Saturday, January 5, 2019

For Dems, Patience Is A Virtue

It's been three days since Democrats took control of the House, and while the toddler in chief continues to hunker down in his bunker at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nancy Pelosi has her first major test. And no, I don't mean the "controversy" over freshman rep Rashida Tlaib's use of the term "motherfucker" to describe Trump. Seriously, we have a president who bragged on tape about groping women's "pussies" and openly curses at his own rallies and we are worried about an admittedly inappropriate expletive. Get a life, people.

No, the real test for Pelosi is dealing with the hotheads in her caucus who want to move forward with impeaching Trump before Mueller issues his report and all the facts are known. Brad Sherman, on the first day of the new Congress, introduced articles of impeachment against Trump on the floor. He had done the same thing in 2017. And just like the former, this move, as expected, went nowhere.

Don't get me wrong, I want Trump out of office too, but there's a proper procedure that must be followed and jumping the gun, as some Democrats want to do, is not only imprudent, it will give Republicans the cover they need to close ranks around Trump at the worst possible time. Remember, impeachment in the House doesn't remove a president from office; only the Senate can do that. With Democrats currently holding 47 seats, they will need at least 20 Republicans to join them. The only hope of convincing them will be if they see that the House did their due diligence.

And the best and only way to do that is through a series of thorough and transparent committee investigations into Trump's financial dealings. I have been adamant that the thing that keeps this president up nights is the fear that the country will discover where he gets his money from. Subpoenaing his tax returns will remove any doubt as to whether he is compromised. Even some Republicans, who have forgiven a multitude of sins, will draw the line at Russian oligarchs funneling cash through the coffers of a sitting president.

And then there's Mueller. If he finds that there is sufficient evidence to issue articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice, collusion and / or money laundering, then, and only then, should Democrats proceed accordingly. Even if Mitch McConnell balks at moving forward in the Senate, the majority of the electorate will know what happened and that, far from being a witch hunt, the Russia investigation was a legitimate inquiry into a corrupt administration, and that will go a long way towards making the case for Democrats to retain the House and take back the Senate and White House in 2020.

They say that all good things come to those who wait. Democrats would be wise to heed those words in the weeks and months ahead.

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