Those who dragged their feet on impeachment were not playing 3D chess. They were playing politics, counting votes, igoring duty & damaging our system by minimizing crimes into political differences. Now, they embrace impeachment simply because it is politically impossible not to.
There is a danger however, in buying into their explanations of their past inaction. Because they are used to justify narrowing the impeachment effort so narrow that many grave abuses will go uninvestigated & unpunished. The precedent this will set will damage us for yrs to come.
Impeach. But don't play the other side's game and impeach for the politics of it. Impeach because crimes were committed against the Constitution, the president's oath of office was violated and there is a conspiracy afoot to set the president above the law.
Our system demands accountability. It demands that when a president commits crimes they are investigated, made public and that the law and justice prevail not because of the political mood but apart from it, in spite of it. Not some crimes. Not the easy crimes.
All the crimes. All those serious enough to put our system at risk. All those serious enough that if they go unaddressed they will open the door to more dangerous behavior in the future. That is why a clear sense of the law, of duty and of history must guide this process.
And it is why those who reduce everything to political terms must step aside. They do not lead but rather follow. They are weathervanes. They have been brought to this moment by people with courage and vision and values. And those are the people who must continue to lead now.
p.s. To be clear--because some people are misunderstanding my point--I have great respect for the the Dem leadership in the House. This is no time for division. But it is also not a time to be diminished or distracted from what's right by overrelying on a political calculus.
I'm concerned about the future not the past. I'm worried that if the impeachment process is too narrowly defined bad precedents will be set...that not pursuing strong and important cases will create the argument that they were neither strong nor important.
Specifically, that means the Ukraine case, the obstruction case, the emoluments case, probably the FEC case...all of which are very close to open and shut cases and serious. I also think the connections between Russia 2016 and Ukraine 2019 need to be established.
In other words this is not caviling about past tactics. It is trying to ensure we learn from that past and do the best we can for the country and the Democratic Party going forward. And yes, it's just one guy's point of view.
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