The Trump administration has continually been rocked by scandals. Most recently, a radical batch of newly-elected congressional members are pushing the charge for impeachment over things like obstruction of justice. From the beginning with Maxine Waters until now, calls for impeachment are favorite pastimes of the minority party…and they are almost always impotent.
The Clinton impeachment and the words of Nancy Pelosi downplaying impeachment even as she says Trump is unqualified shows a great deal about why impeachment is a nonstarter, regardless of the validity of the current scandals. Despite Bill Clinton’s perjury, most Americans viewed the impeachment as a partisan matter. The Republican-led House voted for impeachment, but the Democratic-led Senate voted against it, with several Republicans defecting. The Republicans suffered politically in the next midterm elections because most of the country tuned out to the hyper-partisan bickering; they wanted their politicians to enact meaningful legislation and reform, not spend their time arguing. Bill Clinton finished his full term and is viewed relatively well by historians. The Republican-led Senate and House in 2017 will not vote for impeachment unless there are Watergate levels of corruption.
The increasingly shrill arguments from Washington will likely mean that more and more Americans will tune out the controversy. Because Democrats have made every Trump-oriented event, from ending the funding for PBS to a phone call to Taiwan, into the worst offenses, it’s tough for Americans to care two years later about the latest scandal of the week. Trump may have committed mistakes, but those pursuing him are doing so in such a partisan way that talk of impeachment will continue to stall. The political realities of impeachment make it very difficult to implement, but sadly it won’t stop politicians from grandstanding and pontificating on the matter as they self-righteously call for it.