Just shy of a year ago, President Trump confused many of us with what seemed like dogmatic deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was, Trump said, “extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of interference in the American 2016 elections.
Trump said in addition that he didn’t “see any reason why it would be” Putin or the Russian state in particular that was involved.
At that point Mueller was still investigating. Not that it mattered to me. By then I was amping my calls for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. A common response I received and heard was to wait for the Mueller investigation to conclude.
Now it has.
And now there is indeed more talk of impeachment, across the aisle (even if Representative Justin Amash is the lone Republican in the bipartisan mix among members of congress currently in office).
And if the House of Representatives did manage to pass articles of impeachment against the president– which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is doing her best to prevent– “it would be disposed of very quickly,” Senator Lyndsey Graham told The Hill.
I cannot help but consider what Washington Post Columnist George Will recently pointed out: as of now, it does seem, that if Trump were impeached it “will not result in Trump’s removal.” He adds, “Today’s congressional Republicans… would make a Senate impeachment trial a partisan debacle ending in acquittal.”
Washington Post columnist Max Boot puts it another way: while “there is no doubt that [impeachment] is justified legally and morally” there are concerns among many as to whether or not it “makes sense politically.”
Ross Garber, a lawyer, professor and legal analyst, in an article for CNN explains why it may be unreasonable or hasty to suppose it won’t ultimately “make sense politically.” He writes:
the speaker [Rep. Nancy Pelosi} has set a novel and unrealistically high burden for simply initiating an impeachment process. It would also be unfair and improper to begin an impeachment process only if conviction has been conclusively predetermined.The whole point of an impeachment process is to conduct a fair evaluation of the facts and constitutional standard.
Initiating an impeachment process also provides a forum for the public to learn about the relevant facts and the constitutional burdens. Impeachment hearings might also develop new evidence. The speaker’s notion of requiring certainty of conviction before even considering charges is wrongheaded and improper.
Moreover, if we consider Max Boot’s point that impeachment is “justified legally and morally” just how willing are Democrats (and Republicans for that matter) willing to sacrifice what really should be done with re-election concerns?
At what point does one say it is more important to do what is ethical, legal, and just, than what is politically likely to succeed? In other words, what is the proper principle for defining when it is better to stand for the right thing at the cost of possibly losing than casting the right thing aside in the interest of “winning?”
No doubt, the former Prussian Prime Minister spoke with wisdom and understanding when he said that “politics is the art of the possible” and yet I cannot help but find myself in agreement with Democratic 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren who said:
There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution, If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they’d be arrested and put in jail.
We took an oath not to try and protect Donald Trump, we took an oath to protect and serve the Constitution of the United States of America, and the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president.
Afterall, is it not the outrage of so many Democrats and independents that the Republicans defer to winning strategy over the right thing to do? Is that not why we arein the current political mess we are in? Do the Democrats not realize the political vulnerability they will find themselves mired in when their opponents and critics accuse them of hypocrisy?