A big question: why do Democrats want to impeach Trump?

Summary: This is one of the big questions. The answer reveals much about the Democratic Party, our politics, America’s peril – and shows the path to a better future.

Another innocent Democratic angel fighting evil.

From the "The Art of Alice in Madness Returns" by R. J. Berg
From The Art of Alice: Madness Returns by R. J. Berg.

Question sent from one of our sharpest readers: “Why are the House Democrats starting impeachment proceedings?”

Why, indeed? The Democrats have a majority in the House, so they can impeach Trump. But the Republican-dominated Senate will never convict him. Their obsession with investigating Trump has produced nothing (6 committees are still working on it), has probably given them not a single new vote for 2020, and has not affected Trump’s poll numbers. If the public cared about impeachment, the major news media would run headlines about the polls every single day.

On the other hand, impeachment proceedings will pump up Trump’s base. Worse for the Dems, I suspect that voters want leaders who will govern America, addressing our serious and growing problems – not elected officials on a mad quest to catch a white whale.

Update: After Pelosi announced that the formal impeachment process had begun, Republicans say that in 24 hours they received small donations totaling five million dollars.

Look at the larger picture of the modern Democratic Party in action. The only reason the Democrats’ presidential candidates have not burned themselves to cinders is that the major news media does not clearly report what they’re saying (see my notes about their first debate; the others were even more bizarre). While some of their goals have broad support, many of their proposals are from the Left fringe (polls carefully ask about their benefits, but seldom mention their costs and risks). This is potentially another McGovern Moment (I should © this). The Democrats ran George McGovern for president in the 1972 election. He carried one State (Massachusetts), received 37% of the popular vote, and carried 134 counties (a record low). This landslide had little effect on the House or Senate elections.

Why are the Democrats doing so many apparently self-destructive things?

My guess: they have developed epistemic closure: a self-contained social system in which people’s thinking is unaffected by criticism of their logic or fact by those outside the circle. This was first described by Julian Sanchez in a 2010 essay.

“Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!) This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile.”

Back in the halcyon days of 2010, epistemic closure was real among the conservative ranks but only as performance art by conservative elites.

“The New York– and D.C.-based conservatives who staff the movement’s think tanks, magazines, and advocacy shops don’t in fact inhabit a different universe from their liberal counterparts.  They all read the New York Times and drink lattes and go to parties together. There’s some clustering, to be sure, but nobody acts like they really believe the folks on the other side are insidious hellspawn. The pose is for the benefit of the base, who – not because they’re conservative, but because they aren’t urban media professionals – are likely to draw on a narrower range of trusted news and opinion sources.”

Now it is real on both sides of the ideological spectrum, from the hinterlands to our imperial capital and from top to bottom. Many on the Left and Right live in self-imposed bubbles, defined by whom they talk to, watch, and read. Untethered from reality, these bubbles detach from reality and float away. This was a commonplace in San Francisco (I have not found anything like it in Iowa). At a dinner circa 2005, a brilliant and highly educated woman (Ivy league BA and MBA) told us that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to establish a fascist dictatorship in California. She wasn’t kidding.

Similarly, I recall (but can’t find the post) that after the election Erik Loomis (assoc prof of history, Uof Rhode Island) wrote at Guns, Lawyers, and Money that Trump would put his enemies (like himself) in prisons (or concentration camps). Many on the Left still warn that Trump will ignore the next election and use force to remain our Leader (e.g., Slate, of course).

Talking with these people, whether Left or Right (e.g., extreme Libertarians, gun nuts), is useless. My impression is that their numbers are growing. Growing fast. If so, it’s just more evidence that the bolts are popping out of American society. We are entering into ClownWorld, the next phase of the Crazy years. The extremes rule, while those in the middle are apathetic and passive. I do not know how much time we have to retake the reins of America.

Other posts about impeachment

Irrespective of the effect on Trump, it might be the political reform we need to restrain the imperial presidency.

  1. Trump’s foes might give America a new & better government.
  2. The GOP might impeach Trump, changing our politics forever – for the better.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

A fun recent example of the delusional state of American politics: allegedly Republican Presidential candidate Bill Weld says that Trump is obviously guilty of treason and that death “is the only penalty” for treason under the Constitution. Both false. Details here.

