Does this impeachment really matter?

Ryan Neely, Reporter

Oh boy. We’ve really come to it, haven’t we? After all these years of talking about impeachment, I was beginning to think that it wasn’t even coming.

Perhaps all of that hype wasn’t really a good idea. Like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, it could have reduced people’s sensitivity to a process as monumental of the impeachment of a president. After all, for all of the talk of this being a “historic moment”, it certainly doesn’t feel like one.

Perhaps that’s because of the one little detail that we all know: The president will not be removed from office (barring some astronomical future development). That is because, in order to obtain the required two-thirds majority of the Senate, this would require 20 Republicans to turn on the president. Given the current political climate, that just isn’t happening.

Still, the fact that this impeachment serves no practical purpose will not prevent the president’s defenders and detractors from obsessing over every little detail of this process, conveniently ignoring the ones that contradict the conclusions they came to the moment the word “impeachment” entered their ears. What is it about this man that draws such emotions? What is it that causes him to dominate the minds of so many Americans, sometimes even harming their mental health

He did not pay for the real estate in so many people’s heads. He did not buy all of the airtime that he is taking up on the news. He is not renting the lawns that people put his signs in. He got it all for free. Just like a savvy businessman. Or, from a different point of view, a crooked one.

Some may say that the solution is to tune out from all of this entirely. That may help some people function in their lives, but it isn’t going to help our country function it its life. This impeachment, even if it doesn’t ultimately lead anywhere, does matter. It’s the culmination of all that our country has been through in the past four years, since Donald Trump’s political career first began.

For what it’s worth, the evidence so far does seem to paint a negative picture of our president. Even though he insists that there was “no quid pro quo” in his suggestion of an investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine, all of the testimonies so far seem to suggest that there was one (for a meeting at least), though the details of what the directive was and where it came from are vague. This is because people close to the president (the ones who would know exactly what happened) have been defying subpoenas.

Instead of fighting the legal battle to get these people to testify, Democrats have proceeded with incomplete evidence, along with just giving the subpoena concern its own article of impeachment, even though, again, they could have easily just sued to get those testimonies. We do not know for a fact that President Trump intended for the investigation to be a precondition for the military aid, but instead we are supposed to pretend to be able to read his mind. So, in other words, the “abuse of power” article of impeachment lacks evidence (that could be obtained), and the “obstruction of congress” one doesn’t even make any sense.

This would seem irrational if the goal of the Democrats was to remove the president from office, but who says that it is? These people aren’t dumb. They know how unlikely that would be. The real goal here is to brand him as being corrupt in a spectacular fashion. In addition, they can use this as an opportunity to attack Senate Republicans facing close elections. Any that vote against removing President Trump from office could be branded as blind partisans. Any that vote the other way could receive less support from their party. It’s going to put people like Susan Collins, a moderate Republican running for reelection in Maine (a very blue state) in quite a difficult situation.

Democrats, however, are having their own struggles with party unity. In order to defeat Trump in the 2020 election, they are going to have to put forth a competitive candidate. There’s a reason, after all, that he appeared to be targeting Joe Biden. Head to head polling indicates that Biden would have the best chance of defeating him, presumably due to his more moderate stances. However, a good number of Democrats would also not be satisfied with a Biden nomination for that very reason. While much hype has been made over Elizabeth Warren, as of late, her poll numbers seem to have tanked. The latest fad appears to be Pete Buttigieg (who is seen as a compromise between Warren’s hard-left stance and Biden’s more moderate one), though he is still in third place nationally, and none of the candidates have been able to surpass Biden’s lead (save for Warren for a very brief period).

Make no mistake, Democrats definitely have a chance to benefit from this situation, with all of this rage against the president. However, it’s a lot more difficult to be for something than against something. Not everybody who dislikes the president is going to have the exact same vision for who should replace him. This is very similar to the hurdle Democrats faced in 2016 with the rift between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And we all know how that turned out.