The possibility of a Donald Trump impeachment is a subject upon which Tulsi Gabbard says she is doing her homework.
But the congresswoman from Hawaii warned constituents that should Trump be forced to step down as a result of the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, it could be a Pyrrhic victory for her fellow Democrats and liberal/progressives.
In federal office since 2013, Gabbard represents her state’s Second Congressional District in the Honolulu area. She is also a Major in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served a tour of duty in Iraq.
Obviously ambitious given her high visibility in the media, the Democrat’s mention of the “I” word is somewhat surprising since she is usually measured and somewhat more bipartisan in her public comments, although she may have been just trying to placate the anti-Trump people in the audience.
A Bernie Sanders supporter in Election 2016, Gabbard has often forged a path different from the Democratic Party hierarchy. She was a non-supporter of the recent airstrike on the Syrian airbase, describing it as reckless and expressing skepticism at one point that the Syrian government was actually behind the poison gas attack. This prompted criticism her way from other Democrats; she also created controversy over a secret visit to Syria in January to meet with President Bashar Assad.
Like National Front leader Marine Le Pen, the French presidential candidate, Rep. Gabbard apparently believes that an investigation into which group was actually responsible for chemical weapons attack should have come first.
In a town hall meeting in Hilo in which the subject of a Donald Trump impeachment came up, Rep. Gabbard acknowledged that she is studying up on that scenario. However, she warned voters about the alternative to Trump, the Washington Free Beacon and several other news outlets reported.
“On the issue of impeachment, I am doing my homework. I am studying more about the impeachment process. I will just say I understand the calls for impeachment, but what I am being cautious about, and what I give you food for thought about, is that if President Trump is impeached, the problems don’t go away, because then you have a Vice President Pence who becomes President Pence.”
Rep. Gabbard described Pence as “about as hawkish as they come” and someone with whom she disagrees with on many issues. Given Pence’s connections on Capitol Hill as a former congressman from Indiana, Pence might be more effective in moving a legislative agenda than Trump, a newcomer to politics, Gabbard cautioned.
Should a president be impeached, the order of succession is the vice president, followed by the speaker of the house (Paul Ryan), the president pro tempore of the Senate (Orrin Hatch), and then the secretary of state (Rex Tillerson), all of whom are Republicans. The line of succession continues with the remainder of Trump’s cabinet. Despite fantasy storylines put forth by Trump foes, in no reasonable scenario would a Democrat succeed to the presidency before the next national election.
Tulsi Gabbard met with then-President-elect Trump at Trump Tower during the transition to discuss foreign policy issues and was rumored to be under consideration for a position in his administration.
Many Trump supporters who back his America First agenda were dismayed by the Syrian airstrike, although the disillusionment seems to have dissipated as Trump continues to move forward with his domestic agenda. As a candidate, and years before the campaign, President Trump railed against getting U.S. military forces involved in Middle East quagmires such as Iraq, Libya, or Syria, interventions which ultimately led to the rise of ISIS and failures of attempts at regime change.
Apart from putting U.S. forces in harm’s way to intervene in a no-win, long-running civil war between the Syrian government and ISIS-backed rebels, in which there are no good guys, a World War 3 confrontation with Syria’s benefactor Russia could be the result.
Both President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis have vowed that there will be no ground troops sent to Syria, however. Both officials insist that ISIS remains the primary target in that country.
Some skeptics/conspiracy theorists argue that the poison gas attack which prompted the U.S. missile strike was staged by ISIS-backed rebels rather than committed by the Syrian government as a way to drag the military into the conflict and weaken Assad’s regime.
During the presidential campaign, also-ran Hillary Clinton was depicted as a warmonger anxious to get into a confrontation with Russia by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and others on the progressive end of the spectrum.
Do you think that it is going to be really necessary for Tulsi Gabbard to study up on the Donald Trump impeachment process?
[Featured Image by Ajit Solanki/AP Images]