Why Are Some Feeling Sad About Impeachment?

I understand why politicians need to make the Very Serious Face and talk about how Wednesday was a Sad Day For The Republic™. But I don’t feel sad at all. What Trump did was saddening, demoralizing, enraging, and so on, but the impeachment itself is a good moment during a presidency with very few such momemnts. I’m not bouncing around with wicked glee, but Donald Trump’s impeachment–which now means every sentence can contain the clause “who was impeached”–is the least he deserves. It is vindication, though the impeachment charges were too narrow: they should have included emoluments. Self-dealing is easy to understand, and the attorneys general who brought the emoluments suit, which was dismissed because they didn’t have standing, not because it was wrong on the merits, already did much of the work for them.

Still, Wednesday evening was a good night. It was a small moment of justice in a country where the powerful are still protected from the consequences of their bad behavior–and which needs many more such moments.

Aside: All of the earlier (failed) motions to impeach Trump that were decried by Very Serious People gave Democrats the room to claim that this time was Very Serious. Moral of the story is always keep pushing.

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