How Dems can escape the impeachment trap

Ever play with matches when you were a kid and burn yourself?

You learned not to play with matches again.

Pain can be a great teacher, but not if you are a Democrat planning to impeach (ex) President Donald J. Trump a second time, having failed to convict him the first time. They have created a trap for themselves.

Do Democrats want to see THIS again? (Photo: BBC)

Let me interrupt the narrative to say if Democrats really, truly believe in the charges, last time and this time, and have only high, patriotic motives, and sincerely believe a crime has been committed, then they should go ahead with a show trial, even knowing they are likely to fail (again).

Principle matters, if this is truly principle.

One reason to question that is this: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted the House rush the indictment, with a week left to go before Trump stepped down, out of fear of what crazy things he might do in his last week. Pardon himself? Start a war with Iran? Create a buying frenzy for Game Stop?

But once she got — without a single witness — the single Article of Impeachment in hand — she sat on it until Trump was gone. Suddenly her panic hit the pause button, allowing her motives to be questioned. 

Democrats would be smarter to censure, which Sen. Tim Kaine (Hillary’s running mate) has proposed, and which could pass. But there’s little appetite for that among Democrats, because in addition to the high motives I am willing to believe, there is also an irrational, seething desire for revenge. They hate Trump.

So the charade begins, starting next week.

There is divided opinion as to whether it is Constitutional to impeach a former president. The majority of Constitutional academics feel it is Constitutional, but the majority of them are leftists, I believe, based on the majority of faculty being Democrats.

They point to one previous  case, 150 years ago, when a Cabinet member was impeached after he left office. They are less likely to mention that he was not convicted. 

Democrats are so giddy, jumping up and down, clapping their hands and shouting that Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, they forget he is likely to be acquitted twice, which will make him appear the winner and them appear to be losers who invented false charges to smear the president. 

Do they really want to see another picture of Trump holding up a Page One with the word “acquitted”? Because that is the likely outcome.

Impeachment mainly is designed to remove a president guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and nobody knows exactly what the hell that means. Can we remove a president already gone?

If we can, what stops the House from impeaching George W. Bush?

Trump is being impeached for what he did while in office, some say. Others believe W committed war crimes, so impeachment should be on the table. 

Democrats have a second iron in the fire. In addition to removing him from office, which already has happened, they also want to prohibit him from ever running again.

Why? Because he is unfit for that office? I agree with that, but who gets to lead should be a decision made by the American people. Could it be the real  reason they want him benched is because they feel he could win?

In reading about impeachment, I see the Constitution says the trial in the Senate is to be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts has declined to preside, and he is no knee jerk Trumpster. His absence makes the trial seem like a kangaroo trial.

For me, anyway.

President Joe Biden has called for unity, but has remained neutral on the move to impeach, which is divisive. 

He doesn’t want to alienate his base, sure, but a majority of Americans approve of the impeachment. 

The majority is not always right.

Biden should exercise his leadership and ask Democrats — he is the leader of the party, not Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer — to abstain from voting for impeachment and instead vote on a motion of censure.

That would pass and would produce a Page One headline Trump would not want to show off. 

17 thoughts on “How Dems can escape the impeachment trap”

  1. HAPPY WEDNESDAY !!!
    pallie,
    You do write an unbiased blog. As an undergraduate civil engineer, that is not a constitutional anything, I would say that the democrats are trying to rewrite the constitution. That’s what has happened in every democratic state ( Pennsy ) this past election. Adding to my argument is Chief Justice Roberts. The constitution clearly states that the Chief Justice will preside over an impeachment trial of a SITTING President.
    As you so rightfully point out. This is all a sham. A vendetta. As time unfolds Biden’s time in office, it wont matter what the outcome is of this trial. Biden do bad, dems lose. Biden prevails – for the people – the dems stay in office a long time.
    As they used to say a long time ago. ” film at 11 “.
    Tony

  2. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    Since Mr. Trump has been accused by the House of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and the federal prosecutors have been diligently following up on the rioters who invaded the Capitol building and their various plans and relations, why are we yet to hear from the Justice Department about the “high crimes and misdemeanors”? Isn’t “incitement to insurrection” a federal crime?

    Details of the evidence should settle the question scheduled to go before the Senate. If not, then it would seem to be a political prosecution, not a criminal prosecution. Its hard not to notice that Senate reaction to the House indictment is also pretty political and pretty much divided along party lines.

    It might have been better for Congress to censure Mr. Trump on grounds of demagoguery? But as you note, Speaker Pelosi wanted a second impeachment. Since it unlikely that Mr. Trump will be convicted by the evenly divided Senate, she was apparently satisfied with the House-passed indictment alone –which was within her power. Does this look like political revenge?

    As I say, the divisiveness in the country did not start with Mr. Trump. Personally, I was amazed that there was so little doubt on re-electing Representative Pelosi as Speaker.

    H.G. Callaway

    1. It does look like revenge and impeachment is flawed by politics. I would rather the House indict and try the president before the Supreme Court, using normal courtroom procedures.

      1. All due respect, but indict and try him for what? Their utterly insane hatred/jealousy of the man? Another fine piece by Stu Bykofsky. Thanks.

