On Wednesday, 10 House Republicans voted in favor of President Trump’s impeachment, with several, including Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), and Pete Meijer (R-Mich.), announcing their decisions during the floor debate.
Meijer released a fairly lengthy statement saying he “wrestled” with his choice before reaching the conclusion that Trump’s actions during and after the deadly Capitol riot last week warranted impeachment. “The one man who could have restored order, prevented the deaths of five Americans including a Capitol Police officer, and avoided the desecration of our Capitol shrank from leadership when our country needed it most,” he said in the statement.
But it appears that Meijer became convinced to cast his vote for the resolution because of how Trump handled the aftermath. Meijer noted that he holds the seat that once belonged to former President Gerald Ford, who pardoned former President Richard Nixon after Watergate. However, Meijer said, that pardon came after Nixon resigned and accepted responsibility for the crime, something he argues Trump has not done.
After Meijer, a freshman, publicly announced his intentions, his predecessor, former Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), thanked him over Twitter. Amash, a former Republican who left the party in 2019, was the only non-Democrat to vote in favor of the House’s previous Trump impeachment resolution, so Meijer’s vote naturally prompted some questions about whether there was anything specific about their Michigan district that led to its representatives breaking from Trump. Some analysts think it has to do with demographics.
Strong, institutionally-rooted religious subcultures provide some inoculation against the worst Trumpism. Unfortunately we don’t have many of them any more.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) January 13, 2021