Jamie Raskin and the Democrats Exposed Trump and the GOP Knows It
Impeachment no longer feels like a punishment for Trump so much as a necessity for democracy.
On the first day of the president’s second impeachment, Democrats finally brought the fire.
It was an odd impeachment from the moment it began, with lawyers arguing to a jury filled with victims and co-conspirators (hey, Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz) in a trial being held at the scene of the actual crime, in a chamber that had been breached by Trump’s insurrectionists. No one was exactly excited to be here to impeach Trump, again. Democrats, eager to get to lawmaking, were nervous about looking partisan and burning political capital. Republicans just want to pretend the whole storming-the-Capitol-at-Trump’s-behest thing never happened. But there’s no moving on when the preservation of our democracy could come down to how well Democrats narrate what happened on Jan. 6.
And luckily for democracy, Democratic impeachment manager Jamie Raskin’s emotional speech Tuesday put what’s at stake in stark relief. I’m not sure if these impeachment managers were that much better or if the world has just shifted so much in the year since Trump was last tried, but impeachment no longer feels like a punishment for Trump so much as a necessity for democracy. Either things matter or they don’t. Either Congress says armed insurrections are not OK and protects the principle and practice of a peaceful transfer of power, or next time the coup succeeds. We can’t hope that the next president won’t try a coup; we have to strengthen those democratic guardrails now.