Your Humble Blogger wrote up a long, long note about impeachment, and the various terrible option open to the Democrats in the House. Broadly speaking, every course of action that seems open to them at this point is a mine-strewn path to injustice, ignominy and irrelevance. It was depressing to write. It would have been depressing to read.
I saw a couple of tweets today that turned me to a slightly different angle. Here’s one, from Sarah Binder:
Updating H. Democrats im🍑ment figure … adding lawmakers newly calling to start an impeachment inquiry. Story the same, but more pronounced. With one exception in the lower-left corner of at risk seats (Tom Malinowski-NJ), only safer Democrats taking public stance. pic.twitter.com/ewUOjvvYf8— Sarah Binder (@bindersab) May 31, 2019
Essentially, democracy and representation—the more people in a Representative’s district that want Our Only President to be impeached, the more likely it is that the Representative has taken a public stand in favor of impeachment. That’s… probably a good thing. And it should follow on the public opinion, rather than getting very far ahead of it. Convince the people, and the politicians will follow.
Here’s another tweet, not immediately on-topic, from Lara Putnam:
This is why @hahriehan & I argue that ignoring 2020 candidates & organizing locally is the best thing you can do for whoever you want to win. "Electability"? That's gonna depend on the *electorate* around you, & the world they live in for the next 17 mos https://t.co/BvE8xqa2fQ— Lara Putnam (@lara_putnam) May 30, 2019
The point again: organize the people, and the election will follow. Who the candidate is will matter a lot less to the outcome of the Presidential election—even in 2020!—than the ability of local candidates (and groups fighting local ballot items) to mobilize in their own areas.
And then, one more that came up on my feed:
"O Captain! My Captain!" Happy Birthday #WaltWhitman! We're celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of this great American poet with a display of the @librarycongress extensive Whitman collection. https://t.co/66JLPvLB82 https://t.co/Wgs30MCl4t pic.twitter.com/Bbm8Nc2bLi— Carla Hayden (@LibnOfCongress) May 31, 2019
That’s Carla Hayden, herself a great American, reminding me that if I am willing to call myself a Walt Whitman democrat—as I do—I should try to stick to my interpretation of his interpretation of Democracy. And that, as I think somebody put it in a comment on this blog a long time ago, is that we don’t win elections in order to create social change, and we don’t create social change in order to win elections: we create social change to create social change, and the elections follow. Which we do, by the love of comrades, with the life-long love of comrades.
So. In our current political situation, there is no glorious path for me to urge Nancy Pelosi to start up—fine. Then we don’t wait for her to find one. We try like hell to change the political situation. The situation sure as hell isn’t what it was two years ago, or five years ago, and it can change again.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,