For reasons that are not at all clear, some people argue that impeaching Donald Trump would cost the Democrats politically, virtually ensuring a second term for the current, so called president.
This is nonsense.
It is undoubtedly the case that Bill Clinton’s approval improved during his impeachment, but that is only because the public recognized that impeachment as the political hit job that it was.
Beginning impeachment hearing is a golden opportunity to explore very publicly all of the good reasons to impeach Trump. It was hard not to know the ostensible reason for impeaching Clinton. Once that process starts, people pay attention. Everyone understands that impeaching a president is a big deal that they should keep track of as best they can.
The constituents of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) are obviously far from a representative sample of U.S. voters, but this is a data point. People in her district are fired up about impeaching Trump.
Comparing Trump to Clinton is a bad idea because, in 2018, voters returned Democrats overwhelmingly to control of the House. It is impossible to ascribe motivation to a large group of people, but some significant percentage of those voters chose the Democrat in hopes of seeing Trump impeached.
At a broader level, it is very difficult to see the huge turnout of Democratic voters in 2018 as anything but a repudiation of Trump. There is no good reason to think that impeaching Trump would magically reverse that sentiment.
Trump’s approval rating has declined since the release of the Mueller report. A plurality also oppose impeachment, but that may be at least in part because of the heroic efforts to spin that report in favor of the president. Impeachment hearings would be an excellent opportunity to rebut that spin with a more detailed consideration of the sometimes complicated legal and factual issues involved.
Members of the House are supposed to be leaders. Leaders should impeach.