As talks of impeachment continue to swirl within the Democrat Party, two individuals from The Nation and Jacobin who have been studying the issue are warning that it is merely political and will most likely end negatively for those on the left.
In his latest work for The Nation, Aaron Maté looks into the case for impeachment and insists it could be a consequential risk for Democrats to take.
While he says President Donald Trump “clearly engaged in unethical conduct” when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to assist with an investigation into Joe Biden, Maté also questions whether this particular issue “rises to the level of impeachment.”
In the piece, titled, “The Ukraine Scandal Might Be a Bad Gambit for Democrats,” Maté discusses the Democrats’ sudden urge to move to impeach Trump before the whistleblower complaint and White House transcript were released.
The complaint references a ‘word-for-word transcript’ produced by the Situation Room. If that is different from the one released by the White House, then perhaps there is still a smoking gun to be found. But if not, then as it stands, Democrats would be pushing for the most serious verdict possible, removal of the president from office, on a shaky case.
It is worth asking why Trump’s behavior was already deemed impeachment-worthy before such critical pieces of evidence were available.
Maté also called attention to “Russiagate,” which he considers an unsuccessful attempt to sabotage President Trump.
For Democrats to once again oppose Trump via a militarist, Cold War “scandal” risks more danger for Ukraine, Russia, and their own 2020 prospects. We all know how the last one turned out: three years of innuendo, discredited “bombshells,” and an investigation that not only found no Trump-Russia conspiracy but, upon scrutiny, almost no actual contact between Trump and Russia—insofar as “Russia” means the government that his campaign supposedly conspired with, not just Russian passport-holders or people who claim to know them. It should now be clear what Russiagate meant for the cause of defeating Trump in 2020.
Maté goes on to discuss how a Democrat-controlled effort to impeach President Trump could result in Republicans having the opportunity to “highlight Democratic double standards.”
Even if Trump and Giuliani’s worst suspicions about Biden are incorrect, what is already established is damning enough. Hunter Biden obtained his lucrative board seat on a Ukrainian gas company despite having no experience in the country, and just months after his father’s administration backed a coup that overthrew its government.\
He added, “That very fact will weaken any Democratic effort to highlight Trump’s efforts to enrich himself and his family through the Oval Office.”
In a Jacobin roundtable, Samuel Moyn, a Yale Law School professor, admits he is “worried that we haven’t taken the risks seriously” when it comes to impeaching President Trump.
Moyn, who considers the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation a “dud,” says his thoughts on the issue of impeachment remain political more than legal.
Based on the transcript provided by the White House, Moyn said, “I would not say it’s totally clear what exactly was being promised and in exchange for what.” He went on:
If impeachment becomes a distraction from that much more pressing campaign to save the Democratic Party for the Left, then it will have been a disaster. Now, it could work in another way. I appreciate that Max and others contend that impeachment could serve the Left, but we have to be honest what the risks are, not just what the opportunities are.
Moyn goes on to claim the “impeachment hearings could become a kind of referendum on how to diminish the imperial presidency.” He added:
But my sense is that that’s not going to happen, and it would be much better for the Left to put its claims about endless war and economic inequality to the people and try to figure out how to construct a majority for stopping those things. Impeachment seems unrelated to that effort.
Moyn also insisted Democrats must work for the people and that impeachment will not heal the divide between centrists and progressives.
“What would certainly be best for the Left is to put the focus on the actual differences in our vision of America and the contest between centrists and progressives,” he said. “That’s not going to be what impeachment does.”