IMPEACHMENT BE DAMNED, SPEAK UP--While many progressives were dismayed to learn on Thursday that Democratic leaders remain reticent to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, some looked with admiration at the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who successfully forced their governor from office with days of non-violent protests.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's resignation Wednesday night followed nearly two weeks of historic, sustained demonstrations by Puerto Ricans angry over leaked messages showing the governor and his associates denigrating his constituents, as well as a corruption scandal.
Puerto Ricans have given "their fellow Americans the blueprint to remove Trump," wrote one progressive critic on social media.
Meanwhile, in the wake of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly dismissed Rep. Jerrold Nadler's (D-N.Y.) suggestion in a closed-door meeting that House committees begin drafting articles of impeachment against the president.
At the hearing, Mueller testified that Trump was "not exculpated" for obstruction of justice. His testimony confirmed that Trump ordered former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller and told former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to order the Department of Justice to limit the special counsel's probe.
A number of observers noted after the hearing that those facts—along with Trump's alleged violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, advocacy for violence against his political opponents, attacks on the free press, and other alleged misconduct—provided enough evidence for Democrats to draft articles of impeachment.
"In less than 16 days from the time the first news broke of his horrible and hateful comments, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to resign after mass protests," tweeted Human Rights Campaign press secretary Charlotte Clymer. "I can't even recall all the horrible shit Trump has done in the last 16 days."
One observer noted that Puerto Ricans in New York rallied at Grand Central Station in support of people living on the island territory.
A poll taken this month by the Washington Post/ABC News showed that 37 percent of American adults currently support beginning impeachment proceedings. A survey released by Gallup on July 3 revealed that 45 percent of Americans, including 81 percent of Democrats, say the president should be impeached—a greater share than that which backed impeachment proceedings when officials began pursuing impeachment for Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
"The Puerto Rican people showed how you impeach a bigoted politician: Don't wait for politicians—organize general strikes and get in the streets!” wrote author and educator Jesse Hagopian. "It's time we show Trump where the real power is!"
(Julia Conley writes for Common Dreams.)