Sorry Pelosi, I’m Celebrating Today
Donald Trump just got impeached. Impeached. I want to write it out twenty times, just to make sure it really happened.
Even though I’ve been following every moment of the hearings with bated breath, struggling to tune out the endless coverage and the mounting stress, it didn’t really hit me until today. He’s the third president to ever be impeached. It’s a big deal.
Sure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to brag about how he’s working with the Trump administration, proving that there will be no fair trial of the President’s crimes in the Senate. Sure, Trump won’t be removed and this might help him win reelection.
But the majority of the House (the much more representative part of Congress) held up their constitutional mandate to punish the Executive Branch for crime.
And Donald Trump is a criminal. He has been a narcissistic, bigoted, pathological liar for years. But the criminal part is actually new.
Interviewing with Stephen Colbert a few weeks ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi highlighted that this is important. She hates Trump’s policies as much as many of us do. She has struggled to pass bills through the House that Senator McConnell has bragged about ignoring in the Senate. But the impeachment isn’t about Trump’s policies. It’s about upholding the Constitution.
When the articles of impeachment passed, a few Democrats started cheering. Speaker Pelosi glared at them and shut them up, just as she had refused to provoke the cheers of Colbert’s liberal crowd. Her powerful status as the de facto leader of the party is unchallenged and she urges her supporters to view it as a sad travesty that we have to impeach a sitting President. At the post-impeachment conference, she and other Democrat leaders continued to talk about the founding fathers and the tragedy of the impeachment.
Speaker Pelosi is a class act. She lives up to Michelle Obama’s saying that when they go low, we go high. Years ago, I once went to a birthday party for a retiring Congressman. When Ms. Pelosi entered the room, it broke into applause. It irritated me then, but I get it now. She tries to put her country over her party and her fame.
But she’s also a very privileged white woman who has been in politics so long, she is capable of the kind of emotionless fairness that is perhaps required for the job she’s earned. I’m not. Many other members aren’t. And that’s okay.
Let your party cheer.
For years, Trump has assaulted women and disrespected them. He has said racist things, anti-religious things, anti-veteran things. He has hurt our economy and destroyed the environment I will live in much longer than he. My friends and I are brown and black, queer and trans, religious and sexual minorities. He has kicked us out of the military and out of the country. He has threatened our livelihoods and our healthcare. He has made us feel like we don’t belong.
Then he became a criminal, a criminal who, in a perfect world, would get 10 years in prison. He used presidential powers to solicit election interference and conditioned significant acts of value on public announcement of investigations into an opponent. He compromised national security and threatened our democracy. He categorically opposed subpoenas, as a dictator would, flagrantly ignoring due process in our American republic. It’s abuse of power and it’s unconstitutional.
It is personal, Speaker Pelosi. It is our story and our victory, as much as it is yours. After all, we elected you. We elected every member who voted yes tonight.
And we have a right to celebrate. I remember breaking down the night Trump won. My whole body was as tense as a rock for weeks after. I was terrified for the future of the country. I have spent much of the last three years wondering what it means for me, an Indian woman, to be American in a country where no matter how much I serve, a large minority will always think a white man is worth more. It tore me apart. Trump destroyed me and he destroyed this country.
But we fought back. And we showed him who’s boss. (Literally. It’s us, not you, you wannabe dictator.)
So of course I’m happy. Applaud-worthy happy, even. Pelosi shouldn’t be trying to take that away. We all know that if it were the Republicans impeaching Obama, they would have cheered for days.
I’m a GenZer. I don’t think emotions are a weakness. I don’t think restraint is a virtue. I’m a fighter. Speaker Pelosi agrees that this is about the Constitution and that impeaching the President is a win for the balance of power.
And today, I choose to celebrate that. I applaud the win on behalf of the Constitution, as an American citizen. I applaud on behalf of the queer, the female, the brown, the black, the Muslim, and the undocumented. Not because the win had anything to do with that, as Speaker Pelosi rightfully pointed out, but because Trump was threatening an election that, if fairly conducted, would oust him and his racist, sexist cronies from positions of power.
I applaud the Democrats who voted for the impeachment. And above all, I applaud Nancy Pelosi for trying to keep the proceedings neutral, fair, and nonpartisan.
But I’m sorry, Madam Speaker. I do applaud.