Is Impeachment Bad for Democracy?
There are many different opinions on what the founding fathers intended when they crafted the part of the Constitution that covers impeachment as a means to remove a president from office. The language is direct: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
It is not a surprise that those conducting the impeachment inquiry are finally using the word “bribery” when accusing the president. For readers of the blog, you might remember that I urged the use of this term in this article.
Like a drunk coming out of a bar, half the public is under the influence of a cult fueled drug known in simpler times as “nationalism.” Ever the victim, Trump seeks to cast his own terrible state as the terrible state of a nation in a terrible state. If that sounds like Trump-speak, point made. The Donald tends to paint the impeachment aspect of our Constitution as some illegal, illegitimate action. Really?
While Trump professes his innocence, he’s blocking every meaningful witness in his administration from testifying. Clearly, Trump is doing everything he can to be the least transparent president in history. It’s a sad time when the court must determine whether people must appear before Congress. Why is Trump disrespecting the Constitution and its sacred words? Another cliché being tossed about is that all presidents attempt to stall and block Congress when they feel there is an overreach. While that is true, an impeachment is a sanctioned action and the only means to remove a President. It’s not against the law, it is the law.
The House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach a president. That isn’t the final word on whether a president is removed. Think of the House as a grand jury that brings charges to higher body, the Senate does the rest of the work. The ground rules: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.
The Senate is the only court that can remove a president, but then comes the decision to disqualify the person from holding an office in the future. And once a President is removed from office, he or she is then liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment. With many of the open indictments on Trump, he could be subject to arrest the minute he is removed from office. This is a very serious time for Donald J. Trump.
The problem with impeachment is that it could be used by an over-zealous political party in power. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton knew that this aspect of the Constitution could be abused, but in the more than 240 years of American history it has rarely been used. The idea that the president would be a bad actor was only a slight concern for the founders, but it was feared enough for them to provide a remedy in this new democracy. Parliamentary governments can call votes of confidence at any time, which eliminates the need for impeachment. Some of those countries have royalty, who at their command can remove a sitting prime minister or president. The United States is not a monarchy.
The answer to the question is simple. Impeachment isn’t bad for democracy; impeachment is part of it. If we had faith that the people would always elect a respectable and wholesome statesman or woman to the post, we could eliminate impeachment, by why would we ever take such a chance? This is not a Republican or Democrat principle; it’s an American point of law — a law the President and Vice President, under oath, promised to protect and defend.
All that Trump is experiencing is the result of his lack of experience, inability to manage the larger aspect of his campaign, and a horrid collection of people who speak for him. He creates a communication void by repetitive use of slogans, rather than delivering cohesive thoughts and plans. It’s like half the country believed the pitch man with the monkey at the circus and were convinced to give all their money to the monkey. Some people think Trump is just goofing around and telling jokes, while the clear minded citizens are repulsed by this monkey masturbating in public.
Trump is a bad guy with no moral grounding, no empathy for real people and no capacity to handle the complexities of the office. George W. Bush might not have been a Rhoades Scholar, like Bill Clinton, but he was wired into the bureaucratic reality of Washington and the government. He lined up mostly good people and without a bad VP, Dick Cheney, he could have been a very good President. Barack Obama’s intelligence was never in question and is the real source of Trump’s insecurities. Without a conviction in the Senate, Trump will have to be voted out in the fall of 2020. It might be better if it happens that way, but our elected representatives would be neglecting their duty if they didn’t formally question this faulty executive. Trump is abusing his power and is a danger to the democracy. To make matters worse, the whole world is laughing at this embarrassment of a president.
One good aspect of the impeachment inquiry is that many Americans will learn more about how our government works. The public are seeing truthful people who work hard to keep America safe. Trump can be an isolationist all he wants, but that doesn’t stop America’s need to have people in embassies around the world and to conduct diplomacy that advances our interests.
Trump’s shakedown of South Korea for money to keep our troops there to help protect them against North Korea begs the question, whose side is President Trump on? He believes dictators and rough guys like Putin, Kim and Erdoğan, more than our own State Department and CIA. Who is this guy, this thug president? The clock is ticking.
Read About The Country We Love
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.