How will the impeachment of President Trump impact the administrations of future presidents?
It’s highly unlikely Donald Trump will be removed from office. Barring some earth-shaking evidence of wrongdoing (notice I didn’t say “new” evidence because no real evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor has yet been presented), Trump will still be our president at the end of 2020. And, as public opinion seems to be turning in his favor, it’s also likely he will be our president at the end of 2021 as well.
But what harm has the Democrats’ push for removal of Trump done to our country and its faith in our political leaders? Most opinion polls show Congress’ approval rating even well below the low numbers of Trump already, and this partisan impeachment process isn’t going to raise that rating.
The bigger problem, other than the belief that the nation’s top legislative body is completely ineffective and corrupt, is that this dog and pony show has taken what the Founding Fathers considered as a last-gasp remedy for protection against a dishonest administration and cheapened it into a political weapon.
Rest assured, when the next Democrat is in the White House, the Republicans will use the Pelosi-Schiff playbook to orchestrate a similar campaign to discredit and hamper the workings of that president as well. The Democrats only success in their current efforts will be the continual cloud of feigned outrage and the threat of impeachment for whoever is in office.
Admittedly, I live in a Red State, and most of my friends trend conservative, but from those I know to be life-long Democrats and the discussions I see on social media, many of their own party are frustrated by the Democrats wasting all their efforts on impeachment when so many other issues are needing attention. Not a scientific analysis at all, but sometimes a good barometer of how the people outside the Washington bubble and the press are thinking.
Impeachment of a President of the United States is a very serious matter and should not be undertaken in a partisan manner. To proceed with an impeachment, the facts and the evidence should not just be suspect, but should be so overwhelming that both parties, left and right, should feel the only recourse would be to seek impeachment. With absolutely no support from the opposition party, the evidence falls short of initiating the drastic action about to be taken.
So, how do we prevent every upcoming administration from facing partisan impeachment? Good question. Now that the box has been opened, it may be near impossible to close it again. The only real bi-partisanship is the agreement that any and all measures may be taken to weaken the other party.
Perhaps Congress should consider amending the impeachment process that in order for the measure to pass in the House, at least five percent of the opposition party members should vote in favor of continuing. That currently would have required some 10 Republicans in the House to vote in favor of impeachment.
That would make impeachment very difficult to proceed, but shouldn’t it be so? If there is clear evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor, it shouldn’t be so hard to convince at least some of the president’s party members that it should go forward at a minimum to a trial in the Senate.
If that can’t happen and all presidents are faced with having to be approved by the House after the election, what use is the election process? Why not save time and money and just let the House appoint a president once they are seated?
If the House can act to remove a president because they don’t like him or her, or because he or she doesn’t think or act as they think he or she should, does our vote even matter?
I don’t think that is what the Founding Fathers had in mind.