The level of public support for impeaching Trump has just about reached the point that it was when President Nixon was threatened with impeachment — an interesting sign. That said, pundits warn that impeachment talk is dangerous for Democrats because it’s impossible with Republicans in charge of Congress and because impeaching Trump would split the country down the middle.
Trump voters are sticking with their man regardless of what he does or doesn’t do.
I’m not generally in favor of impeaching Trump, because I think Pence looks more normal and might be harder to defeat in 2020. Pence is a wholly owned creature of the Koch brothers, and his views on women place him somewhere in the past century — no improvement in my view. Plus, while he’s ambitious politically, he’s not very smart. He was struggling in Indiana after pushing through a religious freedom law widely seen as discriminatory against the LGBTQ community and was forced by Indiana business leaders to backtrack.
I’d rather see Democrats regain control of Congress and be able to constrain what Trump is able to do until he can be defeated in 2020.
Trump in office isn’t about the normal Republican-Democratic divide. Reasonable people can disagree about the amount of stimulus needed in the economy, for example, or how large the defense budget ought to be. Trump is a litmus test for defining the soul of America. He’s a litmus test for basic human decency. A friend recently shared with me that she was the subject of a violent torrent of abuse from an uncle of her husband’s at a family dinner, when she defended the children taken from their parents at the border. My friend is a therapist; she has both personal and professional grounds for her opinion. No matter. Trump forces rise in cult-like defense of their man. This divide is highly personal, and there is no middle ground.
While I agree that impeaching Trump with Republicans in control of Congress is a non-starter — and may not be a good idea anyway — I don’t agree that impeachment talk or action is too polarizing. We’re already too polarized, costing friendships and family relationships.
There can be, and surely will be, more fuel added to this fire during the remainder of the Trump administration. But there is no compromise with a political stance built on stoking white fears about people of color, immigrants, and an increasingly globalized world. The social fabric of the country is already torn, and the damage is done even if Trump were gone tomorrow.