Following Robert Mueller's statement Wednesday, a few additional Democratic candidates for President have come to the wise policy and political decision.
Senator Cory Booker tweeted "This Administration has continued to stonewall Congress’s oversight. Beginning impeachment proceedings is the only path forward." Former Representative Beto O'Rourke seventeen minutes later chimed in "There must be consequences, accountability, and justice. The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings." Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Seth Moulton also came out definitively to start the process.
They have joined three other Democratic aspirants, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Julian "don't call me Fidel" Castro, in advocating initiation of impeachment hearings.
If you noticed two notable names absent, you're paying attention. Senator Sanders tweeted "Given the reality that we have a president who believes he is above the law, Congress must continue its investigations. If the House Judiciary Committee deems it necessary, I will support their decision to open an impeachment inquiry."
No Democrat, and few Independents, are arguing that Congress drop its investigations. Neither would anyone expect any Democrat, let alone one of its candidates, to oppose the House Judiciary Committee if it decides to open an impeachment inquiry. More could have been expected of a candidate thought of as bold and candid when he challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016.
More, though, should not have been expected of Joe "fever will have broken" Biden, and he responded in character, with his National Press Secretary remarking
.@JoeBiden for President statement on Bob Mueller's comments earlier today: pic.twitter.com/dxiNl2ZmH0— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) May 29, 2019
"Elect me and everything will be fine." Biden recognizes the impeachment process as viable if the Administration continues on its path, whatever he considers the path to be, and however long it would have to continue on the "path." Moreover, he does not believe it would be unavoidable, only that it may be unavoidable.
More telling, however, is Biden's fear that no one would "relish" an impeachment process- and that it would "divide" a country which everyone but Joe Biden realizes already is divided. This is the Judiciary Committee chairperson who backed off in his responsibility to conduct a fair and impartial hearing on the Clarence Thomas nomination, instead smoothing the way for the guy who intimidated Biden by claiming "a high tech lynching of an uppity Negro."
Good ol' Joe feared being divisive. Margaret Carlson nailed it when last year she wrote
The hearings revealed a weakness in Biden that leads him astray periodically: a cloying need to be liked, more by his enemies than his own tribe. His pals Sens. Alan Simpson and Arlen Specter wanted to be done with the spectacle, by which they meant Hill and the other women with their inconvenient accusations. Biden told New York magazine that he’d given his word to then Sen. John Danforth in the gym that he’d use his gavel to make it a very quick hearing.
In one of the upcoming Democratic presidential debates, the candidates probably will be asked whether they would agree as President not to issue a pardon to Donald Trump. Suspense should rise as we await Joe Biden answering as most- or all- of them do, or whether he chooses to answer honestly.