Why impeachment, and why now? Herewith four theories that are neither mutually exclusive nor the sole or dominant reason—all four can be true to some extent, along with other reasons already floating around.
• The Democratic 2020 president field is unbelievably weak. The two front runners are a doddering old fool and a fake Indian whose shrill demeanor and radical ideas assure a Trump re-election. Hence the impeachment crusade is a hail Mary pass intended not just to whip up the Democratic base, but hopefully drive down Trump’s poll numbers. If the election next year is a referendum primarily about Trump, even a mediocre Democrat might win. With the compliant media happy to help out, think of impeachment as a billion-dollar attack-ad in-kind contribution to the 2020 campaign.
• If the economy holds up, Trump is the strong favorite to be re-elected. Hence the drive of the Democrats and the media to talk us into a recession. Would a protracted and bitter impeachment cause the economy to wobble in time to help Democrats? I doubt it: the Clinton impeachment of 1999 did not have much effect at all on the economy that I can remember. (The stock market mini-crashes of late October 199y and 1998 were the result of real economic disruptions mostly overseas, and proved quite temporary.) But when you’re desperate for some good (bad) news, why not give it a try?
• This is really about tying up the Senate to prevent Trump from confirming a successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, should she leave the court in the next few months. Aligned with the first point above, a spotlight on the Senate aids the Democratic drive to demonize Mitch McConnell and take control of the Senate in the next election.
• This is payback for the Clinton impeachment. Though it might be added that if the Democratic field completely collapses—one can easily see this happening*—then guess who’s waiting in the wings, tanned, rested, and ready? Don’t believe for a moment that the Gollum-like Hillary doesn’t want a rematch with Trump, and the Big He, as we used to call him, no doubt would like to reverse the fall in his reputation.
* Bonus point: Why doesn’t Warren go after Joe Biden with the Hunter Biden material? Probably because she fears Biden (or someone) will eventually go after her fake Indian credentials at some point in the primaries. Maybe Biden wants someone else to do it, the way Chris Christie kneecapped Marco Rubio in New Hampshire in 2016, which had the effect of finishing both of them off.