A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment

Thank you for your thoughts, Dr. Lessig. I must say that I can’t entirely agree with the idea that people who deny climate change are not “stupid.” Perhaps “stupid” is the wrong word to use, because it is a challenging word of the third-grade playground type — you’re stupid, am not, are too, etc. But certainly those who deny climate change can be divided into two groups. One is Republican members of Congress, who claim to deny climate change for their own utterly cynical purpose — it gets them votes. I would imagine that the day the former senator Inhofe from Oklahoma came trotting into the Senate chamber with a snowball to make the point that there couldn’t possibly be global warming if there was snow in Washington (in February), he knew that he was being a disingenuous jackass. Maybe he didn’t, but I must think that he did, because otherwise that would mean that the good people of Oklahoma sent a total ignoramus to the Senate, and that is not a good thing. The people who did send him to the Senate, however, are the other group. I have no way of knowing how they arrive at the idea that there is no such thing as climate change, but I strongly suspect that they have not read anything about the matter. I strongly suspect that they haven’t read much of anything since they left high school. Much like our current “president,” in point of fact. And that brings me back to the central point of your post. Back when Richard Nixon got into doo-doo, it fairly quickly became clear that the majority of Americans understood that he was in doo-doo. Republicans in Congress (as distinguished from Republithugs in the current Congress) understood that he was in doo-doo, and when push came to shove, Republicans voted for the impeachment articles in committee, and Republicans would have voted for the articles on the floor of the House, and Republicans would have voted to convict in the Senate. Because back then the Republicans had the National Review and the Washington newspaper that was not the Post and was the one that was owned by the Moonies — the name escapes me at the moment. The Republithugs and their supporters have Faux News. That makes all the difference in the world. That said, there is a terrible disconnect between the numbers that you cited about Trump’s level of support among Republithugs and the real world. By substantial majorities, the American people as a whole oppose almost everything that the man is doing — the border wall, the immigration ban, canceling grandma’s health care, ignoring the issue of Russia’s meddling into last year’s election. In every case majorities say no, let’s not build a wall, let’s not ban immigrants, certainly let’s not cancel grandma’s health care and absolutely let’s have an independent prosecutor to look into Russia. I really, really, really hope that this will translate into votes in 2018 for the Democrats, enough to flip one or both houses and bring this insanity to an end. Or that a meteor will fall on Trump’s coiffed head. That would work, too. Again, thank you for your post!

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