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Margaret Valenti writes on the impeachment inquiry and whether or not the Democrats will come out on top and finally remove President Trump from office via impeachment — which would be a first for U.S. history.
Actions made by President Trump forced the democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry. There were many pushing for impeachment for quite some time, but it reached a breaking point. With the obvious abuses of power President Trump seems to be openly admitting and even encouraging, the last straw before an impeachment would be considered. However, Trump’s media coverage is at an all-time high, creating doubt as to how effective an impeachment would be and who would come out on top in the battle between the White House and Congress.
However much Trump wants to claim that he is interested in the truth, he knows that the allegations against Biden and his son, Hunter, have barely any merit. Trump must know that, prior to Biden’s involvement as Vice President with Ukraine, there was an inquiry into the conflicts of interest that may have existed given his son’s position on the board of a Ukrainian corporation. Biden was cleared of conflicts and permitted to act on behalf of the US government in dealing with the political unrest in Ukraine. These feeble attempts to dig up dirt on his opponent while garnering negative publicity for himself seems an odd choice to make for the President of the United States.
Unless, of course, he wants the attention that an impeachment proceeding will get him to keep himself in the spotlight of the 24 hour news cycle and further his campaign.
Despite the rumors that the Republican party’s loyalties are divided, there is no guarantee that Trump will be removed from office via impeachment. To be exact, the odds are against it.
Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were the only two U.S. Presidents ever impeached in the House, but the Senate ultimately overturned the ruling which kept them both in office for the remainder of their terms.
One could argue that Nixon was about to be impeached and removed from office if he did not resign, but no one will ever know that for a fact — the votes were never tallied. Such a bipartisan effort seems nearly impossible in the current political climate. So, are we truly on the verge of impeachment? Or, are the Democrats playing into Trump’s reelection campaign strategy which may rely on the extensive media coverage of the impeachment hearings?
The problem with the duality of politics in the U.S. is that there are two sides constantly at odds with each other. Any person who is able to accomplish anything bipartisan in the government seems as if they triumphed against all odds. Trump obviously wants to keep it that way, to make bipartisan politics in the U.S. nearly impossible to navigate, especially for the Democrats.
During an impeachment, the President will be able to make sure that bipartisan politics reach fever pitch. He already has through outrageous tweets and press conferences. Trump has called the investigation a“witch hunt garbage” and “Presidential harassment.” Instead of just stating that the truth will prevail, he has worked his supporters into a frenzy. Giving just cause for further divisiveness in our county, Trump has continued to fuel the flames of bipartisan political rivalry.
Many people would call Trump an idiot, and while he is certainly a person who is hard to wrap one’s head around, he is certainly not an idiot. To underestimate Trump is a terrible mistake. It is perhaps why the Democrats avoided impeachment for so long. An attempt at the impeachment of Donald Trump could easily turn into Celebrity Apprentice, impeachment addition.
No Other Options For Republicans
Even with all of the evidence piling up against him, it is very likely that Trump will emerge from this impeachment inquiry, not quite unscathed but still the President of the United States with what he hopes is a better chance at another term. How much the inquiry hurts or helps his reelection chances against the Democratic candidates is unclear. With the White House stalling as much as possible, impeachment will be a painstakingly slow process and Trump will likely continue to provide more evidence against himself. However, those who support Trump, even now, are likely to support him to the very end, regardless of the consequences.
While it seems nearly impossible that the Republicans could still sit by Trump, the reality is that the political climate could not be more tense. More than anything, the Republicans do not want a Democratic President. Simply put, none of the other Republican candidates seem viable. Theoretically, the Republicans could stand behind Mike Pence, but Pence is also a liability. Though it is highly unlikely Pence will also be impeached, his association with Trump would taint him regardless considering his involvement in the whistleblower scandal and his steadfast support of Trump.
Will Impeachment Succeed?
Trump puts Republicans in a weird spot. It is hard to say how many people simply support Trump to keep their political careers afloat or because they genuinely agree with him. While there are Republicans who opposed Trump in the past and those who now reject him, the official count as to who is loyal and who is not remains unknown. Many surmise that Trump will be the death of the Republican party. However, considering the number of hurdles that need to be crossed for Trump to be impeached and removed from office and considering how many Trumpian scandals the Republican party lived through already, we probably will not see the end of the party based solely on Trump’s actions.
Certainly, Democrats are playing it close to the chest in their attempts to impeach Trump. The success of the impeachment inquiry, especially the testimonies, will be crucial in swaying political opinion for or against removal by impeachment. Last time the Democrats tried this tactic was Mueller’s testimony. Many argued that his testimony did not help the Democrats sway opinion against Trump as much as they hoped it might.
With this impeachment gaining momentum, the chance to try again is looming over their heads. In such a historic moment as this one, one can only hope the Democrats get it right this time and hit Trump where it hurts. Maybe they can turn the tide, but they need to hit hard, ask important questions, and most importantly catch Trump off guard. Get him to eat his own words. Ultimately, playing it tough is the only way the Democrats may turn the tide. However, the move may backfire like it did with Mueller’s testimony. Once again, Trump will own the cameras and the media and there will be almost nothing the Democrats can do to change that.
As each party plays their cards in preparation for the impeachment process, the only question that remains is who will have the winning hand in the end.