a reply to: SonOfTheLawOfOne
I'll second carewemust's comment. Your posts in this thread have been quite insightful and that was an excellent synopsis. It didn't cover every
detail, of course, but to do so would require much more than a single post.
I am a Trump supporter, primarily because he has shown himself to be committed to following the campaign promises I was interested in seeing him
implement, and because i have first-hand knowledge of him responding to an average citizen in need of assistance. I do consider the man brash,
egotistical, and arrogant, but perhaps that is what is needed at this time in our history. It certainly gets more done faster than the suave,
debonair, politically-correct personalities of the recent past.
The biggest problem I have with the impeachment is the overreach by the House and the hypocrisy that accompanies it. The statements made by both the
House Managers and the defense during this trial have served to verify what I already knew: the House has attempted to dissolve the Separation of
Powers in the Constitution by weaponizing impeachment. The impeachment process is a final fail-safe to true criminal behavior (statutory or not) and
thus a critical part of our government system of checks and balances. However, to continue to be such, impeachment must not be common. It must rather
be the last chance, the final option, and above and beyond the political squabbles that define our times.
To use impeachment as a means of resolving political differences, or worse, as a means of punishing a President for actions properly taken within the
bounds of the Constitution, is the single largest threat to our way of life that we face. President Trump has extreme power as President, but that
power is limited by the fact that he can serve at most 8 years and must get approval from the public midway through his administration to do that. The
damage he (or any sitting President) can do to the republic is limited, as is proper. The House, however, is setting a dangerous precedent by their
actions that can last centuries.
If this ploy succeeds in either removing the President or shifting control of Congress, there is nothing that prevents another Congress from doing the
exact same thing. On a simple majority vote, without the checks of requiring Senate agreement or Presidential approval, the House can unilaterally
choose to paralyze the entire government at any time for any reason. Think of it: at this time, there really is no operating Federal government! The
Congress is frozen; the Senate must sit through this impeachment trial and ignore other business until it is completed, while the House can do little
because their leadership is consumed with the task of representing the prosecution. The President's attention is diverted to the threat to his
administration. The Supreme Court is missing its Chief Justice. The upcoming primaries are being skewed because candidates from the Senate cannot
participate during the trial, placing them at an extreme disadvantage during perhaps the most important time period of their candidacy.
All because 218 people decided they wanted it. That is tyranny.
There is no check or balance to this power, and I am now considering that fact an error in our Constitution. The requirement of a 2/3 supermajority in
the House to impeach would have prevented this entire trial from ever happening, but at the same time would not have prevented the previous three (I
count Nixon even though his impeachment was not finished before his resignation) Presidential impeachments. Perhaps we should seriously consider such
an amendment; it is clear that our Representatives cannot be trusted with such awesome power.
It is also the power to literally, as one person in the trial stated, "tear up the ballots of the American people." Impeachment, by definition in the
Constitution itself, is an attempt to remove the sitting President in absolute defiance of the previous election. I realize that such may at times be
necessary; it is entirely possible for a duly-elected President to thwart the will of the people after being convincing enough in their campaign to
garner votes. A mechanism for correcting illegal, treasonous, or grossly immoral actions must exist to prevent this. However, the offenses must be
more than simply a disagreement or even multiple disagreements... the same ability to thwart the will of the people can be exercised by
Representatives as well as a President. There is nothing special about being elected as a Representative... it is actually the lowest-level national
elected position. At any one time, there is only one President, only 100 Senators, but 435 Representatives. It is far easier to deceive the voters in
a small district than to deceive all the voters in a state, and even harder to deceive all the voters in the country.
I have come to believe that the impeachment attempt of Richard Nixon, while likely warranted, was also likely a mistake. His actions were no more
grievous than the actions of others in the Federal government at the time, and there is evidence the entire episode was actually driven by political
angst. I have been steadfast in my condemnation of the impeachment of Bill Clinton; while certainly illegal, his actions were also not "high crimes
and misdemeanors" and fell far short of what I would consider "impeachable." But at least, in both of those cases, there was bipartisan support for
impeachment... this time there is no bipartisan support whatsoever, only partisan claims based wholly on supposition of what Trump intended to do and
why he intended to do it.
The Democrats in the House should be ashamed of their obvious bias, and a fair electorate, I believe, would oust them for their actions. That likely
won't happen though, and is yet another reason to tighten the restrictions for impeachment:
Impeachment of a President or Vice President shall only occur with a 2/3 or greater supermajority in the House of Representatives, and a vote on such
impeachment shall only occur after diligent review of an investigation presented to the entire House of Representatives in full. No witness testimony
shall be included as any part of this presentation except the President being impeached shall have enjoyed the same rights and privileges of due
process of law afforded all criminal investigations, to include but not be limited to representation of competent counsel, the right to cross examine
witnesses, and the right to confront witnesses against him/her. Any subpoenas issued to the Executive Branch in pursuit of an impeachment
investigation must be approved by a review of the Supreme Court prior to service, during which review the President has the right to representation by
competent counsel concerning such decision.
* The actual number may be 29... I think the ERA was recently ratified, making it 28, but I am
not certain of this.