Donald Trump, at long last has been impeached, with the Democrat-controlled House predictably voting it through, despite a few that crossed the aisle to join every Republican in opposition. But if you’re like me – not a US citizen who views that violent and oppressive nation’s institutions with utter contempt and confusion – then you might be wondering what this will even achieve. Based on any worthwhile metric, pretty much nothing.
I must admit I was initially confused about the impeachment process, mostly because I couldn’t be bothered looking into it and partly because the media furore – I know, I really should have taken a moment to look into it – made impeachment sound like the result was immediate removal of the President. I thought it had to be voted through the House then the Senate had to also vote on it after further bureaucracy, with the entire process being “impeachment”.
Alas, a short conversation and a bit of reading, and obviously today’s countless headlines, showed that impeachment has already been voted for, being a political process in the House. The Senate’s involvement, as I thought, is a trial to convict and/or remove the President from the White House, requiring 2/3 to send it through. This is separate to “impeachment”, in that the Impeachment Bills are what trigger the trial, for which the Senate is the court, essentially.
So, Trump has been impeached, much to the elation of the media and no small number of Democrats and their supporters, although Pelosi apparently doesn’t see any need for celebration. Perhaps that’s just her tugging on constitutional and democracy heartstrings: woe to the country that had to resort to such measures to remove a despotic leader they created and whose systems allowed him to flourish. But more likely, I’d wager she knows there is so little chance that the Democrats could actually pull any of this off, except in extreme circumstances.
I’ve said before that I supported impeachment, something that could and should have been done on day one, but not in the way it has been conducted. Rather than using it as a chance to make changes to the broken and corrupt system, this is almost purely an attempt to remove a man that the establishment cannot stand, no matter how lucrative his policies have been for so many in the system that birthed him. He has been a welcome distraction as Empire does its work behind the scenes, keeping cash and resource flows in the hands of the US masters.
The impeachment headlines sure do create some wonderful theatrics, but when you consider the fact that impeachment, as rare as it is, is only the first step, hinging entirely on the Senate results next year, it’s a rather lacklustre moment, to say the least. Because what does it really do? Trump has been impeached, but now he just gets to sit there awaiting a trial the world surely knows the result of already. McConnell has indicated that the Senate, with its Republican majority, will not be giving the trial any real legitimacy, and if they all vote along Party lines then Trump will neither be charged nor removed.
That does beg the question of why bother with the impeachment proceedings in the first place, and why now, as opposed to having done it immediately or just waiting and focussing all attention on winning the election in 2020. As some Americans I know are keen to point out, Pelosi isn’t “dumb” (although she is a politician, which is worse), so what is this obsession with getting Trump removed? They’ve taken their time to get the ball rolling, but it’s going to be derailed pretty quickly once the Senate gets its hands on it.
One could say it’s the idea behind it – Trump has been impeached, something that has only happened a few times in US’ history, and the message of his corruption has been made clear. There are, however, too many problems with this to even imagine. Firstly, if anyone, particularly the US, wants to talk about morality and opposing corruption, then you’d have a better chance of sending that message by bombing the nation and starting over than trudging this farcical display. It is an Empire that has toppled rival governments, supported vicious regimes, executed destructive wars, consolidated wealth to a criminal level, abused their populace with their Orwellian domestic policies, set the entire planet on the path to extinction, and so much more.
Republican or Democrat, their members and leaders are responsible for much of the horror and terror that plagues our lives and our news feeds, i.e. the lives of countless others we are so disconnected from through intense propaganda and tribal mentalities.
Secondly, ideas will only get you so far. I have a very strong gravitation towards anarchism, which has a clear goal in mind, however, reality places that goal so far out of reach that it’s almost negligible. It is still an idea with a legitimate vision though, one which sees the liberation of humanity and the organisation of society into one that is the freest we could imagine. What does the idea of confirming Trump is indeed corrupt and worthy of removal from office envision, exactly? Was that not already obvious before the hearings, before his ascendancy, before the election? And both indictment and removal are doubtful. If impeachment has no practical effect and is solely done for the principle of it, then it’s useless.
It’s just stating the obvious with so many tedious extra steps. Where constant education and spread of the ideas behind anarchism or similar concepts could result in something concrete, if distant, the ideas behind this impeachment, in this context, are old and irrelevant. We don’t need the House to stamp its feet to know what this impeachment means – it only highlights the Democrats’ hypocrisy, if anything.
