UPDATE - I have an error below that has caused mass confusion. I mean to say "if he weren't in the senate" which is structurally odd because it makes an assumption of future actions given a set of probable outcomes. Beto knows and he can't vote to impeach the president from a senate seat. However, he will not have an option to impeach while he's a member of the house because Republicans are not going to let that happen. So - the whole thing is hypothetical because Beto will never impeach the president because he won't be in the house when it, or if, it happens. Sorry for the confusion.
I heard, I heard, I heard - no need to keep emailing me. Rep. Beto O'Rourke said he would vote to impeach Trump if he were in the Senate. This isn't really a big deal for either side of O'Rourke's candidacy, folks
Let me explain.
First off, Texas is not as Trump-crazy as you'd think. Granted he received more votes than Romney did in 2012... but the Libertarian candidate almost tripled the votes of the 2012 Libertarian candidate and believe it or not Hillary got way more votes than Obama ever did in Texas.
Side note: Always remember that in Texas the Democrats had a hard time turning out the vote for a black man, but not so much for a white woman. You might want to rethink your position on party affiliation and racism.
Okay - back to the point. Plenty of polls have shown that Texas Republicans - at least a good portion of them - see Trump mostly as a New York carnival barker who can't be trusted. Polls show he does not evoke the kind of visceral respect and love Reagan and both Bush's do in Texas. So, a candidate claiming they'd impeach Trump wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing ever to be said if you're looking for some moderate, middle of the road, lean Republican voters to impress.
Also... why not swing for the fences when you're in Beto's position? You gotta say something to let people know you're still alive and kicking.
Generally in Washington the electeds that start talking about impeaching presidents before there's any clear evidence to do so are considered silly and a little constitutionally slow - if you know what I mean. And that goes for members of either party who make statements of this kind. Never has the smartest guy in either caucus' room been the guy squawking about impeachment when no formal charges have been brought against the president. (And let's not get into an argument over Clinton because he perjured himself and only crazy people were talking about impeachment before that crime was proven.) Crazy Republicans threatened to impeach Obama just like crazy Democrats have threatened to impeach Trump. I would say that Beto is likely the most sane person from the Democratic dugout to say it out loud so far - if that makes you feel better.
The problem with Beto's hypothetical vote to impeach Trump is that it's rooted in hyper-partisanship. It says "I don't give a shit what the facts are, he's guilty right now and should go." The truth is that we really don't know yet what the investigation will yield. To claim you'd hang a man for a crime before his trial even starts is kind of un-American. Due process is granted to everyone... in theory. In this case Beto would hang the man simply because he's a member of the opposite party. That's not really the outlook of a "statesmen" is it?
And we all agree that partisanship is the problem in Washington. Beto should be trying to bridge that gap for two reasons:
- Because voters need them to get work done.
- He would appeal to those precious middle of the road voters who may have been turned off by Cruz's hyper-partisanship in the past.
Yeah, think about it. What better is Beto than Cruz if he's just going to be just as partisan?
I'm not sure this does much bad to Beto, but it could have been left unsaid. Not a big mistake, nor a big win. Just something for the bloggers to bitch about on a slow news days.