Don’t take this as firm support for the President…’round these parts we are definitely not full fans of him. However, in the election in 2016 we had 2 bad choices and it was a matter of choosing the least bad. Neil says it’s another proof that his election idea from his late teens is the right answer…for any election “None of the Above” should be on the ballot and if None wins then you have to have a new election and none of those idiots can run in the second one. We also think…’round these parts…that the President and his rampant tweeting is (a) his own worst enemy, (b) taking away from doing his job…which from a right of center perspective his policies are actually doing pretty well what right of center thinks is the right thing to do, and (c) just giving the folks on the other side unnecessary ammo.
As you know…the House pretty much ignored the requests from the minority party in the House to call witnesses the minority wanted. Under the Hastert rule in the House…the committee heads were perfectly in line with House rules. However…Mr. Schumer is now demanding that the Senate call a series of witnesses the minority party in the Senate wants…and is outraged by the lack of cooperation from the Senate Majority Leader.
Let’s consider the two articles the committee voted on. First…abuse of power by attempting to bribe Ukraine and second obstruction of justice by not allowing aides to testify to congress when they were subpoenaed.
Now I’ve read the Constitution…and it clearly says that the President can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors”…the operative word in there is crime. While it is likely true that the President applied pressure on the Ukraine to get Hunter Biden investigated…he did not call for a result of the investigation. Since his oath says “uphold the laws of the United States”…one could argue that asking a foreign government to investigate possible crimes by an American citizen which violate US law is justified…regardless of whether or not it helps him politically. In addition…anybody that thinks the US pressuring foreign countries started with this President needs to get a clue…we have been twisting arms and applying economic, military, and political pressure to get our way for many decades. It’s not clear that “abuse of power” is a crime…while they had 3 “constitutional experts” testify that it was…they were likely handpicked by the committee to hear what they wanted to hear and I’m quite certain that constitutional experts of the opposite political persuasion might have a different idea. In any event…one possible tactic the President could use when the House impeaches him is to appeal to the Supreme Court that the impeachment is unconstitutional since it doesn’t charge “high crimes and misdemeanors”. There are 3 independent…and under the Constitution equally powerful…branches of government so I’m not sure that legally Congress has the power to determine that a non crime constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor. Looking on to the second article…yes, it is true that the Executive branch declared Executive Privilege in declining to let Executive department employees testify under a Congressional subpoena. In the first place…Executive Privilege has been cited by numerous administrations going back quite a ways…and I distinctly remember at least two occasions (Eric Holder and Lois Lerner come to mind) where the previous administration’s employees were subpoenaed by Congress, ignored by the administration…and everybody thought it was just fine.
Next…let’s dispel the claim that his is a hunt for justice…impeachment is inherently a political process…always has been and always be. Let’s quit pretending it’s about anything other than the Democrats trying to redo the election of 2016 that they lost. Calls for impeachment began the day after the election…remember “we’re going to impeach the mo*****f****er” from a freshman congresswoman? Now let’s consider the vote…in the committee it was a strictly party line vote and the full House vote will be pretty similar…if that doesn’t tell you it is just politics then you need to go and get a clue stick from somebody. Numerous House members announced way, way in advance of even the investigation…that they would vote to impeach regardless of the investigation…in other words, their minds were already made up. Looking at the Senators who will serve as the jury in a Senate trial…almost all of the Senators running for President on the Democratic side have already announced…ahead of any testimony or investigation…that they will vote too convict. If they were in a jury trial in court they would be dismissed for cause…but as I said this is a political issue, not a legal one.
Now the Democrat leadership is demanding that the Republicans “put country ahead of party” by voting to convict…and implying that they are traitors if they do not do so. Kinda hard to believe this is sincere since the House put party ahead of country in that chamber…note the continuing attempts to impeach ever since the election. Sure…I know that the previous Congress stonewalled a lot of President Obama’s initiatives…and that was politics too.
Finally…let’s wonder why our congress critters were elected in the first place. They were elected to do the country’s business…but what we have is one house controlled by each party. The House passes legislation that achieves the left’s goals knowing that none of them will be taken up by the Senate because the other party has different goals…but they get to claim that the Senate is a legislative graveyard. Maybe if they passed some bipartisan legislation that achieved some of each side’s goals it might get taken up by the Senate…and even signed by the President…what a concept. In addition…this whole impeachment was never going anywhere…it’s just political masturbation. It was a foregone conclusion after the 2018 mid terms that the House would vote to impeach no matter what…and that the Senate would not convict no matter what. Again…politics.
I really wish that both sides would just drop all this BS and get on to doing their actual job…running the country. Unfortunately…it’s more important on both sides to make your opponents look bad and obstruct whatever they want as opposed to actually trying to compromise and…well, actually govern. Back in the day…each side recognized that the other side had some valid points and legislation was hammered out that didn’t fully please either side but moved the chains to use a football analogy. No more though. Heck…you can even look at the Supreme Court for an example…Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsberg were about as far apart politically, legally, and philosophically as two people can get…but they were best friends outside the court and frequently vacationed together. Maybe our current leadership…on both sides…could follow their example.
Heck…maybe the President could stop tweeting stuff guaranteed to rile up his opponents and maybe he could quit saying stupid things in rallies and speeches…but that ain’t happening’ either.
So now the House will vote next week…and since the Democrats have a majority the impeachment will pass…Ms. Pelosi has said “we’re not going to whip this…each member should vote his/her conscience”. However…she’s a good enough politician…I hate her politics but she is a very smart lady…to have already counted votes and know that she can allow a certain number of vulnerable Democrats in the House vote against impeachment if they are in a red district…and she knows who will vote against it and knows that she has the votes to pass it…she would be incompetent if she brought it to a vote without knowing that…and she’s a lot of things but incompetent isn’t on the list.
Then the Senate will have a trial after the new year…and again the outcome is pre-ordained…it takes 2/3 of the voting members or 67 votes to convict…and the likelihood of 20something Republicans voting to convict is non-existent…Mr. McConnell is just as smart of a politician as Ms. Pelosi is…and he knows how the votes will come out ahead of time.
So…since it’s not going anywhere…why didn’t the Democrats figure that out way, way back when and just settle for censuring the President…they could have done that easily but…that would not have overturned the 2016 election.
Just a little food for thought.