Trump’s Impeachment: Success
Here’s what some people have trouble understanding: the Democrats attempt to impeach Trump, although it failed to convict him, was still a success. How could that be? Well, to understand that it is necessary to keep in mind that this drama was created for political purposes, purposes that did not require that the Democrats would succeed in removing Trump from office.
The Trump presidency presented the mainstream Democrats with a perfect opportunity to fortify their legitimacy and the legitimacy of the oligarchy they represent. In light of Trump, previous presidents and other politicians who represent “the mainstream” look good now. It is important to remind ourselves that mainstream politicians, both Republican and Democrat, had, at least prior to Trump, lost much of their legitimacy. The fiasco of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the economic collapse in 2008, Obama’s lackluster presidency, including his inability to close Guantanamo, to end the war in Afghanistan or in Iraq, offset by the assassination of bin Laden – which didn’t amount to much of an offset – all undermined the legitimacy of our mainstream politicians.
With the arrival of Trump almost all of this has been forgotten as many people assert that anyone, that is, any politician even one like Bush Jr., would be better than Trump. In this context, Shrub plays the friendly frat boy, distributing candy to the Obamas and offering paintings as his proof of his humanity. Obama’s passive aggressiveness looks like virtue compared to Trump’s classless tweets, speeches, and actions. As Barbra Streisand put it: Even Bush Jr. was better than Trump because he wasn’t “mean spirited.” To which the Iraqis might respond: “Thank God he wasn’t.”
So, the impeachment has succeeded because it has fortified the impression that Trump is not only classless but also unfit to be president. The impeachment in the House was the Democrats chance to arraign Trump, to put on display, with the help of the mainstream media, his vices, without needing to successfully remove him from office. The end result is that mainstream politicians have regained significant measures of legitimacy, have had their authority restored to a significant degree, as reflected by the argument that people should vote against Trump, vote for the Democratic nominee regardless of who that person might be.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the Democrats’ strategy will work, that the upcoming election will do what the impeachment couldn’t do, remove Trump from office. A lot depends on how Trump responds to his acquittal, as that has presented him with the opportunity to show that he can play the part of reforming politician. If he does this, my bet is that he will win a second term because Americans are not only dissatisfied, but even irate over our political situation. They want reform, they want change. And the Democrats have rolled the dice with their impeachment charade. We can hope Trump doesn’t realize the good fortune his impeachment has presented to him.