Living in Society

Impeachment and Me

U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

For the third time in my lifetime the U.S. House of Representatives advanced articles of impeachment of a president. The full House debate and vote on them is scheduled today.

It didn’t take Jeane Dixon to determine the Trump presidency would end up here.

I’m part of a small number of Democrats willing to give him a chance to govern after the election. Beginning with his inaugural address he lost me. His vision of the United States is so much different from mine… and wrong. His presidency has been more that of conservative and right wing groups backing him than his. Trump has proven to be a vessel for everything libertarians and conservatives have wanted since the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration.

Yesterday the conservative Heritage Foundation offered talking points:

These articles of impeachment are a part of a politically motivated process, speculative testimony, and no accusation of criminal action. It is absurd that House Democrats are trying to overturn the will of the American people and undo the 2016 election.

My response is there was no mandate for what has happened in our federal government, for what Republicans engineered. Saying the administration represents the “will of the people” is an inherent falsehood that contributes to a toxic political environment. I’m not sure what “undo the 2016 election” means but Nancy Pelosi would become president if Trump and Pence were removed from office. Trump has had almost three years in office and damage is done.

The House of Representatives drafted two articles of impeachment, one for the president’s abuse of power regarding Ukraine, and a second for obstruction of Congress, which arose after the impeachment hearings had begun. While the public doesn’t know everything about the Ukraine situation, the president prevented us from learning it by ordering his people to ignore subpoenas to testify. Trump is as crooked as a three-dollar bill and he got caught.

The current belief is the president will not be convicted during a trial in the U.S. Senate. Yesterday speculation arose that the House speaker would delay sending the impeachment articles to the Senate until there were assurances that the trial would include Democratic processes. I’m not holding my breath. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be repugnant but he knows how to count votes. All indications are he has enough to acquit the president should there be a trial.

The three presidents who had articles of impeachment drafted in my lifetime — Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump — have not been my favorites. What makes the current president different is his intentional, lawless efforts to rend the fabric of society. The future under Republican governance looks dim and decent people would want no part of it.

Like the president, I don’t plan to listen to today’s debate.

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