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Dare I say I haven't been watching the impeachment proceedings against Trump? That's because the charges brought against Trump by the Democrats are weak. They are basically for Trump acting like Trump. The Donald is not, never has been, and never will be a public servant. His existence as president revolves around rallies, golfing, watching Fox News, tweeting, and attending an occasional meeting, party, or other photo op. If you want to impeach him, why not for not doing his job as chief executive?

Weak Charges Against Trump

What Trump did with Ukraine is what Trump has always done. He pressured a guy to dig up dirt on another guy who could be a potential rival for his job. For Trump, this isn't a crime: it's business as usual. He has no grasp of his constitutional duties as president and no interest in learning.

Trump's next crime has been to stonewall with lawyers and the like while going on the attack. Again, this is par for the course for him. He tells his underlings not to obey Congressional orders to testify. He fights delaying actions. He lies. He's used these and similar tactics his whole life and has lived to fight another day.

The charges the Democrats have brought are incredibly weak compared to the damage Trump has already wreaked.

Don't get me wrong. I think Trump is unqualified to be president. I'd like to see him gone. But the charges the Democrats have brought are incredibly weak compared to the damage Trump has already wreaked. That damage, however, is largely bipartisan, meaning if the Democrats (like Nancy Pelosi) were to call Trump to account for his real crimes against America, they'd implicate themselves as well. And that's not about to happen.

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The analogy I've heard more than once for Trump's impeachment is that it's like going after Al Capone for income tax avoidance rather than his murderous reign as a gangster. Even here, though, it seems more like we're going after Capone for unpaid parking tickets or for playing Italian opera too loud.

We've been told impeachment is a political act, not, strictly speaking, a legal one, and that surely is the case here. The cynic in me says this: Establishment Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, knew they had to do something against Trump, if only to appease activists within the party. Yet they also know they can't remove Trump, not only because the Senate is controlled by Republicans, but because they can't charge him with real crimes without implicating themselves, e.g. continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and supporting the House of Saud no matter what in the name of profit and the petrodollar, even if that means a genocide in Yemen. (It's a lot worse than cajoling Ukraine to issue a negative statement about the Bidens, right?)

The Democrats know impeachment will fail in the Senate, but they can at least say they took a stand, even if they're up to their necks in the swamps of DC. It's all so sad and sordid, and so predictably the behavior of an opposition party that offers no real opposition.

Readers, what do you think?

WJ Astore
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