Something big is going on in Trumpland. Recently a poll taken by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst found that over two-thirds of Republicans believe President Joe Biden should be impeached if Republicans take control of both houses of Congress in the coming mid-term elections. You can read more details about the poll by clicking here.
Rather than commenting on the poll or its methodology, we would rather ask a basic question. Is impeachment a good idea?
We have to admit after two impeachment proceedings against our guy, President Trump, the opportunity to pay back is tempting. As they say, karma can be a bitch.
This is particularly the case because Democrats impeached the President for colluding with Russia, which is something the Democrats made up as a campaign dirty trick. It would seem only just to pay them back for this perfidy.
But do we really want to go down that road? By lowering the bar on impeachment some contend, we could make this simply part of an ever-deteriorating electoral process, to wit, the sore loser simply wants to paralyze their political opposition. Do we want to regularize such behavior?
This would result in constant political warfare within a country already deeply divided. Elections would hardly settle political issues, they would simply mark the first phase of protracted conflict. If this became normalized, we could make ourselves ungovernable.
Just because the Democrats set a bad precedent is no reason for Republicans to use that precedent. We could recognize it for what it was, that it was a very bad precedent, and therefore avoid using it, even if justified.
It could be argued that the very stability of our governance is at stake and that other means can be found, particularly at the ballot box to redress grievances. And, maybe the judicial system will start to work at putting some guilty people in jail.
However, the bar was not so much lowered in the case of Trump as it was exploited in a way very destructive to the system. In this case, the Democrats did not have weak evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, they virtually manufactured the controversy and paid for it out of official Democratic campaign funds. They then conspired with the press and launched a bogus proceeding. They committed crimes in the process.
Maybe the Durham investigations will finally get at the bottom of the crimes far worse than Watergate and Hillary can try out a new orange jumpsuit. But it would seem, that the wheels of justice not only grind slowly, they sometimes don’t grind at all.
Many cases will be tried in Washington D.C., where the jury pool already looks like it is being rigged. One of the great frustrations of our era is many guilty parties are never charged, and if they are, they will get off. It would be nice to have confidence that the law would be impartially and judiciously applied, but there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.
It is pretty clear the FBI, the FISA courts, the CIA, and the Department of Justice, in fact, the entire judicial mechanism at the Federal level, have been compromised. After 8 years of Obama appointments, the Department of Justice became part of the conspiracy. Can we reasonably look to them to prosecute wrongdoers? The permanent bureaucracy protected by civil service rules runs the show, regardless of the possibility of a new incoming Republican Attorney General. Under this set of factors, getting justice from the judicial system seems like a low percentage bet.
Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised. We certainly hope so. It would be better for the system if Durham is wildly successful.
But if the system is so compromised, would that not argue for impeachment, which is both a political and judicial process, and it is done outside of the compromised law enforcement structure of the executive branch? It would seem to be the only alternative likely to achieve some kind of justice.
Then there are just the plain political optics of the thing. Increasingly, Republicans can frame Democrats as the party of hateful extremists, sexual deviants, Chinese Communist sympathizers, inflationists, and just plain incompetent. Most elections of late are actually won by which party successfully convinces the independent voter since Republicans and Democrats are so evenly matched.
Democrats have also made a hash out of our foreign policy by pulling prematurely out of one war and quickly getting us into conflict with the largest country in landmass, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and a nuclear power.
Democrat policies are directly responsible for the war on energy, resulting in near-run-away inflation and a food crisis. No matter how friendly the press, they can’t hide from Americans what is going on with food and fuel, something consumers buy every day.
Democrats are riding low in the polls. Do we really want to do anything to distract them from self-destruction?
In short, Republicans can look like the sensible party compared to the Democrats. Even if some voters have some problems with us, we look more reasonable than they do. That will attract what conservative Democrats are left and many independents. Hispanics are trending our way and we are likely to make progress with Asians and Blacks as well. It should propel Republicans to victory.
Would impeachment ruin that narrative? Would it make us look just as wacko as they appear?
Maybe, but maybe not. Where Biden is really vulnerable is his failure as the chief law enforcement officer to simply enforce the law fairly and without discrimination. We have immigration laws that are simply being ignored. If you don’t like the law, change it. But until it is changed, his constitutional duty is to enforce the law. He just can’t pick and choose which laws he wishes to enforce. If he does, he is not faithfully executing his Constitutional executive functions.
He also is violating the law by brazenly calling his opponents’ white supremacist terrorists and using the intelligence and enforcement power of government to criminalize his political opposition, even down to the school board level. This is highly dangerous because if his followers believe it, the government will have to act against “terrorists.” In short, he is just one breath away from imprisoning his political opposition. For that, he deserves to be impeached because he is saying this over and over again.
Thus, this is not a case of just vindictive tit for political tat. This is not really political in the partisan sense, it is structural. Our chief law enforcement officer is breaking the law and failing to carry out the duties of his office. That is not a policy position, it is fact.
If framed in this way, does impeachment really look like we are being vindictive? Or, are we using the Constitution to remove a lawbreaking President because neither the Judicial branch nor the Justice Department can really operate under such circumstances? Notice how he threatens the independence of the Judiciary, another impeachable offense.
There are other areas of vulnerability such as selling his office for money in collusion with his son and possibly even hiding his declining mental condition. But that might look petty while failure to honor his oath of office looks justifiable.
It is a tough call and we offer these thoughts for your consideration. Republicans better start thinking carefully about whether this is something they really want to do, and whether the political optics can be managed knowing full well the press will not be on our side. If the poll is correct, it would seem many have prematurely reached a conclusion without thinking things through.
We had better think carefully or we could do more harm than good to our cause. If impeachment is to be done, it has to be for good cause, not spite.
Clearly, the first order of business is to win big in November. If we don’t, the whole argument is moot.
Are you concerned about election integrity? What informed United States citizen isn’t? Did the 2020 national election raise many questions about election integrity? Are you concerned about the current cycle of primaries and then the general election in November? No doubt the answer for The Prickly Pear readers is YES.
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