A friend of mine is keeping a definitive whip count of those who have signed onto the Impeachment Resolution by Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin and David Ciccilline and I'm trying to keep one for those who haven't. Let's start with something really simple: no Republicans have, not even Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) who has made the case that he is a grave and imminent danger to our country but said that impeachment isn't "the smart move right now." As of now, there are 210 House members-- all Democrats-- who have signed onto the resolution. [#210, New Dem Josh Harder (CA), co-sponsored while I was writing this post.]
Most of the ones who haven't are Blue Dogs and New Dems. But none of Pelosi's leadership team are co-sponsors (herself, Hoyer, Clyburn*) and Biden isn't allowing any of his Cabinet picks to sign on either (Haaland*, Richmond and Fudge). These are the members who have refused to co-sponsor the resolution-- along with the percentage of votes they got in their latest election. [* Clyburn and Haaland signed on yesterday.]
Nancy Pelosi (CA)- 77.6%
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)- 61.6%
Ed Perlmutter (New Dem-CO)- 59.1%
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)- 62.2%
Bill Foster (New Dem-IL)- 63.6%
Frank Mrvan (IN)- 56.6%
Cedric Richmond (New Dem-LA)- 63.6%
Steny Hoyer (MD)- 68.9%
Elissa Slotkin (New Dem-MI)- 50.9%
Marcia Fudge (OH)- 80.1%
Susan Wild (New Dem-PA)- 51.9%
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)- 58.3%
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)- 51.3%
One very senior Democratic congressman, referencing the list of members co-sponsoring the resolution too impeach Trump again, told me that "Anyone not on this list is branding himself or herself, in the rear, forever."
Since I know he favors removing Trump from office, I asked Jim Himes, why he hadn't signed onto the bill. "I support impeaching this president," he said, "and more importantly, removing this president (which sadly will not likely be achieved through impeachment). If it comes to a vote, I will vote to impeach. I have not cosponsored as of yet because I need to further understand the precedent of impeaching without evidence, witnesses, deliberation or committee consideration, and what that may mean for the future. I also want some clarity that the dead hand of Donald Trump’s presidency won’t handicap the new Biden administration in the Senate."
I also asked Colin Byrd, the young Maryland mayor challenging Steny Hoyer to a primary showdown next year. "Steny," he reminded me, "is all talk and no action on this. He offered a lot of platitudes last Wednesday, but he is still not a co-sponsor of the impeachment resolution. He is not only not co-sponsoring the impeachment resolution. He also has offered absolutely no explanation for not doing so, even though the resolution's co-sponsors include several other Maryland Congressmen from Maryland who are from different parts of the political spectrum, including Kweisi Mfume, John Sarbanes, David Trone, Dutch Ruppersberger, Anthony Brown, and Jamie Raskin. In fact, Raskin not only co-sponsored the resolution. He literally co-authored it as well. Even several members of House Leadership are co-sponsors of the resolution, including Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark and several committee chairs, including Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, Bobby Scott, Bennie Thompson, and Eddie Bernice Johnson. Steny has no excuse. In fact, as of now, his position on the impeachment resolution is no different from that of Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Andy Harris."
CNN reported that Biden's team is not too excited at the prospect of impeachment. "While Biden has repeatedly said it's up to Congress to decide how to sanction Trump for his role in instigating the violent attack on the Capitol, CNN has learned that his advisers are working intently behind the scenes with Democratic leadership in hopes of finding a middle ground that won't hamper his new administration. Waiting to send any articles to the Senate is one of the ideas being discussed by advisers to the President-elect, though advisers say other ideas have been under discussion this weekend, including censuring Trump in a move that may be able to draw more bipartisan support than impeachment could."
BidenWorld knows that most people want to see Trump seriously held to account for the coup attempt although it goes against his grain to not stop it, he doesn't seem to be seriously interfering at this point. "The train has left the station on impeachment," an official close to Biden told CNN. "Trying to stop it would not only fail, but put Biden on the wrong foot with progressives and most Democrats across the party." It's more likely that Biden will use a couple of his most craven congressional lackeys--say Clyburn-- to screw it up.
Clyburn was on State of the Union yesterday where he told Jake Tapper that "We'll take the vote that we should take in the House, and (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate It just so happens that if it didn't go over there for 100 days, it could-- let's give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running, and maybe we'll send the articles sometime after that." That's a really shitty idea one would expect from Pelosi's scleratic leadership team, especially Clyburn.
Progressives see it differently from Biden and his status quo shills. Writing for The Intercept last week, James Risen made it clear that in the case of Trump vs the united States, there were "no political subtleties, no nuanced hot takes about what happened in Washington on January 6, 2021. It was an insurrection, period. It was an insurrection by a Trump mob, and later by their confederates in the House and Senate... Trump may have failed to break the American system this time, but he has provided a road map for future demagogues. Unfortunately, he has revealed that it is not as difficult as once thought. Many of the constraints on autocracy that Americans thought were built into the constitutional system were actually just norms, traditions and guidelines, and Trump has proven how easily they could be swept away."
A couple of other points. Noah Smith suggests that maybe we think too hard about Trumpism. Proponents of competing theories to explain Trumpism, he wrote, talk about "racial resentment, demographic threat, economic anxiety, toxic masculinity, authoritarian personality, etc" and he thinks all this theorizing might be overdone. "If you read people in the mid-20th century talking about Nazism or communism, they do sometimes try to theorize why these movements arose. But they tend to treat them as autonomous social objects, instead of merely veils for something deeper and more underlying. Nazism was treated as an ontological thing unto itself-- we could ask why it arose, but there seemed little doubt that it was a cohesive ideological movement rather than a manifestation of something truer or more real. People theorized that the economic hardships of interwar Germany helped give rise to Nazism, but there was little appetite for equating Nazism with economic anxiety. Maybe we should treat Trumpism similarly. Instead of asking whether it’s really just this or that, maybe we should accept that whatever its origin story, as of now it’s really just Trumpism. It’s a canon of beliefs ('Antifa is taking over America,' 'the 2020 election was stolen,' and so on), with a set of believers who embrace a set of tactics for seizing power. It’s an ideological movement, and maybe it needs to be confronted and defeated as an ideological movement instead of psychoanalyzed. There will be plenty of time for theorizing about its deep roots after it no longer poses a clear and present danger to the Republic."
And Russ Choma, a reporter for Mother Jones, brought something else up worth considering: If Trump Is Impeached and Convicted, He’ll Lose His Post-Presidency Perks. That means no annual $219,000 pension, no free health insurance and no government-paid office and staff. Unless Congress passes a new law immediately-- he still gets Secret Service protection for life. I wonder how they handle that if he's in prison though.
When the final resolution was presented this morning, there were 214 co-sponsors. Even pretend-Democrat Henry Cuellar! Still not co-sponsoring: Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Ron Kind, Scott Peters, Ed Perlmutter, Jim Himes, Cedric Richmond, Elissa Slotkin and Marcia Fudge.