The worst part about the impeachment of late 2019/early 2020 was not that it was a national embarrassment, though it was. It wasn’t that it was a naked attempt to use the most specious reasoning available to overturn the results of the 2016 election, though it was that as well. The worst part about it was only discovered in hindsight; while Congress was laser focused on this dog-and-pony show, the deadliest pandemic in a hundred years was quietly brewing in Wuhan. Perhaps, had congressional Democrats been more concerned with doing their jobs than scoring meaningless points against the president, America would have had a chance to catch it sooner.
You’d think, after the colossal failure that was the first Trump impeachment, Democrats would be extremely reluctant to do it again. But, buoyed by what they see as the moral high ground after the Capitol brouhaha, they are moving forward to impeach a president who has less then ten days left in office.
“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to her constituents. “The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
In their single article of impeachment, introduced Monday to the House floor, Democrats said, “In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
Meanwhile, a group of 22 former House and Senate Republicans – most of them blatantly anti-Trump from the beginning – released an open letter calling for the president’s removal.
“There is no excuse for nor defense of a President of the United States to actively orchestrate an insurrection on a separate but coequal branch of government,” the letter says. “Surely, the Founders would be sickened by the thought of such actions. As members of the branch that was under attack — not just politically but physically — you must remove the president from office.”
And so it appears that Democrats will go forward with this impotent, unnecessarily divisive and distracting maneuver. Last time they did it, we wound up with a pandemic that has claimed the lives (so far) of nearly 400,000 Americans.
Wonder what they’ll miss this time.