For analysis of today’s impeachment mania, I recommend Raúl Ilargi Meijer’s column at Automatic Earth: Desperate Democrats Dig Deep.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about impeachment, about the left wing of US politics, about the Democratic Party, about ways to reform America, about Russiagate, and especially these…

  1. The Democrats will open the borders & make a New America.
  2. The Left goes full open borders, changing America forever.
  3. Visions of America if the Left wins.
  4. 2020 will continue the revolution that Trump began.
  5. Election 2020 will be about open borders & America’s future.
  6. The Left crushes the alt-Right, but Darwin might bring them to power – an alternative future, if the Right comes alive.
  7. Trump promised to rebuild America but did nothing – To Trump, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.
  8. Campaign 2020 shows who will mold America’s future.

Recommended books about the Republic’s peril

The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic by Eric Posner, professor of law at U of Chicago — He advocates an imperial presidency, the opposite of the path described in this post. It puts us on the fast track to the fall of the Constitution.

Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide by Cass R. Sunstein, professor of law at Harvard (2017). A measured and comprehensive look at this critical and seldom discussed (until recently) subject.

Executive Unbound
Available at Amazon.
Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide
Available at Amazon.

16 thoughts on “A big question: why do Democrats want to impeach Trump?”

  1. Today’s nitpick. Last sentence, 2nd paragraph: This landslide HAD little effect on the House or Senate elections.

    LK: At a dinner circa 2005, a brilliant and highly educated woman (Ivy league BA and MBA) told us that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to establish a fascist dictatorship in California. She wasn’t kidding.

    At a dinner party 1972, brilliant and highly educated people were telling me that Nixon was going to establish a fascist dictatorship in the USA.

    Today, I am told by brilliant and educated people that Trump is trying to establish a fascist dictatorship in the USA.

    Some things never change. They are never kidding, just never right.

  2. The Man Who Laughs

    “He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I’ll chase him round the moons of Nibia, and round the Antares Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up!” And yeah, I know that the best lines in that movie were from Moby Dick, but Ricardo Montalban ,delivered them with more passion, fire, and malevolence than anyone before or since.

    I don’t think you’re factually wrong, you’re actually on very solid ground here. But this is epic. We’re beyond the rational to things that it takes art and literature to explain or describe. Why did Ahab chase the whale? Why did Commodore Decker go after the Planet Killer a second time? (Three counting the shuttlecraft). Trump wouldn’t have been hard to beat in 2016 and he would be even easier to beat today given his record of accomplishments. If you ask those voters in the Blue Wall states how to get them back, they’ll tell you. It’s just that easy. But this is obsession. It ended badly for Ahab, for Khan, and for Matt Decker.

    I could speculate about the motives of the Whistleblower, and who is doing what to whom, but it would be pointless. A nameless person made a complaint we have never seen, the veracity of which we cannot judge. So we’re gonna ram this shuttlecraft right down that thing’s throat.

    “To the last, I will grapple with thee…”

    1. The Man,

      Best use of literature, esp sci-fi, analogies that I’ve seen in a long time! Plus, an excellent analysis.

      Re: the whistleblower

      From what little we know, this is an attempt to throw chaff over the investigation of Biden’s efforts to help his son, which might uncover embarrassing or illegal actions. Also, the basis might be yet another Democrat or Leftist (depending on how it is conceptualized) manufacturing accusations against Trump. Which has been the pattern of these since he got the GOP nomination.

      Fox News:

      “A senior Trump administration official told Fox News late Tuesday that the administration will release a document showing the intelligence community inspector general found the whistleblower who leveled an explosive accusation against President Trump concerning his talks with Ukraine had “political bias” in favor of ‘a rival candidate’ of the president. …A source familiar with the matter told Fox News this week that the whistleblower had no firsthand knowledge of Trump’s July call with Zelensky.”

    2. Very well staged indeed. (I do adore the ‘Man who laughs’)
      However, the “White Whale” pursuit was based on nothing else but Revenge.
      As for the references to the “Sci-Fi” — I would rather commit to “42” as an answer.
      Dr. Roberts has a nice, to the point explanation of this “new” Ukraine-Gate:
      FM is correct in their assumptions, that the US of A are going somewhere-nowhere now…

      1. Jako,

        “I would rather commit to “42” as an answer.”

