To the editor:
I was delighted to see that the Bainbridge Island City Council abandoned their plan to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump.
While I agree that Trump should not be president, the issue is how best to achieve that goal.
Impeachment will not succeed in doing that because the Republican-controlled Senate will not come close to convicting Trump if he is impeached by the House. So eliminating the Trump presidency, if at all, will only come in the election of 2020. The real question is, “Will impeachment by the House help, or hurt, the chance of defeating Trump in 2020?”
The answer to this question is debatable, and that is the debate the Democrats should be having. When Bill Clinton was impeached, his polls went up and the Republicans lost the House in the following midterm election. Impeachment just rallies the base of the president being impeached.
So I suggest that impeaching Trump will be counterproductive to defeating him in 2020, and should not be attempted no matter how much the members of the House think it is their “duty” to do so. No such “duty” is worth exercising if it only serves to prevent the end the duty seeks to achieve. I reluctantly have to argue that there should be no impeachment, no matter how much I, or anyone else, dislikes the Trump presidency, believes it is immoral, bigoted and plutocratic, or just wants to get rid of Trump.
The House should investigate Trump all it wishes, but unless it can come up with evidence of other crimes enough to convince 20 Republican senators to agree to convict Trump, impeachment is simply the wrong thing to do.