by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Many people in Washington these days pretend to be wary of the subject of Donald Trump’s possible impeachment before they call for it. We all agree the odds of the House of Representatives impeaching the president are, at the moment, negligible. This makes impeachment talk fanciful at best. Among Democrats, views range from a Beach Boys–like “maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true” to “we have to wait till next year.” As for Republicans, they have repackaged a phrase from an earlier era: You can have our president when you pry him from our cold dead fingers….
Impeachment talk flames up whenever news from the chattering class’s number-one topic—the legal difficulties of the president, from Stormy Daniels to Russian conspirators—briefly runs dry. The thought of impeachment is much more stimulating to a Washingtonian than trying to figure out why Obamacare premiums are rising or whether the preliminary revenue projections from tax reform are likely to prove accurate. Scandal junkies construct timelines of obscure, unrelated events of unknown importance involving marginal figures (Did George Papadopoulus meet with Joseph Misfud in London before or after Sam Clovis recruited Carter Page for the Trump campaign???). The convoluted narratives compensate for the fact that none of us has so far uncovered anything that might carry a hint of a whisper of an offense that could incriminate Trump—none of us, that is, but Robert Mueller and his band of Javerts. And maybe not even them.