Democrats dropped the pretense of solemnity and celebrated the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump, while Republicans warned of dire consequences to the US. Trump shrugged it all off, holding a campaign rally in Michigan.
The House of Representatives approved both articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday evening, with zero Republicans in favor. Two Democrats voted against the first, and three against the second article. One Democrat – Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii – voted “present” on both.
“It is sad for our country but it is the best defense for our democracy,”declared Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California), echoing the party’s official line that impeachment was a somber process they were forced into. Others tweeted out that they voted to “protect our democracy,” and “uphold the Constitution,” adding another talking point that “no one is above the law.”
Gabbard explained her vote in a statement, calling what happened “a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.”
Republicans were quick to point out the hypocrisy of Democrats feigning sadness even as they applauded their own achievement.
“Democrats just started cheering and applauding after the first vote on impeachment. Didn’t they claim this was supposed to be a sad and somber moment?”wondered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California)
“This is the weakest, thinnest, most partisan impeachment in American history,”said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida). “With no crime, no victim, no evidence, no proof, and no agenda for America, House Democrats’ impeachment charade has followed no rules, and adheres to no sense of honor.”
Democrats voted to impeach “for a crime they couldn’t find and a case they couldn’t prove,”wrote Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina). “You won’t forget. And neither will we.”
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) chose to comment on the vote by sharing a picture of “zero proof” Pelosi-branded Kentucky bourbon.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 19, 2019
Impeachment will not actually remove Trump for office, as the House resolution “will meet a quick demise” in the Republican-majority Senate, as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) pointed out.
That didn’t seem to be the point of the House vote, however, as mainstream media pundits were quick to note.
“Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action,” declared Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post.
Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action. No wonder he rages against a speaker he is powerless to stop. https://t.co/2W9gmqXM8b
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) December 19, 2019
“This is a stain that will forever live on his presidency. When we are all long gone… that might be the only thing people know about Donald Trump, that he was impeached,”said CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Trump himself seemed to think otherwise, choosing to hold a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan on Wednesday evening. Taking the stage just as the House vote was taking place, he barely acknowledged impeachment – and only to declare that Democrats will be punished for it at the ballot box next year.
“With today’s illegal, unconstitutional, and partisan impeachment, the do-nothing Democrats are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter,” he said. “This lawless partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the Democratic Party.”