  3. Another well parsed out article Stu, in which you have looked fairly at both sides of the argument – and come up with a satisfactory conclusion.

  4. This impeachment fiasco is further proof that the congress on both sides are fools. It’s a waste of time, especially when we have numerous problems facing America. This march into failure proves my point that we need term limits for these fools. Viewing ESPN it looks like a senior citizen day room (I’m older than dirt) and know my stamina has diminished. They lose touch with the folks at home and become bitter, corrupt, and arrogant.
    Congrats on winning your court case regarding having a trial or not in your lawsuit against the individual who made a ass of themselves at your retirement party by blasting one of your articles. I watched the replay of her remarks and they were shameful. So much for freedom of speech and the press.

  5. “I don’t care what you say about me, so long as you say something about me, and so long as you spell my name right.” — George M. Cohan
    The Idiots on the Left are keeping DT’s name alive. If they want him to go away, they should just pretend he is a non-person. The ‘impeachment’ is what sailors call ‘pissing into the wind.’

    1. Philadelphia, PA

      Dear Benedict & readers,

      Might it be that the hard left doesn’t want Mr. Trump to go away?

      If you are running a political program based on the multicultural, identity politics of the left, then you need a scapegoat. The argument is, in effect, “It’s either us or him; It’s either us or chaos.” No scapegoat, no argument. Mr. Trump has become their devil image, and they have used him very effectively. Often enough, Mr. Trump helpfully conformed to their expectations. The accounts of various, associated, scatter-brained, conspiracy theorists and white nationalist groups fill in the picture.

      Since we don’t want the program of multicultural identity politics, then it makes perfect sense for Mr. Trump to go away and not be heard from again. Watch the media to see who wants to keep him in the spot-light.

      The Republicans will never serve the common good by supporting Mr. Trump. Seeking the pernicious media spotlight themselves, they merely play into the leftward scheme. The nut-cases have always been with us, but we don’t want them organized into a political movement claiming to represent patriotic America.

      H.G. Callaway

  6. Good and fair analysis Stu.

    Trump was the best thing to happen to America. Trump was the worst thing to happen to America. The best in that he revealed the reach and totality of the Swamp. The worst in that he unwittingly (imho) hurried the onslaught of the the socialist movement. Will they succeed? That’s the question….imho.

    FYI…You’re right..Go- daddy sucks! I still haven’t received this post. I went to your dotcom yesterday. The comments showed 3, but came up 0. Today 6, come up 12.

    Tom

  7. HAPPY THURSDAY !!!
    Stu and bloggers,
    Now that you are all “dug out” and resting your sore backs, get back to commenting on Stu’s work.
    To me, it is so very obvious as to why there is a “we hate trump” club. Consider this.
    A new guy ( Trump ) comes to town with a new old idea. CLEAN HOUSE ! So, we all laugh at him. It’s been tried before and never succeeded. Besides, we all have been here a long time and we know where all of the bodies are buried. So Trump gets the public fired up, and gets himself elected. No big deal. We’ll squash like the pesty bug that he is. WRONG ! Trump doesn’t scare easy. He brings in more outsiders and he’ll get things done if we can’t shut him down. We can’t silence him because he doesn’t owe any of us anything. So, we the swamp circle up the wagons against Trump and his cabinet. We come up with a plan to not only get rid of him, but to destroy him politically ! WE’LL IMPEACH HIM ! After all. We have a dynasty here. We have the public completely fooled and we do as we please, occasionally throwing those imbeciles a few crumbs. So, we put the plan in motion, but we failed to see how much of a fighter Trump is. Plus ! He has the public on his side. So now we put plan “B” to work. We undermine his authority at every turn and every level. We use the FBI , CIA and the DOJ to go after his people, just as we did with the “Tea Party”. Another fight ! This Trump doesn’t back down. His people are loyal and they’re really stirring up the public ! We’ll have to use plan “C”. Make everything that Trump says a lie ! Turn the media and all social media against him ! Keep shutting him down on all bills that will make his Make America Great Again a success ! Shut him down completely !
    You get the idea. In so many words, this is what happened. You may remember that back in the ’60s, a young liberal President, with the help of his brother, started to make big changes here in our America. You may remember that he was “shut down”, permanently.
    WAKE UP AMERICA ! DRAIN THE SWAMP !
    Tony

  8. Pelosi said doing this to Trump is good for Unity. Orwell could not have said it better. But this is also about the relationship between the seventy-some million Trump voters and the Congressional GOP. We voters were not pleased with the ten GOP House members who voted Impeachment II along with all the Dems, and now the secret ballot retention of Cheney as House Caucus chair. We will be watching support for the base of the GOP Senators, starting with McConnell, as the Impeachment II trial goes on.

  9. Thank you Stu! Also, well said Tony Clark 2/4. President Trump is good for the media, they never stop talking about him. Biden’s pick for Climate, John Kerry, looks like he’s part of the Adams family…resurrected from the dead! The
    audacity of him to say that the 11,000 who lost their jobs could now work Solar panels. They don’t care about the
    working class or anyone who works with their hands. As he flies in his own jet and he’s so important! Another
    Elitist politician like Nancy and company. One thing President Trump never talked down to the American people like
    this disgusting group[.

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