CHARTOCK: THE CASE AGAINST IMPEACHMENT…
New York is a very blue state. The majority of its residents live in the city. Upstate has more Republicans than the downstate area boasts. Nonetheless, lifelong New Yorker Donald Trump is truly despised by New Yorkers, more so than anywhere else in America. He knows that when he shows up in New York there is traffic chaos and protesting. I have stood outside Trump Tower and watched people at random pointing their middle fingers up to the sky. Perhaps that’s why the guy doesn’t show up in his city all that often. For someone with a massive ego, that’s got to be rough. The need to punish those people he doesn’t like probably extends to the whole state. You might think that the Trump would believe that if he did something nice for the city, he might make a few converts. While that is now doubtful, you really don’t have to go that far back in New York City’s history to remember when Trump was desperately trying to buy New York’s affection by financing both the iconic skating rink in Central Park and the carousel which so many of us grew up adoring.
Andrew Cuomo has approached Trump over and over again, trying to get the guy to spend federal money on the crucial New York-New Jersey Tunnel which is essential to the wellbeing of the not only the City but also to the entire nation. After all, New York IS the economic capital of the country. But of course, Trump is seemingly only interested in what’s good for Trump.
Because New York is so blue and because New Yorkers really detest Trump and because New Yorkers are so unhappy about Trump’s residency in the White House, they are more and more crazy about getting the guy impeached, even if the Republican dominated Senate will NEVER vote to convict the guy. We know that they won’t because they know that Trump will primary them if they show what JFK called a “profile in courage” and do the right thing.
By now, we all know that the last thing that Nancy Pelosi wants is a failed impeachment effort. She won the House by making it all about Trump and she may well win both the Senate and the presidency by continuing to have her top committees investigate the hell out of the guy and his misdeeds.
The problem is that New Yorkers really hate Trump and are frustrated by him. I am hearing from a lot of them who just don’t give a damn if an impeachment effort is fool hardy. They are so angry that they are making up the rationale for impeachment as they go along. They opine that the Constitution demands impeachment. They say that impeachment will cripple his electability. Republican Senators who vote no would have to face an angry electorate at the polls.
Pelosi has drawn her top chair people of key committees into her correct but unpopular position and some of those chairs like the brilliant Richard (“Richie”) Neal of the Ways and Means and Jerry Nadler of the hot bed of resistance on the West Side of Manhattan are hearing from very angry constituents. Plus a foolish multi-millionaire, obviously trying to make a name for himself, is taking out ads trying to force Pelosi’s people into approving impeachment. It’s working. I have never had such anger directed at me for supporting Pelosi. To me, it’s quite simple. If you want to get rid of Trump it HAS to be done at the polls.
Right now, that will happen. Impeachment will be like scratching poison ivy. It may feel good in the moment but in the long run it will make you bleed and make things worse.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected].