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Justin Amash Is Putting the Democrats to Shame

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Justin Amash is clowning the Democrats. The Republican Congressman from Michigan came out this weekend in support of starting impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump. In so doing he demonstrated more political courage than nearly every Democrat who isn’t a woman of color. While Congressional Democrats act as if merely uttering “the ‘I’ word” will bring a curse upon their house, Amash voluntarily branded “impeachment” on his behind and told Trump and his fellow Republicans to come get some.

Amash is making the argument for why the House should open impeachment hearings. It’s an argument that every Democrat should have been making every day since Democrats took back control of the House this past November.

But they haven’t. Instead the Democratic Party strategy has been to wait for somebody else to make the argument that Trump should be impeached, then glom onto it. They’ve been waiting for somebody else to do the hard work of convincing people for them. The New York Times reports that some Democratic leaders are now privately more insistent on starting impeachment proceedings, if only to counter the hardball tactics being employed by the White House. It would seem sheer embarrassment is pushing the House towards the option they should have been advocating for all along.

Their big gambit was Robert Mueller. They hoped Mueller would buck Justice Department convention, indict the President himself, and save the Democrats the trouble of having to actually argue that the President’s crimes warranted removal from office.

The Mueller Report actually gave the Democrats more than enough ammunition to make the case for impeachment. But Democrats weren’t looking for ammo, they were looking for cover. Democrats didn’t need the Mueller report to tell them Trump obstructed justice, because Trump tries to obstruct justice on Twitter or television nearly every day. No, Democrats needed Mueller to order them to impeach Trump, so they could pretend like it was Mueller’s decision all along. It wasn’t enough for Mueller to load the gun, Democrats wanted him to pull the trigger too.

When Mueller didn’t use his own authority to indict the President, Democrats placed their hopes with Republicans. Laughable as it sounds, they put it on Republicans to rise up, en masse, and bring about an end to the Trump Presidency on their own accord.

Expecting Republicans to act with honor and decency must be some kind of disease you get when you win an election. Barack Obama contracted it. Joe Biden never got over it. It makes Chuck Schumer cry. No matter what Republicans actually say and do, elected Democrats always want to believe there’s a silent majority of Republicans who really want good government, effective courts, and social tolerance. I imagine freshmen Democrats are given a picture of John McCain and told to wait for his ghost to go full Jacob Marley, haunting and tormenting until Mitch McConnell buys Merrick Garland a Christmas goose.

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