The Democrats seem to be stuck in legalisms. First it was whether there was a quid pro quo. Now it's whether Trump was bribing the Ukranian President. Both may be grounds for impeachment, but each requires a knowledge of basic legal principles to determine whether the grounds are valid. And each is inherently debatable, giving Republicans the basis for creating doubts where, really, none should exist.
It is well established that impeachment is not a remedy for criminality alone. Nor is a crime sufficient. If the President was found to have violated a speed limit on federal property, would he be subject to impeachment? No, because even if this were a felony, it would not be a crime that threatens the national welfare, nor is it an act of such self-serving that it casts the most severe doubt on his fitness for office.
The politics of this are actually far simpler and subject to less genuine doubt (or, put differently, less susceptible to being made the subject of confusion among people who do not live, breathe and eat politics, i.e., most people).
President Trump is irritating and embarrassing. In their gut, the broad middle of this country know he is unqualified to be President. They are either looking for--or at least are open to--a rationale for getting rid of him.
That rationale is staring the Democrats in the face but they seem oblivious to it.
What is the most significant of a President's powers? National security. What is the most dangerous thing a President can do? Tilt his foreign policy in favor of the nation's enemies.
The obvious basis for impeachment, one that is not debatable, is that Trump has been guilty of favoring Russia in the major approaches in his foreign policy:
- He has weakened Ukraine in its war with Russia by interfering in Ukrainian political affairs and favoring the very corrupt interests he claims to oppose.
- He has abandoned the Kurds, and thereby paved the way for Russia to gain the upper hand in Syria.
- He has openly favored Brexit, which helps Russia's long-held desire to weaken the European Union.
- He has weakened the NATO Alliance, helping to advance another perennial Russian goal.
- He has openly sided with Putin and against our national security professionals, on the issue of Russian interference with the 2016 election, thereby weakening American political support for strengthening our political security.
- He elevated the North Korean regime to equal status with the United States, in exchange for nothing but vague promises, thereby fulfilling yet another Russian objective.