For Trump to be impeached and removed from office, 67 Senators would have to vote in favor of impeachment; assuming no Democrats voted against impeachment, the only way Trump could be impeached is if every single 2018 Senate election was won by a Democrat, and nine Republican Senators voted in favor of impeachment.
That is not going to happen.
Bill Scher thinks we're still talking about impeachment because it's a form of "virtue signaling," which is probably partially true. But it's also true that Trump has no executive function at all and it's trivial to put him on tilt, and when he's on tilt, he does stupid shit that costs him supporters, undermines Republicanism, demoralizes potential Republican voters, and blows up his attempts to make regulations and convince Congress to pass legislation.
It's also true that Trump unleashed boosts and energizes his base of racist, violent fools, of course.
So while it's true that Trump won't be impeached, ever, ever, ever, keeping impeachment in play is arguably not entirely useless.
And yet, the prospect of impeachment may well be front and center in the midterm elections. Two recent polls show that while a small majority of voters do not want to see House impeachment hearings, at least 7 out of 10 Democrats do. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer is trying to give voice to that Democratic base sentiment by hosting 30 pro-impeachment town halls across the country. A handful of Democratic congressional primary candidates are running on impeachment, including at least two—Florida’s Mary Barzee Flores and California’s Andy Thorburn—airing TV ads to that end. Republicans are more eager than Democrats to discuss impeachment, as they want to wake up a lethargic conservative base with alarmist predictions of what a Democratic House might do.
Most Democratic candidates may prove reluctant to take a stance, but they still will be dogged by impeachment questions on the campaign trail, especially if the special counsel’s investigation concludes before Election Day and reveals incriminating evidence of crimes committed by the president. Many voters will go to the polls thinking their ballot may decide whether or not the president gets impeached.
But if the impeachment push has no endgame, then why keep talking about it? It’s virtue-signaling to progressives, the ultimate proof of one’s Resistance bona fides. That can be useful in a crowded primary—be it 2018 or 2020—to rally a niche constituency. But those voters being wooed with impeachment talk should not be fooled: It is just talk, much like Republicans’ endless calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act during the Obama years.
Forget About Impeaching Trump [Bill Scher/Politico]