Dems must stop being wimps on impeachment -- 'it's not 1998 and Trump is no Clinton': Princeton historian
Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (Wikimedia Commons / Composite)

Princeton historian Kevin Kruse has written an editorial for USA Today in which he excoriates House Democrats for seeming reluctant to strike up impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.

Kruse's op-ed takes a hatchet to Democratic fears that Trump will only benefit from impeachment hearings just as former President Bill Clinton only grew more popular when Republicans impeached him in the 1990s.

In the first place, writes Kruse, Clinton was widely popular when the GOP fired up impeachment hearings, whereas Trump's approval ratings are stuck in the low-40s. Additionally, special counsel Robert Mueller is vastly more respected by public opinion than former Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr was during his investigation of Clinton.

However, Kruse cautions Democrats against relying on Mueller's report alone to make their case for them. Rather, he thinks they need to start impeachment hearings in an effort to shine a spotlight on the president's misdeeds and to move public opinion in their favor.

"Soon after the Senate select committee on Watergate launched its famous televised hearings in May 1973, for instance, only 19% of Americans thought Nixon should be removed from office," Kruse argues. "The televised hearings convinced more and more Americans that the president needed to resign or be removed."

Read the whole editorial here.