By Erick Erickson
Impeachment is not a coup. Republicans have seized on the stupidest talking point to come out of the stupidest age in American politics. Impeachment is a constitutional process the Democrats have every right to start. But the Senate Republicans have every right to reject this as partisan gamesmanship, too. Impeachment is not a coup. It is political. Republicans are right to treat it as such.
You will have to excuse me if I am not in favor of throwing the President out of office over a phone call that amounted to nothing. A year ago, I would have taken this more seriously. But the nation is less than a year from the election. Democrats are not making an effort to persuade. They are making a political show, coordinated with a whistleblower and egged on by an American media that has been demanding impeachment since the President’s inauguration.
I have a hard time trusting the media to give fair analysis on this subject. As a nation, we have collectively watched respected journalists lose their minds over the past three years because President Donald Trump broke them. Firing James Comey would end him. Robert Mueller would end him. The Cabinet would exercise the 25th amendment. The GOP would stand up to him. Joe Walsh would beat him. Every wet spaghetti noodle of an accusation has been hurled at the White House wall to see what might stick to take out Orange Man Bad.
Democrat holdovers from the Obama administration have ruthlessly leaked to try to undermine the President’s agenda. The Supreme Court has continually had to stop federal judges appointed by Barack Obama from overstepping their authority to undermine the President’s agenda. Democrats have convinced themselves Russia stole the election and the President is illegitimate; therefore, anything to stop him is fair game.
Why should anyone take an impeachment process seriously when it is led by these people and pontificated on by the press, both of whom have had a multiyear agenda of ending this presidency?
Concurrently, why should anyone have faith in the President to not do what he is doing? Any president asking any foreign government to investigate a political rival is a devastating thing for the integrity of our republican processes. The President only cared about Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings Ltd. after Joe Biden became a candidate. What would a second term of this President look like when he no longer has voter accountability to contend with? However, it is worth noting that no investigation happened, and Ukraine did get its money. According to Trump, there was a good bit of time Ukraine did not even know the money was being withheld.
Of all the behavior about which Democrats could have probed the President — including the issue of steering business to his properties — the Democrats chose to build their entire impeachment inquiry around a single phone call that got the President nothing. The media nods along. Everyone who is smart, sophisticated and concerned about the Constitution is supposed to nod along knowingly with furrowed eyebrows. But we are going to take out a President through impeachment over a phone call that got him nothing? Even Bill Clinton was impeached for more than that — lying under oath to harm the interests of an American citizen with a claim against him in a court of law.
The President's behavior was wrong. We should also keep in mind he has behaved in this way because Democrats have been trying to sabotage him since he got elected. The whistleblower himself is purported to be a partisan progressive activist. We know for certain he coordinated with Rep. Adam Schiff's office. We know "Anonymous" was, or still is, in the Trump White House, working to undermine the President. We know from the Democrats' impeachment witnesses that they were not just concerned about a quid pro quo; they vehemently disagreed with the duly elected President's changes in foreign policy.
Naturally and understandably, the President felt he had to rely on outside people to help him accomplish his agenda. No one is going to change their mind on this. Instead of this political process, we should settle this at the ballot box.