Staunch Republicans and right-wing advocates have supported Trump against the impeachment threat and criticized Democrats for trying to remove a president from office based on a nothingburger conversation. That view comes as no surprise. What is surprising is when distinguished law professors from preeminent liberal institutions say the same thing.
Eric Posner is a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School (where Obama once taught) and the son of Richard Posner, a legendary federal court judge. Eric Posner is a prolific legal writer and the author of 12 books and hundreds of peer-reviewed legal articles. He is the fourth-most-cited legal scholar in the United States. In short, he’s a distinguished scholar and no partisan hack.
Yet his view of impeachment is that the Democrats are falling into what he calls “the impeachment trap.” In this article, Posner says that the Democrats are wasting their time because the Senate will certainly vote to acquit President Trump and his popularity is likely to soar in the aftermath. Posner says, “Impeachment has its own narrative logic: Once the Democrats initiate it, they either win or lose. If they lose, they will be seen as losers who wasted public resources for a futile goal.”
Posner also asks why Democrats would even pursue impeachment if they will lose in the end and if Trump’s popularity is likely to increase. The answer is that many Democratic members of Congress fear primary challenges from the ultra-progressive left if they do not vote for impeachment.
In other words, moderate Democrats are being driven to immoderate actions by extremists in their own party even if the process helps Trump. Welcome to the looking-glass world of 21st-century politics.
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