Donald Trump once told voters that Republicans are "babies" for refusing to impeach a president who had done nothing wrong. That taunt, like much of what Trump says and does, could come back to haunt him now that he is in the hot seat.
Donald Trump’s latest crisis, in a presidency filled with crises, has brought him as close to the brink of impeachment as he has come since taking office.
The revelation that fired FBI Director James Comey composed memos that detailed Trump’s attempts to quash the investigation of disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has even made some Republicans sit up and take notice.
While they aren’t quite ready to discuss impeachment yet, save one brave soul, those Republicans might just want to refer back to a particularly relevant Trump critique of their party.
During a speech at the Values Voter Summit in 2015, Trump blasted Republicans for refusing to impeach a president who had, in fact, done nothing wrong:
These people are babies. Do you remember when they said they want to impeach — do you remember — no, they’re babies. They’re babies. (Applause.) Do you remember when they said they wanted to impeach — a small group wanted to impeach Obama? Right? Remember?
And then the Democrats said, “No, no, we want him to be impeached. We want him to be impeached. Please impeach him. It would be so good for him. It will make him look so good. And he’ll get all of his points out. It’ll be wonderful.”
Do you really think they want him to be impeached? So the Republicans come back. I was just telling the folks backstage, the Republicans come back. “Oh, we don’t want to do that because he wants to be.” Who wants to be impeached? (Laughter.) Oh, it’s so sad.
Trump’s taunt should ring in the ears of congressional Republicans who are now faced with yet another choice between country and political party, but so should the words and deeds of their own members.
While Trump stands accused of obstructing an FBI investigation and possible collusion with Russia, among other things, Republicans were ready to impeach President Barack Obama almost literally at the drop of a hat. Elected Republicans have publicly advocated for Obama’s impeachment on grounds ranging from his birth certificate, to Obama’s immigration policy, to no grounds at all.
Now faced with a president who has compromised the integrity of our very democracy, Republicans should heed Trump’s old advice, grow up, and demand he be held to account.