Congress has filed two articles of impeachment against “president” Donald Trump. Congress has also approved USMCA, Trump’s so-called changes to the NAFTA agreement. Some are up in arms about the latter. Economist Paul Krugman said on Twitter that USMC “is basically no change from NAFTA as is, but Trump will claim it as a triumph. Why give him that?” Dan Pfeiffer, former Obama aide, said that the approval of USMCA “makes absolutely no political or substantive sense to me.” In a way, this does make sense.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been extremely savvy in her dealings with Trump. There’s no reason to think that has changed. Likely, Pelosi has heard all the same rumblings that we have that the Democrats are merely focused on impeaching Trump and are not doing their job in Congress. While those who closely follow the news know about the hundreds of bills languishing at the feet of Moscow Mitch, those who aren’t following or who like re-using Republicans’ tired old talking points don’t. Announcing approval of USMCA removes those arguments.
To agree to the deal, the Democrats achieved two very important goals: strong environmental and labor standards, both of which are great news for American workers. The Hill reported that Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO, applauded the deal as “truly enforceable labor standards.” The deal also requires a higher minimum wage and stronger labor standards in Mexico, while Canadians can now buy additional U.S. goods online without paying tariffs. The agreement further allows for the lifting of tariffs across several business sectors, which should result in greater trade between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. So, what’s bad about the agreement? Nothing other than people seeing it as a victory for Trump, but that is merely a side result. What will Republicans find to whine about now? Likely, there will be something, but they won’t be focusing on “do-nothing Democrats” as Congress continues their quest to bring Trump to task for his illegal behaviors.
According to CNN, the two articles of impeachment the Democratic-led House have brought against Trump are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The abuse of power charge, of course, relates to Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for military aid already approved by Congress. Though most consider Trump’s “favor” request as bribery, it is very much an abuse of his power as president. The other charge, obstruction, relates to Trump’s defiance of subpoenas in the investigation. These charges not being seriously considered by the Senate notwithstanding—and they won’t be — Trump has violated the trust of the American people and that needs to be said out loud.
It is amazing how this is seen so differently by the Republicans and Trump’s White House. Sometime press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded to the announcement with, “it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our nation.” Yes, we do, and Trump isn’t doing that, especially asking foreign governments to interfere in our elections (again). Everything Trump does is about Trump, including jeopardizing our national security. Trump is a joke, and if these charges ding him even a little, it will be worth it.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years