Editorials

Why are Josh Hawley, Sharice Davids trying to cash in on Trump impeachment inquiry?

A presidential impeachment inquiry is truly nothing to revel in. Nor should it be a fundraising opportunity, though politicians in both parties clearly see it as such.

Some of the impeachment-inspired pitches are pro forma, like Trump 2020 panhandling for donations to an “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” Or like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s email ask that said, “This week, our Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. They know it’s absolutely critical we get to the bottom of his corruption.

But as you read this email, Donald Trump and his Republicans are fundraising like never before, SMEARING Nancy Pelosi, and doing everything they can to DEFEAT every single truth-seeking Democrat. It’s atrocious … Will you rush in $1 to protect and expand our Majority?”

The Nevada GOP is selling an “Impeach This” t-shirt it says is a way of “fighting back against this despicable political play from Pelosi and her unhinged caucus.” And Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib is hawking an “Impeach the MF” T-shirt that is raising both bucks and blood pressures.

Then there are the more creative hustles.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley goes big as always with his: “I am more determined than ever to show impeachment hawks that the American people will no longer stand for their lies and their hypocrisy. I have a plan to fight back, but I’ll need your help ... Make a difference by donating whatever you can to Team Hawley before the end of the month.”

Hawley won’t have to run again until 2024 — Trump’s final year in office if the president is reelected in 2020. So how again would sending Hawley a check for his race five years from now beat back the current impeachment effort?

Just as brazen, and far more out of character, is freshman Democratic Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids’ attempt to raise money off an impeachment inquiry she was among the last and most hesitant to support.

“As soon as Sharice took a stand for the rule of law to hold this administration accountable,” her appeal says, “national Republicans and our GOP opponents launched their attacks against us. It’s critical that we hit our goal and prove we have the support to take on the tough fights ahead.” Davids may have taken more hits from the left, where her caution is seen as paralysis.

An MSNBC tweet counted Davids as literally the last of the 218 House votes needed to impeach the president, though she and others haven’t said she’d actually vote to impeach. And naturally, one of her Republican opponents, Sara Hart Weir, used that in a fundraising email of her own: “While the left cheered,” it said, Davids “joined the chorus of liberal extremists and caved to Nancy Pelosi and the most shrill socialists in her party to support the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.”

None of these pitches state the obvious, which is that the inquiry into the president’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, won’t be decided on the basis of which party raises the most money off the issue. And whatever the outcome of the inquiry, for the president and the country, that at least is one positive.

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