Budowsky: Pelosi is right about impeachment

Budowsky: Pelosi is right about impeachment
© Stefani Reynolds

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day Sunday” on Easter weekend, I quoted President Kennedy saying that “here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.” All of the Democratic candidates for president are brothers and sisters on the right side of this aspiration, and I suggested that Americans do not want to wake up every morning to learn who our president hates, insults and attacks that day.

The great mission for Democrats in 2020 is to paint a portrait of a new Democratic president and Congress leading a post-Trump America that aspires to perform great deeds with common purpose in a nation where a rising tide lifts all boats, and economic advancement and health security are a right for every American in a revitalized democracy.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide On The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation MORE (D-Calif.) is right about the issue of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE. House Democrats should aggressively investigate the scandals engulfing the Trump presidency, the devastating revelations from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE, coming actions from the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, and crony capitalist corruption and greed that plagues Trump’s presidency.


There will come a time for serious discussion of impeachment when more evidence is revealed, more investigations are advanced, and more wrongdoing is exposed. For those most angry and appalled by wrongs committed during the Trump presidency, myself included, one thing is certain. The surest guarantee of full and simple justice is that Trump is not reelected in 2020, not that a Republican Senate would do its duty with an epochally important election approaching.

If House Democrats move too quickly to initiate impeachment against Trump there will be no message from Democratic candidates that would powerfully reach the American people in a meaningful way. The nation would be saturated and inundated for more than a year by a bitterly divisive and nationally distasteful ordeal of angry debate about impeachment — with little national discourse about great and appealing issues where Democrats would lift the lives of Americans, and are widely supported by majorities of voters.

Throughout every means of political communication, from television to social media, beginning impeachment now would be like putting 20 tons of catnip before a family of hungry cats.

Impeachment, which wins only 34 percent support in one recent poll, would drown out all Democratic messages about wages and jobs, health care and education, and saving the earth from climate change— which all win huge public support.

No less a lifetime champion of progressive causes than Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.) warned about this danger in a CNN town hall meeting on Monday.

Having once worked for House Democratic leaders under previous speakers, I am unequivocally confident that Speaker Pelosi knows the greatest single truth about national elections in 2020, which was the defining fact that created the great Democratic landslide in House elections in 2018.

Democrats did not win the House in 2018 because strongly liberal candidates won liberal congressional districts. We won the House because appealing Democratic candidates who championed higher wages, better health care and a cleaner earth that will not be destroyed by pollution won districts that Trump carried in 2016.

My hope is that the most pro-impeachment House Democrats understand their interest in promoting their values and protecting their power by remembering that in 2018 what advanced their values, and propelled them to power, was that many exceptional Democrats won very tough races in very tough districts.

During her first 100 days as Speaker, Pelosi has been masterful at managing her relationship with Trump, and achieving considerable success as leader of the opposition to him.

The pathway to power and leadership for Democrats, and the surest pathway to justice for Trump is to win the presidency, House and Senate by championing our values and visions — which a majority of voters support! Democrats can do in our time what President Kennedy did in his: make voters feel better about themselves, their families, their future and our country.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.