It’s the longest of long shots.
But at a time when a United States president can be impeached on the flimsiest of excuses.
Backed by the frailest of evidence.
By some of the most dishonest Democrats to ever darken the doors or cross the corridors of Congress.
Anything might be possible.
So it’s worth taking note of a Tuesday report in Politico that a small group of Democrats representing districts carried by President Donald Trump in 2016 met on Monday to float the possibility of convincing their colleagues to drop the House drive for impeachment and substitute a resolution of censure instead.
“I think it’s certainly appropriate and might be a little more bipartisan, who knows?” Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, one of the Democrats in question, told Politico on Tuesday.
According to Politico, other Democrats talking about a censure resolution include Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Anthony Brindisi of New York and Ben McAdams of Utah.
Considering that it was Tuesday morning that Democratic big dogs like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff announced two articles of impeachment against Trump that are expected to be voted on next week, it might seem like a little late in the game for an alternate plan to emerge.
But, as Politico reported, the idea of a censure resolution — in which the House votes to formally condemn Trump’s behavior but stops short of an actual vote to impeach him – has at least a theoretical chance of attracting some Republican support, and “would also help Democrats avoid a lengthy impeachment trial in the Senate, which some in this group fear could tilt public opinion toward the GOP in the final months before the 2020 election.”
And it’s “public opinion” — meaning voters in November 2020 — that has to have many Democrats walking scared.
It’s easy for the likes of Pelosi, Nadler and Schiff to talk big about taking on the president. Pelosi is from San Francisco, Nadler is from New York City, and Schiff’s Los Angeles district includes Hollywood (home of the Beautiful People who all hate Trump).
But for Democrats in swing districts, the impeachment vote could mean disaster, and they might be open to just about anything that would save them from having to cast a vote to oust a president their constituents voted for.
“Right now, there’s no other options. This is another option,” one lawmaker who attended Monday’s censure resolution meeting told Politico. (Politico didn’t identify that lawmaker by name.)
According to the Politico report, the group would need about 18 votes to block impeachment from getting its 218-vote majority on the House floor, and only numbers about 10. So barring unforeseen developments, it’s not likely.
However, if anything has proven true about American politics since then-private citizen Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the presidency in June 2015, it’s that unforeseen developments are not only possible, but almost to be expected by this point.
In other words, this small band of Democrats frightened for their future could possibly find enough other Democrats frightened for their future to actually make history. They could upset Nancy Pelosi’s plans to impeach Trump.
On social media, liberals were livid at the idea of anything less than impeaching Trump. The president’s supporters, on the other hand, were both mocking and appalled.
These cowards should either stand for what is right or fall accordingly. There is zero evidence or grounds for impeachment vote it down now or your political career is over. It’s that simple.
— Rule of Law (@Offendeddude) December 10, 2019
They don’t want to go on record with their votes 😂😂😂😂
This impeachment sham is a disaster for the Democrats.
— Robert Sacamano (@ScarletKnight89) December 10, 2019
They are well aware they have no case.
Accept it, dems! Trump is changing history, we are in the midst of a real turning point in our country where the *people* are taking their power back!!
— Chris (@chris_southpaw) December 10, 2019
Its pretty sad when a party can abuse their powers and impeach a President because the HATE him. I can’t believe this is really happening in this country. If they can do this what will they do to the American people that disagree with them?? Arrest them put them in jail??
— BABYcakes (@AngelaMcNamara4) December 10, 2019
For Trump supporters, the prospect of a House Democratic caucus going to war with itself in a fight over impeachment versus a resolution of censure is almost too good to be true, but it’s worth remembering at this point that a censure motion would be just as baseless as the articles of impeachment.
(A similar idea was floated during the Bill Clinton impeachment but ended up going nowhere. And as anyone who remembers the 1990s knows, what Clinton did made Trump look like a schoolboy.)
As Trump’s actions in dealing with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky are currently publicly known, they don’t rise above — or below — the behavior of any other president (and they certainly don’t compare to the Obama administration’s repellent, near-suicidal courtship of the terrorist regime in Tehran).
Obama deserved a censure and worse from the Republicans who controlled the House for the majority of his two administrations. But even if Obama opponents didn’t like it, those Republicans understood that the country needed a government that runs on elections, not the kind of spiteful political vendettas Trump is facing now.
If anything, the president deserves an apology from his political opponents, from Nancy Pelosi on down to the raving antifa members and Women’s March demonstrators who tried to make his inauguration miserable.
Now, that would be the longest of long shots. Some things really are impossible.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.