as a whole is all that organized. But Pelosi sure as shit is.

The bigger concern on that front is what it does in terms of turn out. It’s becoming increasingly clear that turnout is much more important than those “swing voters”. There aren’t many independents who don’t habitually vote for a given party. And with as polarized as things are its pretty hard to get people to cross party lines at the polls. But by attracting new voters, and getting as many of them to the polls as possible you can much more meaningfully shift the percentages.

The fear is that an impeachment running through the election, if it can be plausibly spun as a partisan attack, gives Trump something to galvanize supporters and drive them to actually register and vote. And a failed impeachment does that even more, while potentially suppressing left wing turn out as well.

The DNC can go gang busters attracting 10’s of thousands of “swing” voters, but it won’t much matter if the GOP can bring 100’s of thousands of strictly partisan folks to the the polls.

Of course impeachment could also galvanize left wing turn out for the DNC, and there’s probably a way to use even a failed impeachment to do that. It didn’t work, now we have to make sure to vote him out sort of thing.

Is it really standing up to it if there will be no consequences? And the criminality won’t stop? Because where we’re at right now the Senate will not convict, so Trump would stay in office. There’s no reason to believe his behavior and policies would change as a result. And unless that slim possibility of the DNC spinning that failure to an electoral benefit takes place, no consequences will result.

ETA: Its all going to come down to what the impact on public opinion and support for Trump and the GOP look like. What moves those things, and how much. The Mueller Report hasn’t been out long enough to see impact on polls, approval ratings and what have. Or even get a proper read on broad public opinion. And house committees have been subpoenaing unrelated stuff that could have impacts all week. We haven’t really seen the investigation cannon go off yet, House leadership were hitting the “let Mueller finish first” drum while they set things up.


This is fan service. The only risk to Warren was not being first to call for impeachment hearings.


I don’t think there’s any way Democrats can get a conviction in the Senate. That would entail flipping (at least) all of the 21 Republican senators up for election in 2020, including McConnell.

What they might have in mind is causing a trial to be ongoing during the 2020 campaign. That would obviously put Turmp’s campaign in a bad position, and it would be a whole other political calculation for Republican senators in Class 2.

If they postpone the trial (assuming they could legally do so), that risks a backlash, and makes impeachment the only issue in every Senate race: you have to choose between pissing off Turmp voters or pissing off people who expect you to try the case fairly.

But if they start the trial and have it run through November, then it’s less of a direct issue for senate campaigns because they won’t be able to comment on the verdict.