It would be unwise for Democrats to push for Donald Trump’s impeachment process. If Democrats want to reap longtime political benefits, they should hope that the U.S. president remains at the helm for a longer time.
This is not the first time a U.S. president has an air of a possible impeachment around him. Republicans thought Barack Obama should be impeached, and almost all Democrats wanted it for George W. Bush as well. However, there is a tiny difference between what happened with previous presidents and what is going on with Donald Trump.
When Republicans demanded Obama’s impeachment, it was 2014. Barack Obama had already spent six years in the White House since he won office. Democrats demanded Bush’s impeachment in 2006. Bush too spent six years into his presidency by that time. However, Trump’s political rivals have been talking about his impeachment right after he took office in January 2017.
According to a May 16 survey by Public Policy Polling, 48 percent voters are in favor of Donald Trump’s impeachment, while 41 percent are against it. At this moment, a number of Democrats are trying to start Donald Trump’s impeachment process. But, it can be politically dangerous for Democrats. Here’s why.
If Democrats push for Donald Trump’s impeachment process now, it will remain a politically motivated action. At least, that is what Trump supporters and most Republicans would believe. Constitutionally, there are not enough reasons to start the impeachment process against the U.S. president at the moment.
If such efforts start, Trump supporters would consider it as a coup to dethrone the Republican leaders and to denounce their policies. According to the Democracy Alliance founder Rob Stein, possibilities of Trump’s impeachment would get stronger only “if new information from the special prosecutor or Trump himself erodes support among those who voted for him in 2016,” the New York Times reported.
This Texas congressman just made the first office call for Donald Trump’s impeachment. pic.twitter.com/cWSkXAbgWu
— Mic (@mic) May 17, 2017
At this moment, it is unlikely for Trump to be removed from office, because it’d require a two-thirds majority in the Senate in favor of that. However, things may change if Republicans start considering Donald Trump as a liability even in red states. According to FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, the disapproval rating for a U.S. president increases soon after he gets elected. Voters, who backed him initially with the benefit of doubt, start being skeptical about his performance in the first month or so. There is a chance that, by pushing for Donald Trump’s impeachment process, Democrats are underestimating the real estate mogul’s resilience.
A few of the House Republicans are aware that there could be grounds for Donald Trump’s impeachment, if some of the allegations against him are proven true. Walter Jones of North Carolina, Justin Amash of Michigan, and Carlos Curbelo of Florida are some of those Republicans.
However, there might be a conservative backlash, if Congress launches Donald Trump’s impeachment process. Democrats can only enjoy a short-term gain with Trump’s impeachment, just like they did during the Nixon impeachment.
Democrats should not push for Donald Trump’s impeachment, since it will only make Republicans more united. In case Trump did get impeached, the next step for Republicans would be to push Mike Pence as the presidential prospect. The presidential candidate that Democrats opted for over Bernie Sanders did not have a high approval rate among the Americans either.
The fact that Congress called for impeachment of Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/XrdBh5y4gj
— Eazy E (@___MrSarcasm) May 18, 2017
The last humans alive finally celebrate the retrospective impeachment of Donald Trump. Washington, 2027. pic.twitter.com/cVfZ14P1hQ
— Histry in Pictures (@Histreepix) May 17, 2017
That is why, instead of pushing for Donald Trump’s impeachment, Democrats should leave him where he is and expect him to make many more mistakes during his presidency. That will make their prospect much brighter in 2020, provided Democrats have a strong candidate to back that up.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]