Article II Section 4. 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.
Article II, Section 1. The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Article I, Section 9. No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States shall be grated by the United States; and no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title of any kind whatever, from any King Prince, or foreign State.
If you watch the news, particularly any of the news networks, you will see a lot of debate over whether Donald Trump should be impeached, what are the political impacts if he is impeached. Followed by does it really matter because the Republican Senate will not convict anyway. When the Republicans impeached Bill Clinton it “didn’t really work and he “stayed popular” during impeachment. There is no discussion of does that situation today bear any resemblance to the circumstances of the Clinton impeachment. In fact, even Watergate bears little resemblance to the situation we are in today. But the failure to impeach Bill Clinton is being held essentially as the reason to never impeach a President again, no matter how egregious the crime. At least that is part of the argument.
The media will get worked up, going across the outrage of the day, which frequently was the outrage of the day, 4 weeks ago, when it came out with a tad less detail. Even children in cages, separated from their parents, the crisis of need as refugees replace single men seeking to cross our southern border. Each item is examined. Is this “the one”? The atrocity that will somehow wake up some mythic power that will push the Republicans towards putting a check on Trump and his policies, his lack of morality, his comic treatment of the most serious matters “I fell in love with Kim Jong-Un, we fell in love together”, his refusal to believe our intelligence communities (he gets his “news” from Fox), firing his way through FBI/Justice Dept., while calling out individual employees out by name. There are so many that I think people like Chuck Todd are just overwhelmed, all he can do is laugh, shrug his shoulders and utter that standard line, essentially; well people knew who Donald Trump was, his grabbing women by the pussy, the bankruptcies, all of that, and he was elected so does any of it really matter. In fact, by the standard that the media holds Trump and the Republicans to why should we even have laws. People can still get guns, so why make it illegal and harder.
The media has a love/hate relationship with the Democrats. They know that the Democrats are the responsible ones and they are the ones who must begin impeachment but … repeat paragraph one. I’m listening to MTPDaily while I watch and they are doing the but did it really matter, was it really a crime, maybe the Manafort hype is overblown, maybe it means a lot, maybe we’ll never know, but it probably means something but…
If the media get too far into the reality behind the impeachment concept. They quickly pull themselves back – essentially with everything we see in plain site, every day, is it really enough? Does x rise to the level of high crime and misdemeanor, does y? What is a high crime and misdemeanor really? Why wasn’t that defined, what qualifies (while ignoring the items in plain site that the Presidents have been impeached for). Also ignoring that emoluments were there on day one and they are still there. Why aren’t the Democrats impeaching Trump, with all of this evidence, if they did that it would overreach, which would be really stupid. Why not just let the voters decide with an election coming up because otherwise you’re overturning the will of the (minority) of the voters despite impeachment is as natural part of the Constitution as (proper use of) the pardon power. It’s this ridiculous circle that is the same as we hear with gun control, climate change, voting rights, anything that matters. We have to do something, but if we do, will it really stop x, probably not, so nothing really matters, anymore.
Quieter, occasionally, someone wonders if Trump was impeached would he leave “easily”. Or what would Trump’s most ardent supporters do if he was impeached? Hear similar worries simply around if he loses in 2020, we heard the same in 2016. Would there have been stronger action against Russia if Trump hadn’t been making those outrageous claims of rigged elections? Why didn’t the Republicans want to work with the Democrats to fight that Russian intrusion? Because the Russians were working to get Trump elected? Because Mitch McConnel knew something that made his SCOTUS gambit worthwhile – this slide didn’t begin with Trump.
Before I wander too far off topic let me Flip the Script
When Paul Manafort got off with that ridiculously low sentence, because he had lived an otherwise admirable life, or whatever BS excuse the judge gave; the biggest reaction was from law professionals who worried it minimized the seriousness of the crime. Now take that philosophy and expand it. Trump and his excesses and his incompetence and the crimes, everywhere, the cabinet that truly is the swamp. There are his adult children in the administration (against tradition and skirting nepotism laws) given security clearances over the advice of security professionals, the slow rolling, highly visible Saturday night massacre, the relationships with brutal dictators, making excuses for their murder of Americans, interference in our elections, believing them over our own intelligence agencies. The very basic violation of the emoluments clause, which is there for a reason – just that violation of the constitution is enough. Add it to everything else and the fact that Trump hasn’t been impeached yet is mind blowing. This is particularly true given that Pence sits waiting in the wings, the seemingly perfect conservative package, except that Pence was there for a whole lot of the election/transition crimes. So maybe he couldn’t survive an impeachment or maybe that pious conservative hateful picture isn’t what the Republican base really want. Republicans could go along with an impeachment of Trump and still get all of their “goals” met. Makes it look like there really isn’t more to the Republican party beyond racism, hate, misogyny – the desire to hold everyone else down so they are on top, no matter how low that takes everyone else down.
I firmly believe that Trump must be impeached for the sake of this country. For everything that holds us together. It can’t be ok to lie everyday, in every occasion and to every individual, especially in the role of President of the United States. When North Korea gave a different story than Trump about the last botched summit bet you tended to believe North Korea over Trump and that cannot be ok. When Trump does something people are wondering is he doing it for himself, for his family, for Russia or some other country but it’s very certain, it is rarely, if ever, for the benefit of the country as a whole.
The reason we have a criminal justice system. The reason we have laws is to make sure that people abide by commonly held societal norms. We’ve been very lucky in this country and have rarely had to even contemplate removal of a President but that does not mean that we cannot, or that we should not. Most especially when the man holding the office is unstable, unreliable, doesn’t understand the constitution, most certainly doesn’t put it above himself, and is breaking norms and laws left and right. It never should have been ignored and it cannot continue to be ignored. If we do not hold Trump accountable how do we ever hold anyone accountable again. We will have a businessperson as President and they have to be held to the same standards as the daughter of a schoolteacher.