Moderate Democrats have been sounding the alarm for weeks, warning House Democrats that impeachment will cost Democrats politically, particularly in swing districts and in battleground states and progressive Democrats are finally firing back, calling names and demanding that the House pursue impeachment, no matter the fallout.
The Daily Wire reported earlier on Wednesday that a group of ten moderate Democrats are courting colleagues on the fence about impeachment, hoping to gather enough votes — at least 18 — to block the impeachment effort in the House in order to save their seats, mostly located in Trump-friendly and “red” districts that supported the president in the 2016 and 2018 elections.
They’ve been pushing the idea of abandoning impeachment for weeks, suggesting that House leadership pursue censure against the president instead, and they’ve only gotten louder. Polls now indicate that support for impeachment among moderates and independents has tanked — in some cases up to ten points in the last week alone — and Democrats’ articles of impeachment, announced Tuesday, demonstrate a thin case for removing the President.
That doesn’t matter to progressive Democrats who have been pushing impeachment since November of 2016 — and now “the squad,” including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is pushing back, demanding impeachment at all costs, without regard for outcome, even if it means Democrats may lose the House and the 2020 presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez was “outraged,” according to the Huffington Post, and claimed Democrats who did not support impeachment were giving Trump “a slap on the wrist.”
“I have 15-year-olds in my district that get sent to Rikers because they jump a turnstile and they can’t afford $2.75,” Ocasio-Cortez reportedly added, apparently unaware that jumping a turnstile is, in fact, a crime regardless of whether the punishment is fair, whereas Democrats have yet to make the case that President Donald Trump has committed any actual “high crimes or misdemeanors.”
Rep. Jared Huffman, a progressive Democrat from California, tossed around a couple of insults, calling the moderate Dems’ effort to encourage censure, “boneheaded.”
“That’s just frankly one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard in a long, long time,” he added. “If this were a president lying about a blow job, that’s a censure issue. This is a president fundamentally misusing his office and obstructing Congress, involving our national security and the integrity of our democracy. If you can’t move to impeachment on something like this, frankly, we just shouldn’t take your ideas seriously.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a fellow member of Ocasio-Cortez’s squad, and one of a handful of Democrats who actually made impeaching the president a top priority of her tenure in Congress, couldn’t help but get in on the act: “We’re talking about somebody that’s a sitting CEO in the White House that’s violating the United States Constitution every single day.”
It’s not entirely clear what actions Tlaib is referring to. The House Democrats’ articles of impeachment reference just two incidents: a single phone call that they say represented a quid-pro-quo agreement with the Ukraine, and the White House’s invocation of “Executive Privilege” to dodge Congressional subpoenas — an issue that’s still under litigation and may not be decided before the impeachment vote.