Unless You Start Arresting People, Impeachment Is the Only Play Left for Congress

Every single goddamned day that we're cursed to live through in this stupid, dangerous era, the President of the United States, who really is Donald Trump, does or says something or has something revealed that he deserves to be impeached over. Whether it's seriously threatening to commit genocide in Iran, demanding that his political opponents be investigated and jailed, pardoning war criminals, or the fuckery with Deutsche Bank, as well as his ongoing refusal to comply with any congressional investigations, Trump, who looks like a sack of rats that got blasted with an exploding orange dye pack, commits more high crimes and misdemeanors with each passing moment.

But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not just dismissed talk of impeachment proceedings in her chamber, she is actively trying to squelch it in her caucus. She said not impeaching is doing the work Americans want: "This is not about politics; it's about what's best for the American people" and "This isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the strength we need to have to see things through." That's right. It's patriotic to leave a madman in power without challenging him in the strongest possible way.

Look, Pelosi has accomplished a shit-ton for progressive goals. But we can separate out good from bad, we can criticize, goddamnit, and I gotta say: I don't get her game on this. Pelosi and some other Democrats said that an impeachment inquiry would distract from the economic and legislative agenda of the party. Except there is no agenda that can be accomplished while Trump hangs over everything. And if Pelosi is hoping to kick the can down the road and hope that Trump won't win reelection, well, Hillary Clinton has a bunch of dusty inauguration swag she can sell you.

Hakeem Jeffries, the New York representative who is the head of the Democratic Caucus, said, "We did not run on impeachment, we did not run on collusion ... so logic suggests that we should carry forward with the agenda that we communicated to the American people." Except that, once again, it's a fundamental misread of the electorate. Democrats may not have run on impeachment, but they absolutely ran on being a check on Trump.

And many of them ran specifically on going after Trump's criminality. To most people not versed in the nuances of congressional power, the 2018 campaign read as "impeach the motherfucker" and they voted with that in mind. If Democrats fail to follow through, it's gonna piss off some voters. It's like saying to your kids that you're going on vacation to the most wonderful place on earth where they'll get to see a mouse. They're gonna fuckin' think it's Disney World, for good goddamn reason. If it turns out to be Mee-Maw's old rodent-ridden house in Dubuque, shit's gonna get messy on the drive.

You can say that we don't know what Pelosi and the House leadership are up to. You can say that we mortals are too puny to understand the zillion-dimensional chess that's being played. Except almost every time someone says that, it turns out that the shit that's going in is exactly the shit we see.  There is no greater purpose to understand. There is no other dimension and we're just playing a frantic game of motherfuckin' checkers.

Right now, impeachment is the only play left for Congress, unless the House Democrats are willing to arrest people like Don McGahn and even William Barr for failing to show up for subpoenaed testimony or Steve Mnuchin for not turning over Trump's taxes. Even then, Trump would let everyone go to jail to protect his lying, voluminous ass. Besides, what happens after they do testify? Oh, right. Fucking impeachment.

By not impeaching, by allowing the president to order his lackeys and even ex-lackeys to defy subpoenas, Pelosi is letting Trump get away with a level of audacious corruption that would make Boss Tweed blush. Embedded in Pelosi's refusal to go down impeachment road is a belief in the better angels of democracy. Those angels never existed. And if they did, Trump would have pulled their wings off and grabbed 'em by their pussies, daring anyone to stop him.

His actions demand action. Trump brought this on. He is not the victim in this story, no matter how much he whines that he is. He is the villain. Treat him like one.

(Note: I've talked before about why your objection that the Senate will refuse to remove Trump from office is bullshit. So I'm not going into that here, except to say that impeachment is an end in itself.)