From the Left



Impeach Trump? Why top Democrats say it's too soon

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

A week after Democrats scored unexpectedly huge election victories in the "blue wave" on Nov. 7, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an outspoken Trump critic from Chicago, joined fellow Democratic Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Al Green of Texas, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Adriano Espaillat of New York and John Yarmuth of Kentucky to file articles of impeachment against the president. Green also stood with Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, when he filed the Trump era's first articles of impeachment in July.

"If we failed to file these articles of impeachment," Gutierrez said, "we would be failing at doing our jobs."

And the grounds for impeachment? The Democratic lawmakers cited the president's one-on-one meeting with former FBI Director James Comey in which Trump, according to Comey, tried to stop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Among other offenses, the would-be impeachers cited the president's alleged use of his office to direct business to the companies that his family owns.

As you may have noticed, the party's internal divide over whether to impeach follows familiar lines between the pragmatic establishment that backed Hillary Clinton's nomination and the mavericks who prefer the likes of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

That poses a delicate dilemma for leaders such as Pelosi: How do you cool down the party's impatient progressives without dampening the energies that can help the party win elections?

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Pelosi has taken the Napoleonic position of trying to avoid getting in the Grand Old Party's way as they busily destroy themselves. Referring to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign, Politico reports that she told a Democratic leadership meeting earlier this year, "The proof is in the (Russian leader Vladimir) Putin."

Indeed, Trump's stumbles and unorthodox leadership style have made valuable contributions to his political opposition. But, as sober minds persistently point out, being anti-Trump is not enough. Democrats also have to show how they can bring Americans a better future.

(E-mail Clarence Page at



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