District of Columbia — On Tuesday, Representative Al Green (D-TX) filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in response to his Sunday tweets telling unspecific Congresswomen to “go back to their home countries”. The filing comes after the House of Representatives voted to condemn President Trump’s comments on Tuesday by a vote of 240-187.
Rep. Green has proposed articles of impeachment three times since President Trump entered office, but this is the first time its been proposed with Democrats holding the majority in the House chamber. With 85 House Democrats and counting either calling or being supportive of impeachment, this issue will come to a head when the House convenes to vote on opening an impeachment inquiry. Holding a 235-198 majority, Democrats no longer have an excuse for not going on the record on impeachment, the vote will determine the path forward for the Democratic Party heading into 2020.
The impeachment filing goes against the wishes of Democratic leadership, who have tried to keep their members focused on advancing their legislative agenda, saying that impeachment is useless since the Senate would immediately kill any talk of removing the President. However, the filing forces the House to convene and vote on the matter of impeachment, making Democratic leadership play their hand in a game of political roulette. So what exactly is at stake for each side?
Republicans have nothing to lose, as they’ll almost 100% certainly vote against it and frame Democrats as an extremist party that has gone rogue in time for the 2020 Elections. As for Democrats, this can only turn out one of two ways if they vote for an impeachment inquiry: Political suicide or a massive political momentum swing, there is no Door #3 for the Democratic Party. Voting against impeachment is the safe, minimal risk play for Democrats, but it would put them on the record as against impeachment, potentially alienating their more progressive, leftist voters.
If they vote in favor of impeachment, it could be complete political suicide, as the Republican Party would capitalize on it to paint Democrats as completely rogue and out looking for a witch-hunt of President Trump. That would likely alienate the many moderate or traditionally liberal voters they have left, not to mention creating a political earthquake that would shake their party to the core. On the other hand, it could be a massive momentum swing, bringing out “in the closet” impeachment supporters, similarly to how President Trump had many “in the closet” supporters during the 2016 Election. That could potentially create for a 2020 landslide victory for Democrats, although the odds are very minimal that would happen in comparison to the latter.