Safety

Earlier this week I got a fundraising email from my congresswoman. Here’s how it started:

Peter, I didn’t get into politics to play it safe.

I spoke out immediately on behalf of our federal workers when Trump needlessly caused a shutdown. I’ve taken on the NRA in my district to push for comprehensive, common sense gun safety legislation.

And recently, I’ve called on both Ben Carson and Kellyanne Conway to resign, because they’ve betrayed the public trust by lying and violating the law.

I don’t apologize for a single word or action. But when you take on Donald Trump’s closest allies, you make yourself a target.

Monday’s Post. I get the paper edition to support free press and to take in the essential irony afforded by each morning’s layout.

Here’s my response in lieu of cash:

Dear Rep. Wexton,

But you are playing it safe with respect to an impeachment inquiry. Playing it safe is what the Democrats did in 2016. The stakes are much higher now than then because this moment may be the last in which to investigate the president for his impeachable offenses. If you want to play it safe, look at the polls: before Congress opened the impeachment inquiry against President Nixon, only 19% of the public wanted him impeached. It took leadership for a Democratic House to impeach the president then, and will take leadership for this Democratic House to open a formal impeachment inquiry against our president.

I found patronizing Speaker Pelosi’s remark about wishing to see Mr. Trump in jail after the expiration of his term of office. As I hope you and the speaker know, there is far more at stake this year than the fate of Mr. Trump. We have the republic to consider.

In light of what’s at stake, your stands with respect to the HUD and press secretaries seem not bold but pusillanimous.

I am not a Democrat, but I voted for you in hope that you would stand up to this administration’s many-faceted attack on our Constitution before it is too late. The balance of power on which our Constitution rests, as well as the political freedom it was designed to protect, may rest on what the House does about Mr. Trump this year.

Peter Stephens