In an op-ed in the New York Times billionaire environmentalist (that very phrase is so fraught with irony I can barely stand it) Tom Steyer illustrates handily why impeaching President Trump is likely to become for House Democrats what repealing ObamaCare was to House Republicans after the midterm elections of President Obama’s first term of office:
Should the establishment refuse to give up conventional orthodoxy and take up impeachment proceedings when the new Congress convenes, freshmen members — many of whom ran and won because of their promise to stand up to the president — must challenge the establishment and demand a say over the agenda. An overwhelming majority of people in this country elected them to hold this president accountable. There is no majority without them. That means no one has the votes for a leadership title without their support.
At a moment when just one-third of all Americans trust their government to do what is right, winning a majority has to mean much more than just frustrating Republican legislative goals and scoring debating points. Democrats must stand up for the safety of the American people and our entire democratic system.
We cannot allow this to be an argument about what Republicans will permit — it’s about demanding the truth and protecting the foundations of our free society. Anything less would mean abandoning the Constitution.
Basically, it will be an act of self-preservation. Their increasingly radicalized base will demand it. Not to mention increasingly radicalized big donors like Tom Steyer. When you take the king’s shilling, you are the king’s man.