Blood is in the water within the Republican political sphere, and a lot of self-interested parties are looking at last week’s chaos as a golden opportunity to rid themselves of Trump’s influence. While I’m skeptical an impeachment gambit would accomplish that, some GOP members disagree. In fact, the first confirmed “yes” on the issue from the Republican side was announced today.
While you’d expect it to be Rep. Adam Kinzinger, it’s actually Rep. John Katko who takes the honor, or dishonor depending on your view.
“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement.
“For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president."
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 12, 2021
I’m not very familiar with Katko’s background, though I suspect he’s never been much of a Trump supporter. Regardless, I think an impeachment should be based on actual merit and not just one’s tribal preferences, nor their emotional anger towards a certain event. The Capitol riot was egregious, but we still need to operate within the bounds of reason and fact.
For example, while you could make the case Trump riled up his supporters with a lot of unsubstantiated claims in his speech last week, there is no line from his typical rally bluster to a direct incitement of violence. It simply doesn’t exist, and if it did exist, it would be playing on a loop on CNN. You don’t see that because Trump simply never made such a comment. Others can try to parse out his moral responsibility for the chaos that followed the rally, but that’s a far cry from impeachment, where you would expect hard facts to dominate and not supposition. Of course, the last impeachment was entirely based on supposition so I guess I shouldn’t expect differently this time.
There’s an obvious split brewing here, and it’s just a matter of time before things get nasty. In the end, you can likely expect dozens of GOP House members to vote to impeach Trump. You can also expect several more than Mitt Romney to do so in the Senate. Whether they’ll reach the required threshold to convict, I’m skeptical of, but things promise to be a lot closer than last year’s effort.
Where the Republican Party goes from here is anyone’s guess. Right now, emotions are high. You’ve got a significant portion of the base that say they are Trump supporters singularly. I’m not so sure that resolve will hold four years from now, especially if viable alternatives arise (i.e. Ron DeSantis, etc.). But that doesn’t mean things won’t get ugly in the near term, and the anger toward the party leadership is palpable.
(Please follow me on Twitter and Parler…@bonchieredstate)