Impeachment: the long road ahead

The impeachment inquiry we never truly believed would happen is underway. Republicans and Democrats alike may have been inundated with the mention of impeachment since Trump took office, but this is certainly a surprise for even myself. Impeachment has been a buzzword to encourage liberals and piss off conservatives for so long the idea of it actually coming into effect is in some ways bizarre. The jokes about Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, writing a sternly worded letter in response to every crime Trump commits were starting to make me believe nothing would ever happen, but here we are.

The beginning of an impeachment inquiry doesn’t mean anything will come of it. The process is a lengthy one and a difficult one. Even the two presidents in the past who have had successful impeachment inquiries opened about them still stayed in power. Nixon would have been the third but resigned before impeachment could be started. The historical track record for sitting presidents being impeached is — for all intents and purposes — pretty poor.

It’s easy to see why impeachment is so uncommon. In order for impeachment to occur, first the House Judiciary Committee has to formally investigate the president. This is the first step the House Democrats have taken with Pelosi’s opening of a presidential inquiry.

Next, any misconduct they find will have to be voted on by the House of Representatives, which currently holds a Democratic majority. You would hope an issue of presidential corruption would be nonpartisan, but, unfortunately, it seems as though the Democratic majority will be an important factor.

After that vote is passed by a majority, Trump would then face a trial in the Senate. The vote here will be even more difficult to pass, requiring a two-thirds majority vote in a Republican-dominated Senate. The same issue of nonpartisanship would then arise, where overwhelming evidence of broken laws will still likely be a hard sell for a Republican-dominated Senate, especially when requiring a two-thirds majority. Only after that point would the president be removed from office.

On top of being a long and difficult process, I assume there is another reason such an inquiry hardly ever makes it so far — it takes a special caliber of idiot to garner enough anger from all sides of the country for an impeachment to be started.

This is why, even with the improbable beginnings of impeachment, I hold no hope for this probe to come to a happy conclusion. A feverish Trump-supporter base will guarantee that no Republicans will risk reelection to support an impeachment vote. Democrats were hard enough to convince to get to this point, as is evidenced by how long it took for the House majority leader to do anything besides scold the president on Twitter.

Do not mistake my cynicism for hopelessness. I have faith that the system that is broken and has been broken for so long can be repaired, and that begins with a bipartisan agreement that President Trump is too flawed of a human being to continue leading our country. It’s a lot to ask for in a divided political climate, but a boy can dream, can’t he?