The political calculus for impeachment is clear. I fail to see why Democrats hid their heads in the sand on this issue of singular moral urgency for so long. But now they are at risk of completely bungling this process right out of the gate.
The power of impeachment is not the vote about impeachment. Nobody, pardon my language, gives a fuck what representatives think about that. Voting is not the point. The point is having a public airing of the president's crimes, in such a way that he cannot cut through the coverage or pivot the narrative to something more congenial to himself. This president operates by lies and bluster and constant narrative shifts. We cannot let him do that any longer.
Without such a public hearing this becomes yet another tiresome Democrats vs. Republicans story, and the press and public will soon move past it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have a beautiful opportunity to control the narrative for months—the list of the President's crimes alone would weeks to establish. Having public hearings and compelling witnesses is what changed public opinion on Nixon and woke the country up to the magnitude of his crimes, and Trump is much worse.
We cannot make the mistake of thinking the average voter understands the gravity of the situation. The vast majority of Americans have not read the Mueller Report. Most of Congress appears not to have read it. Large majorities do not understand how our system of checks and balances works or the role that the Congress is supposed to play. We have the opportunity to demonstrate moral leadership and show them. We need to take it.