In his opening statement on Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tried his best to position the House Democrats (and himself) as the guardians of oversight, democracy, and the United States itself. Using colorful, powerful language, Schiff made the case that, without the good work being done by his committee, President Donald Trump would simply be able to get away with any crime he chose to commit. If you didn’t know better, you might come away from Schiff’s statement actually respecting what the Democrats are trying to do in Washington right now.
Unfortunately for Schiff, we do know better. This impeachment inquiry is less about exercising constitutional oversight and more about executing a coup.
First of all, let’s not forget that this “impeachment inquiry” didn’t just materialize out of the blue. Democrats like Rep. Al Green of Texas have been calling for the president’s impeachment since the day he was inaugurated. When Dems took the House majority last November, a growing chorus of lawmakers began joining Green on his quest to throw the president out of office. The reason? Interchangeable – Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, hiring Steve Bannon, shutting down the government over the Wall money, firing Jim Comey, saying nasty stuff about Jeff Sessions on Twitter, you name it.
Now we’re expected to believe that, having been committed to working with this president all along, the Democrats were shocked to their core by the whistleblower’s complaint. They had nothing against Trump. They wanted to defeat him in next year’s election, of course, but they surely didn’t want to impeach him, perish the thought! But…but, what else could they do, faced with these circumstances?
Please. They’ve wanted this moment since the first day of Trump’s presidency. It was the weakness of the 2020 Democratic field that made impeachment a sudden imperative, not anything having to do with Ukraine. Nancy Pelosi took a look at that stage filled with senile bumblers, socialist radicals, and child mayors, and said, “Okay, that’s enough. We’re going to have to do this ourselves.”
And that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.
The Democrats’ “case” for impeachment – such that it can even be called that – is built on a neverending system of hearsay, he-said, she-said, and speculation. Ambassador William Taylor actually admitted publicly that he got some of his “bombshell” information not from Trump, not from his colleagues in the administration, but from an article in The New York Times. The whistleblower is in hiding, the Republicans have handcuffs on, and the military aid at the center of this whole charade was released three months ago. It’s a joke.
But it’s not a funny joke. It is an attempted coup that imperils not just the Trump presidency but our entire democracy. It needs to end, and it needs to end decisively.