“If there are people in the House or the Senate who want to say that’s what a president can do when the president is being investigated for his own wrongdoings or when a foreign government attacks our country, then they should have to take that vote and live with it for the rest of their lives.” —Senator Elizabeth Warren
My basement rehab is still chugging along, and since I’ve just slightly adjusted to this temporary “new normal”, we can bring politics back to the dinner table, so to speak. As you’re well aware, the Mueller report dropped and impeachment talk is abuzz, as well it very much should be. My stance hasn’t changed, but perhaps it’s possible the Old Dinosaurs of the House Democratic leadership are now out of excuses? I think the only thing we the people can do is continue to agitate for it, keep calling our congressional representatives, and keep talking about it. There currently exist in the national conversation a multitude of solid, compelling arguments in favor of impeachment, but I’ve thought of three specific arguments I’m not hearing mentioned. And I’d like that to change, because I think these points are worth adding to the already lengthy list.
First of all, doesn’t running against a literally impeached President give his opponent an inherent advantage? I know America has no precedent for this, so no one can say for certain how this would work. But I just cannot see how running for reelection as an impeached President can possibly help you in any way. I’m not a marketing or PR expert, but can you imagine sinking your teeth into creating those ad campaigns? Doesn’t that sound just a little bit fun? You see the debates now, can’t you? Serious-faced Chris Wallace (no relation, by the way) saying, “Sir, the US House of Representatives has impeached you for high crimes and misdemeanors. Doesn’t that disqualify you from seeking a second term?” I know we don’t have an exact road map for such a situation, and victory should not be assumed certain under any circumstances. But how would that not advantage the Democratic opponent? We have reams of data showing us that repetition of a simple idea works in political races. Imagine the nation hearing “He was impeached! He was impeached! He was impeached!” over and over for months before heading into the voting booths. It could work, right?
On to my second point, which may be far more important than the first. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that for whatever reason impeachment isn’t really swaying independent voters, or that our nominee is wussy, elderly, “bipartisan” Joe Biden and he never mentions it because he’s afraid of some diner patrons in Ohio. I still cannot imagine it wouldn’t be a major factor in Senate races, assuming of course the Senate votes to acquit. These Republican senators up for reelection would have to answer for this at every stop on their campaign trails. Every debate would center around it. Every Democrat ad campaign would mention it. Also remember, 2020 is not a good Senate map for Republicans. Holding them accountable for voting to keep Trump in office despite the public record that would be laid bare by impeachment hearings could be a powerful campaigning tool, especially in blue and purple states. “My Republican opponent is pro-corruption!” Also worth bearing in mind, most Senators lack the cult of personality that Trump possesses. Entrenched Senators can become exhausting under the best of circumstances, and something as weighty as voting to keep a corrupt President in office could be a tipping point in some races.
Regardless of short-term outcomes, impeachment will leave a permanent mark on Trump’s legacy and brand. Not only does this embarrass him personally and in his business dealings of which he has not divested, it will leave a permanent scar for his kids to endure. This is significant, perhaps more so than whatever happens to The Donald. Look, if you think Ivanka isn’t going to be running for elected office in maybe four to eight years, then you’re definitely swimming in beautiful-beachfront-property-in-Kansas waters. She most likely will, and it’d be nice for America if we could constantly remind her and ourselves that she was part of her father’s administration where she contributed to said high crimes and misdemeanors that got him officially impeached. But beyond that, our subconscious brains always remember scandals like this, even long after they are over. Bill Clinton’s impeachment didn’t specifically come up much during Hillary’s presidential campaign, but we saw clearly how his legacy negatively affected her. His championed 1990’s legislation that has aged so, so poorly was frequently thrown in her face, because Hillary had also championed it at the time. His impeachment per se wasn’t, but I think circumstances matter here. Hillary as First Lady involved herself in and cheered on Bill’s policy initiatives; I think we can all agree she did NOT espouse fooling around with an intern. So while his specific impeachment didn’t overtly damage her, I still think it mattered and certainly did not help her campaign. Like my husband said, “It’s automatic: when you hear ‘Clinton’ you think ‘scandal’”, and of course Blowjobgate (I’m changing its name to something more fair) greatly contributes to that.
It would be the same with Ivanka running for office, but more so because she would have directly contributed to the rank corruption. Impeachment leaves a stain that can’t ever really be scrubbed off. Even if it doesn’t affect President Trump’s life all that much, there’s no way in hell it doesn’t negatively affect and kneecap his children. Impeachment will embarrass the Trump brand. And while The Donald might not depend on that too much longer, his children are totally reliant. And they are still quite young.
Thoughts? Keep up the pressure, rest when you need to. Eat well.
Tlayuda with Black Bean Puree and Beef
- 2 15 oz. cans black beans
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon mild chile powder, like New Mexico or ancho, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon cumin, or to taste
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 generous tbs chili powder
- A couple pinches of dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- ½ cup store bought restaurant-style red salsa
- 2 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
- 2 8 oz. bricks of Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 small head of green cabbage, quartered, cored, and shredded on a mandolin
- 1 lime, cut in half
- Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish
- Minced cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 450 F.
BLACK BEANS: In a medium saucepan, add the black beans, garlic, onion, mild chile powder, cumin, plus salt and pepper to taste. Warm over medium-low heat for a few minutes, just to mellow out the garlic and onion a bit. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until pureed but still a little chunky. Set aside.
- GROUND BEEF: Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and beef. Cook and crumble until no traces of pink remain. Season with chili powder, dried oregano, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, then add the salsa. If it’s watery at all, cook until the water evaporates and the mixture is like a really thick chili.
- TLAYUDA: Place tortillas on a baking sheet(s), then spread each with half the black bean puree almost to the edges. Now top each tortilla with half the cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly and starting to brown. Let rest a couple minutes then slide onto a cutting board. Let rest a good 10 minutes or so. Cut each “pizza” into quarters, top each quarter liberally with cabbage. Sprinkle the cabbage with a touch of salt, then squeeze on lime juice (you should use 1 lime for all 8 quarters). Sprinkle the meat evenly onto each quarter, then garnish with crumbled Cotija and minced cilantro.
- Feeds 4 hungry people or 8 lightly peckish people.