There are two ways this process can go. Either they try and get the trial done as soon as possible in some vain attempt to remove Trump, or they drag it out until closer to the election date next year. Both have “pros and cons”, but neither really help the Democrats. If they rush it and the Senate refuses to charge or remove Trump, then no matter how damning the trial is, Trump will only have more ammunition to slam the Democrats, and whichever candidate they eventually end up choosing, with. The impeachment will mean absolutely nothing – Trump has already dismissed it, seemingly unphased when he heard the news during his almost 2-hour long rally in Michigan – and he will undoubtedly paint the trial as exoneration, even if he’s charged but not removed.
Chances are, if he is not removed, then he will probably win the 2020 election.
If they leave the trial until closer to the election, I can’t see how that will change that. Sure, it’ll leave the results up in the air for a while, but again that only gives Trump time to rile up his base and some story about how, because “there is no case”, the Democrats are trying to stall everything. Who knows what the catalyst for so much fury will do.
Perhaps my favourite, if entirely speculative and unsubstantiated, theory is the idea that this move for removal has been sparked by an increased need and desire to ignite war with Iran. The reason I like this theory is because, while it has no provable basis, it is actually quite plausible when you consider the machinations of the US beast. Israel and Iran are becoming more and more tense, with the colonial front pushing for a greater conflict before the growing Arabic resistance and firepower is too strong to crush. Trump, rather surprisingly, turned against the idea of open war with Iran, a position that many hawks on the Republican end wanted, despite nonchalantly discarding the previous deal set by Obama – one of the former President’s few decent foreign policy initiatives.
The author’s suggestion is that the establishment wants a President that will not only support a war with Iran, which I am sure Trump will do if told, but one that can do so with the support of the population in general. If Trump became the face of a war, then the unrest surrounding it will be intense. Obama toppled governments and invaded a number of countries, but did so with the image of a saint who could do no wrong – the man won a Nobel Peace Prize, after all. An invasion of Iran, initiated by Republicans or Democrats, would need not only a plausible and acceptable (in manufactured public opinion) motive, but an image to complement it.
Trump does not fit the bill, and therefore he must be removed not just before the US election, but before Iran becomes more powerful, with the notable increases in military prowess shown by them and their allies across the Middle East; the article above says six months. He says that this would explain the reference to “national security” threats, one component that might make Republicans sweat at night and convince them to turn on their golden ticket to electoral nirvana.
I see a few issues with this theory, however, beyond the fact that it is, as admitted by the author themselves, pure speculation. The first is the reference to the “five “badass” freshman congresswomen” (the “Squad”, I assume) “changing history” 10 days after the Houthi strikes against Saudi facilities – another tie-in to the Iran idea, however flimsy. The implication here is that these women were used by the House Democrats to push for impeachment, being allowed to do so with the permission of their superiors to bring about an eventual war with Iran. I cannot believe for a moment that any of them, particularly those who are quite outspoken critics of Israel and allies to Palestine, would have done it knowingly or willingly.
It is possible that they could have been played, but while inexperienced, they aren’t stupid – unless they’ve duped all of us and they are in on it too – wouldn’t that be a plot twist. But it is unlikely. They had no power beforehand to set impeachment into motion, and I don’t see Pelosi looking to the pesky “progressive” blotch on her Party for cues on such matters. It also, with or without Iranian context, doesn’t make sense as it only served to raise their popularity, something establishment Democrats are more intent on quashing.
The second is that Democrats, while dominating and aggressive, were kind of putting a plan into place to lessen the Iran “threat”, to the chagrin of Israel, under Obama. The circumstances have certainly changed in the past few years, but the Democrats would lose a lot of credibility – what little they have left – if they were to push to remove a President for the sole purpose of invasion. That would be an incredibly delicate game, one which would be transparent almost immediately if it were to come to fruition.
While an excellent piece of speculation, which would not surprise me entirely if it were true, I do not see it unfolding quite so dramatically.
It still leaves the question of why impeach in the first place. We can clearly see that the Senate will not budge in its cultish devotion to Trump, which essentially makes impeachment null and void – it only means what you want it to mean, and to Trump supporters and those who actually want something done, that is nothing at all. Pelosi and others certainly wouldn’t waste their time with such a trivial process without an intended goal in mind, however, so all we can do is rely on speculation about movements and forces we cannot see in the public eye.
Whether it is an invasion of Iran, a sweet deal with a few choice Republicans to flip the board to the Democrats’ advantage, or some other mischief, 2020 will be when the full game plan is revealed. Right now, the Democrats are sitting on some very thin ice, with almost no chances of removing Trump or winning the 2020 election – the plan is seemingly non-existent, but I don’t believe that. We can only wait with anxious anticipation.
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