The Impeachment of Trump Is a Deep-Democratic Coup Against Elizabeth Warren

Is Nancy Pelosi using impeachment to mess up Elizabeth Warren?

Some Republicans see the Ukraine/Biden impeachment inquiry as a deep-state coup attempt against President Trump. Some progressives are beginning to scratch the surface of an alternative, but equally cynical, analysis that I think leftists ought to consider:
The impeachment of Donald Trump is a DNC/centrist coup attempt against progressives inside the Democratic Party.
Democrats could have launched impeachment proceedings over any number of more compelling issues: Trump’s child separation policy at the border, the Muslim travel ban, emoluments, the president’s erratic behavior on social media. Why the Ukraine/Biden affair?
The House inquiry is hardly ideal from a framing perspective. The only conceivable reason that the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma hired Vice President Biden’s screw-up drug addict alcoholic son, with zero experience in the energy sector, to sit on its board of directors for $50,000 a month was that he was the vice president’s son. Vox notes that “the situation constituted the kind of conflict of interest that was normally considered inappropriate in Washington.” Pre-impeachment, no one knew about this sleaze.
Knowing that his worthless son was working a no-show “job” there for a company brazenly trying to buy his influence, Vice President Biden ought to have been the last Obama Administration official to call the president of Ukraine about anything. Democratic leaders, corporatists to a man and firmly on team Biden, nonetheless are aware that their impeachment inquiry risks exposing their preferred candidate to the kind of scrutiny that can lose an election.
Biden apologists like the New York Times’ resident conservative columnist Ross Douthat are furiously spinning the argument that Americans should ignore Biden’s corruption to focus on Trump’s worse corruption. “Hypocrisy is better than naked vice, soft corruption is better than the more open sort, and what the president appears to have done in leaning on the Ukrainian government is much worse than Hunter Biden’s overseas arrangements,” argues the Dout. But impeachment is a political, not a legal (or legalistic) process. We knew what Trump was when we elected him; this point goes to the president.
So why go after Trump over Ukraine/Biden and not, say, the fact that he’s nuts?
Risks aside, the Democrats’ Ukraine investigation—not successfully, I think, but anyway, it tries—to rescue Biden’s flagging campaign by transforming him into a victim. Liberals love victim narratives.
And now the crux: Elizabeth Warren. When Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry, the self-styled progressive from Massachusetts was rising in the polls so fast that many analysts, me included, believed that she had become the most likely nominee. I still do. That goes double following Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, which fuels concerns about his age.
As impeachment proceedings do, the current effort to sanction Trump—remember, odds of getting 67 senators to vote to remove him from office are exceedingly long—will dominate news coverage as long as they go on. It’s going to be impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, 24-7.
The drone of impeachment will eclipse Warren’s remarkably disciplined campaign. She has a plan for everything but the media won’t cover them. Warren trails Biden on name recognition; how will voters get to know her? I’d be spitting bullets if I were her campaign manager.
As I’ve written for The Wall Street Journal, progressive ideas are dominating the current presidential campaign cycle on the Democratic side. Most of the top candidates have endorsed Bernie Sanders’ key 2016 promises: free college, Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage. Nearly three out of four Democratic voters self-identify as progressives.
Bernie lost the Battle of 2016 to Hillary Clinton but he won the war. Corporatists still control the DNC but the vast majority of Democrats lean left. Before Biden entered the 2020 campaign it seemed clear that four decades of Third Way/Democratic Leadership Council/New Democrats/Clintonite rule of the party was coming to an end. A progressive, either Sanders or Warren, would almost certainly be the nominee.
Biden’s campaign is about one thing: blocking progressives.
Samuel Moyn, interviewed in Jacobin, sort of gets it. “[Democratic Congressman] Adam Schiff and many others are not concerned about saving the Democratic Party from its historical errors, including its own disaster in 2016,” Moyn says. “If impeachment becomes a distraction from that much more pressing campaign to save the Democratic Party for the Left, then it will have been a disaster.”
What better way for moderates to recapture control of the Democratic party than by impeaching Donald Trump? The impeachment brigade has progressive allies like AOC’s “squad.” But the pro-impeachment Democrats who are getting airtime on MSNBC, unofficial broadcast organ of the Democratic Party, are the centrist/DNC “national security Democrats.” (Note the new/old branding. Scoop Jackson, call your office.)
Impeaching Trump may not be a fiendishly clever conspiracy to recapture the Democratic Party from the left. It may simply work out that way—dumb luck for dumb corporatists. Regardless, pro-impeachment progressives are dupes.
Why impeach Trump when it seems so unlikely to result in his removal from office? Why risk energizing and further unifying the Republican Party?
As their backing of Hillary over the more popular Bernie in 2016 showed, the old DLC cabal is more interested in getting rid of the progressives in their own party than in defeating Donald Trump. Impeachment may not nominate, much less elect, Joe Biden. But it just might neutralize Elizabeth Warren.
(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of “Francis: The People’s Pope.” You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)


  • Yet another wackadoodle conspiracy theory from the Desk Of Ted Rall. Sometimes the obvious explanation really is the real explanation; no ginormous hoax, no million-member conspiracy, no Reptillens disguised as Illuminati: just the facts that are in plain view.

    Pelosi’s no angel, but Ted’s been consistently deriding her for not having the spine to impeach, and now that she’s found one … he’s still complaining.

    Hillary lost, get over it. Now it’s time to talk about the guy who won.

  • alex_the_tired
    October 8, 2019 10:43 AM

    My biggest problem with Ted’s theory about a “coup attempt against progressives” is that Elizabeth Warren isn’t a progressive. She stood and applauded Donald Trump. If she’s elected, we’ll get her watered-down revamp of Sanders’ policies (this is part of why the media won’t cover her plans; they’re Sanders’ plans more or less, often less).

