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To impeach … or not to impeach

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To impeach … or not to impeach

To impeach … or not to impeach
May 27
20:20 2019

On the surface, it would appear that Washington Democrats in the House of Representatives are divided on the question of impeachment.  There is a growing number of calls for impeachment of President Trump.

Naturally, they started with the untamable radical left in the persons of such rabble-rousers as Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib (who made the promise to her young son that she would most certainly impeach the man), the occasionally rational Maxine Waters and a number of other congressional back-benchers.

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New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, chairman of the all-important Judiciary Committee, has made no secret of his desire to preside over the impeachment of Trump – even as he warns against a premature rush-to-judgment.

In this very carefully orchestrated political soap opera, the firewall against impeachment appears to be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  She has repeatedly warned against jumping into the uncertain waters of impeachment.  She remembers how the Republicans’ impeachment of President Clinton backfired.  He came out of the impeachment more popular than ever – and in the next election, Republicans lost control of the House.

Her opposition to impeachment seems to be qualified.  She does seem to have a carte blanche opposition to impeachment as much as a wait and see attitude.  She says she is waiting for sufficient evidence to warrant such an action — an open and shut case that the public can embrace.

Since impeachment is a political process as opposed to a legal one – meaning that there are no hard and fast rules or standards for impeachment.  It is just a matter of gaining sufficient political support in the House and among the public to makes such action politically palatable.

In the past, every attempt at impeachment presumed at least the possibility of the Senate removing the impeached President.  Of course, that has never happened – and it is even debatable whether President Nixon would have been removed had he not resigned in advance of an impeachment vote – which he would have lost.

In the current situation, unless someone uncovers some very serious criminality on Trump’s part, the chance of the Republican-controlled Senate voting him out of office is nil.  It will, however, needlessly divide the nation.  It will undermine the critical work of the presidency.  It will embolden our international adversaries.  So, what is the point of an impeachment battle that will gridlock Washington even more than it already is?

It will only serve one purpose – but that may be enough in the politically-charged world of Washington.  Democrats are banking on a belief that out of all the chaos and damage to the country, THEY will emerge politically more powerful.  They see impeachment as a means to bloody up Trump and Republicans in advance of the upcoming 2020 General Election.

Since Democrats tend to measure everything in terms of political advantage and acquisition of power, impeachment – or even the attempt at impeachment – has a lot of appeal.

Pelosi is not opposing impeachment, but rather waiting for a more propitious moment when it can have the greatest impact on the 2020 elections.  If Democrats were to launch impeachment hearings today, they could well be over by November of 2020 – and Trump will still be occupying the Oval Office.

A more callous strategy would be to keep the impeachment talk on the front burner until next spring so that the hearings would be going on during the presidential campaign – and there would be no decision until after the election.

Of course, impeaching a President on the eve of an election might look too political to the American people.  Why spend so much time, effort and expense in trying to remove a President just days before the American voters will decide whether they want Trump in the White House or not.

However one calculates the impeachment strategy, it is obvious that it is not off the burner for Democrats in Congress.  There is still a good chance that Nadler will get the green light from Pelosi to start impeachment hearings.  That will trigger a battle between the Executive and Legislative branches unlike we have seen since the days when members of Congress tried to literally kill each other  on the floor of the House chamber.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. Billy Williams
    Billy Williams May 29, 18:37

    The strange thing is Mueller found no so called collusion so what was Trump trying to obstruct? Maybe he felt guilty because Russia helped him and he knew it and did not want the public to know it.Maybe he needs to resign while he is ahead.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Rick
    Rick May 29, 18:55

    Americans at the macro level do not want an impeachment of the President. They want to feel safe in their country, a strong economy, international respect for the US, and reasonable (albeit lower) taxes for the working majority. They want equal access to education, a solid chance to increase their standard of living and protection of their jobs from immigrant absorption. They “assume” constitution protection but don’t believe the government follows the same set of rules that they are expecting the population to adhere. Elected officials have a tendency to believe they are above such sophomoric rule-following. The current activity by the House and Democratic pundits absolutely must get back to their foundational mandates to represent the people, do their legislative duties and stop wasting time, resources and opportunities to make a real difference by serving the Nation and not dividing it. Elections are coming and the people are watching with an eye to protect their freedoms. Juggernaut to railroad one party to “the Judicial Brink” of impeachment proceedings is political suicide for this Country and would be applauded by our foes. Be wary. History needs to be considered and our Nation’s future as a strong beacon of light in a dark world.

    Reply to this comment
  3. skeptic
    skeptic May 29, 19:36

    impeachment is a political tool, not a court of law. then House member Gerald Ford attempted unsuccessfully to impeach Justice Stephen O Douglas, primarily because of personal animosity.
    Trump was threatened in fact just for defeating HRC! it is a stalling tactic by the Dems, and a huge gamble going into 2020 where they hope to unseat DT, keep control of the House, and flip the Senate.

    Reply to this comment
  4. JS
    JS May 31, 03:45

    One small correction. Rashida Tlaib DID NOT promise her 10 year old that she would “impeach the man”. Rather, she reported she told the boy that “We (the Dems)are gonna impeach the Motherf**ker”. Now there’s class for you!

    Reply to this comment

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