By: Peter Hasson
Prominent Democrats have repeatedly abandoned political norms and customs in order to oppose President Donald Trump.
Trump’s presidency, and his candidacy before it, has been in large part defined by his willingness to abandon conventional political behavior when it suits him — a recurring feature in criticisms of the president. Many of his opponents, too, have trampled American political norms, even as they rush to “resist” Trump.
Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters exemplified that tendency on Saturday when she called for liberal mobs to harass Trump administration officials who show their faces in public — a move that earned her a rare rebuke from Democratic leadership.
Waters isn’t alone in abandoning political norms to go after Trump.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, slammed Trump during the campaign for refusing to promise to accept the results of the election. Clinton called Trump’s defiance “horrifying” and said he was “talking down our democracy.”
Since Trump’s victory, Clinton and other high-profile Democrats have repeatedly challenged his legitimacy as president. Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison went even further, calling Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch “illegitimate” as well.
Nearly 70 Democratic lawmakers snubbed the president by skipping his inauguration. Far-left operatives staged riots in Washington, D.C., and across the country on inauguration weekend.
Congressional Democrats and liberal activists have pushed for Trump’s impeachment since before he took office.
The Constitution allows the House to impeach — and the Senate to try — the president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
To date, there’s no evidence the president is guilty of such crimes. But that hasn’t stopped high-profile Democrats from demanding the president’s impeachment anyway.
Waters was the first Democrat to call for Trump’s impeachment — she didn’t even wait for Trump to take office. Other Democrats quickly followed suit.
Six House Democrats formally introduced articles of impeachment in December and another 52 joined them in voting to impeach Trump. Sixty-six House Democrats supported the motion a second time around in January.
Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker broke precedent in January 2017 by testifying against Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general.
Booker was the first sitting senator in history to testify against a colleague’s cabinet nomination and conceded in his testimony that he was “breaking with Senate tradition.” The New Jersey senator is considered likely to run for president in 2020.
Former President Barack Obama similarly chose attacking Trump over following political tradition.
When Obama left office, the existing standard was for presidents to refrain from publicly criticizing their successor.
That standard lasted just 10 days in the Trump era, when Obama publicly rebuked Trump over his travel ban affecting immigration from seven terror-prone, Muslim-majority nations. (The Supreme Court upheld a narrower version of that ban on Tuesday.)
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