    In a Warren presidency, healthcare will still be the chain that keeps people terrified to leave their jobs, college tuition will still be an albatross that young people will carry with them for decades, etc. Just like Hillary War Criminal and Obama, she’ll be besties with big business, loyal and true to Wall Street. Warren will not summon the necessary transformations needed to save the country from becoming a slum-state because, well, her daughter’s company would be negatively impacted!!!!1!

    I think the Ukraine investigation was launched because Ruth Bader Ginsburg (or one of the other Supremes) is close to death (like before the new year). Pelosi had to come up with something to block Trump’s next appointment, and fast. That it sinks Biden is coincidental (but useful because Biden is fading fast mentally).

    Sanders’ heart attack? We’ll know what it means to his campaign after the next debate. If he’s still the same old hectoring, mentally sharp Bernie, I don’t think it will affect the campaign because the Sanders people are fanatical about him. It will turn into a bragging point. “Yeah, he had a heart attack, and he’s still doing more than any of the other candidates.” The Sanders suporters see this election for what it is, the very last chance the 99% will get. A heart attack he walked out of the hospital from three days later is not going to collapse the structure.

    As you say, “pro-impeachment progressives are dupes.” Absolutely. It reminds me of the line attributed to Napoleon about not interrupting an opponent who is in the middle of making a mistake. Trump is making mistakes left and right. By Election Day, only his hardcore supporters (Nixon still had something like 30% approval when he left office) will back him, and that’s not going to win the election.

    But Warren? She’s exactly what the dems and big bidness want. Someone who can be controlled and who will, when push comes to shove, back down, roll over, and do as she’s told.

    • That the Dems are NOT Trump is not enough to change the minds of people who will stay at home on election day in disgust of the Dems because of their the zero opposition to the worst of Trump’s policies of interest to the LEFT OUT.

      The Dems are too Classical Liberal (see Milton Friedman) and Neoliberal for the 45% LEFT OUT voters to come out in their support of the 27.5 %-plus-one share needed of the 55% who will come out.

      Actually it’s more than the above because of the Electoral College. Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million votes but lost because “We the Little People” are worshipful slaves to the Dead Founding Slavers who wrote the Electoral College into the Constitution.

      It doesn’t help that “Savior” Obama bailed out Wall Street and surrendered his right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.

      “On March 16, 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed Antonin Scalia, who had died one month earlier.” —Wilipedia

      The LEFT OUT will remember that the Democrats are Surrender Monkeys to the Republicans, and that their broken promise of a Supreme Court seat upon winning invalidates that reason for voting for them.

  • «Bernie lost the Battle of 2016 to Hillary Clinton but he won the war.» That, Ted, must be one of the more optimistic analyses of the current state of the US democratic Party I’ve yet seen. As the impeachment circus suffices to show, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose….


  • Elizabeth Warren supports the impeachment of Donald Trump. As Casey Stengel (who?) used to say, “You can look it up”. So — logically — Warren is conducting a Deep State Coup against herself. Jill Stein — the real hope for America — will be the real victim here.

    • I fail to see the contradiction. Lots of people behave self-destructively.

      • I’m not sure that Ms Warren’s – and, lest we forget, Mr Sander’s – hopping on the, to my mind, meaningless, impeachment bandwagon is an example of self-destructive behaviour – imagine the reaction if she/they were to come out against it !…

        In my view, this is merely something the progressive wing of the Democratic Party – if indeed, such a faction exists – will simply have to get through. Here in Sweden this is called hålla god min i elakt spel ; the closest English expression that comes to mind is «grin and bear it»….


  • The most penetrating – and, I might add, the most frightening- analysis of the current impeachment circus I’ve yet seen is this one, entitled, We’re in a permanent coup by Matt Taibbi. Leaving aside the situation as it pertains to Ms Warren (for whom, by the way, I hold no brief), the issue here, according to Mr Taibbi (and I agree), is how much control the country’s (un)intelligence agencies are to have over who gets to be- or remain – President of the Untied States. As bad as Mr Trump undoubtedly is, I doubt that replacing him with with a person selected by a committee consisting of James Brien Comey, John Owen Brennan, Michael S Rogers, and James Robert Clapper would be much of an improvement. Be careful what you wish for (and not least, the way in which it is brought about) !…


  • alex_the_tired
    October 13, 2019 11:47 AM


    How about “close your eyes and think of [America]” for a translation? The reality, at least as far as I see reality, is like this:

    Bernie voters are not going to come out in the numbers needed to give Warren a victory over Trump. 2016 taught us a valuable lesson: we were cheated out of our candidate by the dnc’s elites [sic]. Warren’s just a retread of the Bill Clinton/Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton style of democratic party that’s done NOTHING these past 40 years except compromise everything away for the middle class.

    If Sanders had lost “fairly” in 2016, Warren might have a chance. But all those young people who the pollsters never reach because they don’t have landlines? And who the msm ignore whenever posible? They see straight through Warren, and they realize, voting for her isn’t going to fix the problems. They will stay home and all the talking heads will simply not understand how Trump was able to do it again.

    Boy o boy, do I wish there really were a hell so that I could wish Hillary Clinton would burn in it for all eternity. She stole 2016, and reinvigorated the crumbling Republican Party to vote against her. Any other candidate would not have generated so much loathing as she, and that’s why Trump won. Sanders would have picked up a lot of the votes that went to Trump by fed-up middle classers, and a lot of Republicans simply wouldn’t have voted for Trump. But to stop Hillary? They’d have climbed uphill the whole way to get to the ballot box.