        Totally absurd. Current events are a conflict between powerful elites for dominance. There is nothing meaningless about it – as the joke from Douglas Adam’s books implies.

        RE: Adam Schiff’s coomment in Roberts’ article

        Under what rock has Roberts been living? Senior US government officials have been lying to us with increasing frequency since roughly 1960. For examples, see the Big List of Lies. They do this for the same reason parents tell stories to little children about Hell and the Easter Bunny: such stories are useful and believed.

        We like being lied to. We often hate people who shatter our delusions with truths. That’s why reconnecting with reality – seeing the world more clearly – is so high on my list of steps for the reform of American politics.

  3. Wait. Impeachment over a phone call to the Ukraine? I thought we spent millions of dollars and two years on Russia gate? Which is it?

    I get it they want to remove him but which is it?

    1. Sven,

      The Dems want to overturn the election, and will use whatever works to accomplish that. That is why this is so significant.

      This has broken an implicit barrier about the special nature of elections. The next time they – GOP or Dems – do it will be easier.

  4. Thanks for your posts–as always, a refreshing perspective and an informative overview. My question is why Trump’s alleged action with Ukraine is seen by anyone as an “abuse of power”. To be clearer, how is it any more of an abuse of power than US intervention in Ukraine to begin with, starting with the Obama administration’s support for the coup against the democratically elected government? How is Trump’s alleged interference in Ukraine any worse than what he is doing in Venezuela? Why do so few seem to even take note of such facets?

    1. Professor Forte,

      Thank you for commenting! As usual, you break through the surface to the heart of the matter.

      What you describe is a commonplace in political discussions in America today. We have narratives issued by our tribal leaders. Like the plot of a weekly TV show, it might contradict last week’s episode. But we live in the now, with politics just entertainment.

      What you describe would be considered a problem among citizens, who felt responsibility for the Republic. That anchors debates to reality, so they turn on questions of values and interests. In the America-that-once-was.

      Now we live amidst tribal truths. They differ from those of the others, but we need not listen to them because they are Others. To conservatives, Paul Krugman is an evil commie, not a Nobel laureate economists. To leftists, Roger Pielke Sr. is an evil denier, not one of the most distinguished living climate scientists.

      In brief, epistemic closure rules our politics. Self-contained bubbles, drifting off into fantasy. It makes us pleasant peasants, easy to rule.

  5. The coverup/pay-to-play/coup conspiracy will not end well for those who engaged in the felonious treasonous behavior whether they be in the U.S. deep state or public office, in another government, or outside government altogether. A holy reckoning is coming for the guilty which they shall not escape. God wills it.

  6. Roger H. Dahlstrom

    So Larry doesn’t get what America is talking about? Heh Heh! King David/Trump does. Its the thought gap between the no callus ever fancy words folk vs men who know real work, pride in working with Hands…what America still is in the hearts and souls of people in 85% of our Land [90% if one excludes Government enclaves, 700,000 empty Government buildings, and the National Parks and Forest reserves] [and bravery, and combat, and fisticuffs, and heroism, and the poor side of town] …. and those who don’t.

  7. What the hell is wrong with you people I am a patriot and veteran and a person who thinks trump is a crook and needs to be impeached. And if you idiots try to start a war you will lose and go to prison. And just because people donnot agree with the idiot you elected does not mean they are not patriots just the opposite.

    1. Ricky,

      “a person who thinks trump is a crook and needs to be impeached.”

      In America we require evidence to be convicted of a crime, not just rants and mobs. Do you have any? The Mueller team found nothing. The Ukraine hearings so far has shown us nothing but policy differences – as if bureaucrats should remove a president who disagrees with them – instead of vice versa (per the Constitution).

      “And if you idiots try to start a war”

      Wow. Quite a nutty rant. What in this talks about “starting a war”?

      “just because people donnot agree with the idiot you elected does not mean they are not patriots just the opposite.”

      What are you responding to? Nothing in this post.

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