Trump Impeachment Is A Disaster For Democrats and the Country

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The dishonest impeachment of President Donald Trump by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday shows that leading Democrats in Washington have no intention of trying to bring our country together.

The centerpiece of the four articles of impeachment is the claim that President Trump engaged in “inciting an insurrection” against the United States federal government by fomenting the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Members of Congress are understandably upset by the outrageous storming of the Capitol building last week, which led to two deaths directly (a Trump supporter and a Capitol police officer) and other deaths indirectly, and which threatened the safety of members of our federal legislature and disrupted their proceedings.

But blaming the riot on Trump is demagogic.

Here’s an excerpt from the major article of impeachment:


On January 6, 2021, Donald J. Trump explicitly told his supporters to “fight like hell”, and “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength.” Shortly thereafter, those same supporters engaged in mass riots and insurrection on the grounds of the United States Capitol, leading to the breach and destruction of the Capitol building while Congress was in session conducting legislative business, as well as the death of at least five individuals, including a Capitol Police officer. The siege of the United States Capitol at the hands of Donald J. Trump created widespread terror, threatened the lives of members of the United States Congress, completely disrupted legislative business, threatened the continuity of government, and exposed the United States to grave national security risks.


The only way you could believe that President Trump caused the riot at the U.S. Capitol is if you didn’t watch his speech before the riot occurred.

It was hardly a call to arms. For goodness’ sake – it ended with The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.”

The hour-plus speech sounded a lot like any other Trump speech – pointed, insulting, and cheeky, but also wry and occasionally amusing. He probably put some of his listeners to sleep with his long recitation of questionable and extra-legal activity by election officials in several key battleground states last fall.

The speech wasn’t particularly angry. Trump didn’t tell anybody to do anything illegal or wrong. He also didn’t imply it, either with words or tone. He led a political rally designed to put pressure on elected officials about to make a decision that affected him and his political movement. This is the basic stuff of political expression in America.

The House’s impeachment article quotes Trump’s speech twice. The comments occurred 54 minutes 28 seconds apart in Trump’s speech (which lasted 1 hour 11 minutes 26 seconds).

Let’s put each quote in context:


1.  “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength.”


Below is a longer excerpt from Trump’s speech with the quote in it. (It starts at 3:46:48 of the C-Span video of Trump’s speech.)


Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. And after this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down – we’re going to walk down – we’re going to walk down – anyone you want, but I think right here – We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’ll probably not be cheering so much for some of them.

Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing, and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. Lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections – but whether or not they stand strong for our country.


It’s clear that Trump was asking his supporters to rally outside the Capitol on his behalf – and, as he said, “peacefully.”

There’s no evidence that Trump even imagined that what ended up happening was a possibility – because nothing like it had ever occurred before at a Trump rally.


Here’s the other short quote from Trump’s speech in the impeachment article:


2.  “fight like hell”


Below is a longer excerpt with the quote. (It starts at 4:41:16 of the C-Span video of Trump’s speech.)


Our brightest days are before us, our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security, because nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. And again, most people would stand there at 9 o’clock in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life, but I said, “Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.” And we fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.


This is the stuff of American political speechifying.

In other words:  The impeachment charges that Trump’s words incited the riot are garbage.

The impeachment article also nonsensically attempts to link Trump with “white supremacy.” The tired Trump-supporters-are-racists canard is guaranteed to continue this Era of Ill Feeling long after Joe Biden puts his hand on the Bible next week.

The U.S. Capitol riot last week was horrendous and inexcusable. The vast majority of Americans believe that, and don’t ever want it to be repeated.

Yet instead of trying to bring our wounded country together, left-wingers in Congress are trying to tear it apart.

If House Democrats wanted the country to turn a corner, they’d let President Trump leave quietly and try to govern the country so well that no one would want Trump or Trumpism to return.

Apparently that’s not what they have in mind.