While writing a far-from-flattering opinion piece about President Trump, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt nonetheless argued that Democrats could not fairly impeach him for merely…being Donald Trump. That, he said, was a job for the American people in the next election. By robbing the public of their democratic voice, he said, the Democrats were risking a lot more than their own political perceptions.
After ridiculously saying that Trump’s “unfitness for office” is the greatest case for impeachment, Hiatt came back down to reality, saying that the American people already made their decision.
“We thought his unfitness was evident before he was elected, and Americans chose him anyway,” Hiatt writes. “He is endangering the future of the planet — but we knew he was a climate denier. He ripped children from their parents at the border — but his racism and anti-immigrant animus, like his contempt for the Constitution, were no secrets.
“To impeach him now for what the electorate welcomed or was willing to overlook isn’t the democratic response. The right response is to defeat him in 2020,” he continues.
We’re not going to quote extensively from the piece, because the paragraph above suffices. Hiatt is a liberal Democrat through and through, as you can tell by his use of the phrase “ripped children from their parents at the border.” A Trump convert, he is not.
That’s not the important thing. The important thing is that even this dyed-in-the-wool, bleeding-heart Democrat understands that impeachment is not intended to simply overturn the results of an election. For all the nonsense about how impeachment is a “political” thing, it really isn’t. In practice, we suppose it often comes down to that, but it is a constitutional means by which a President can be held accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors. Being “unfit for office” in the eyes of Fred Hiatt (or Adam Schiff) certainly does not rise to that bar.
“Congress should think very hard before impeaching Trump for the high crime of being who we knew he was before we elected him,” Hiatt concludes.
But of course, that obscures the truth – which is, that is precisely what Democrats want to impeach him for. That’s what they’ve wanted to impeach him for since the moment he took office. This is not about Russian collusion, and it’s not about obstruction of justice. This is about Trump defeating Hillary Clinton and humiliating Democrats for all the world to see. This is about revenge.