Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard speaking at the People’s Rally, Washington DC by Lorie Shaull, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was pretty wishy-washy when it came to impeachment, but my educated guess was that she wasn’t going to along with it when push came to shove. She’s spent quite a bit of time trying to distance herself from the rest of the Democratic party, and one of the biggest messages she could send was to not vote to impeach Donald Trump.
Lo and behold, Gabbard didn’t vote in the affirmative to impeach President Donald Trump, instead simply voting “Present.”
As this had been the Democrat’s ultimate goal for years now, not voting to impeach Orange Man was bad. Really bad. Needless to say, the mob came for Gabbard.
But according to The Hill, Gabbard has doubled down on her decision and her reasoning rests mainly on the fact that the process by which Trump was impeached was hyper-partisan and that impeachment “should never come about as a culmination of a highly partisan process”:
“This is something that our founding fathers warned us about,” Gabbard said.
“Making this statement, voting ‘present,’ taking a stand for the center. Standing for our democracy and really that this decision of whether to remove Donald Trump or not must be in the hands of voters,” she added. “I believe that they will make that decision.”
The Hawaii congresswoman noted she has instead introduced a resolution censuring Trump.
“We’ve actually already introduced it,” she said. “It basically points out some of the examples that I’ve raised of actions of wrongdoing by this president and a demand for an apology to the American people.”
While I’m still waiting to hear what Trump did that was worthy of impeachment, Gabbard is absolutely correct in her take and on her decision.
Take the fact this was done strictly down party lines. If Trump had actually done something that deserved impeachment, then there would have been a number of Republicans who would have voted for it as well. No Republican has, and that’s not because they’re so partisan that they’d let actual crimes pass. Trump has committed no crimes and the Democrats have displayed nothing that lends to his guilt. In fact, they’ve said that Trump might be guilty, but that he hasn’t really given congress anything to prove he’s innocent.
That’s not how innocense works in this country.
Still, Democrats are convinced that Trump did something wrong and I think Gabbard is still playing to that. She’s still running for the White House, after all, and the Democrat base has a scratch that needs to be itched. I think she knows Trump hasn’t done anything wrong, but she can’t say that. At least not yet.
Regardless, this was a very risky move by Gabbard, and while the majority of the American people don’t want to see Trump impeached by 51 percent, I’m not sure how this will play to the Democrat base.
Time will tell, but my guess is “not well.” I’ve been very wrong before, however. The impeachment attempts may have created a base of Democrats that, like Gabbard, would rather keep the mainstream part of the party at arm’s reach. It may get her some respect, but it won’t win her an election.