Don't Freak Out About Impeachment

Americans can lose their jobs for almost anything. Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?


Nobody likes losing his job, but if there's any country on Earth that's copacetic about firing people, it's these United States of America. Almost alone among industrialized democracies, the U.S. hews to the old-school regime of employment at will, which means most of us can be frogmarched out of the building at any time—for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.

Further up the food chain, "for-cause" termination is the norm; but with contracts that allow removal for offenses as vague as "moral turpitude" or "failure to perform," that doesn't shield CEOs from getting turfed out unceremoniously when they misbehave or don't live up to expectations.

Does it bother us when an old lech like Les Moonves of CBS or some new economy manchild like Adam Neumann of WeWork gets the business end of creative destruction? Like hell it does: This is the country that pioneered the idea of firing people as entertainment. For 14 seasons of NBC's reality TV game show The Apprentice, Americans tuned in eagerly to see which contestants would be shown the door with the signature line "You're fired!" Then, in 2016, we went and elected the game-show host president of the United States.

Since his inauguration, Donald Trump's tenure has been a whirlwind of self-dealing, management pratfalls, and public meltdowns of the sort that might get a mere captain of industry summarily canned. Luckily for him, he's failed upward into a post that comes with more job protection than the vast majority of American workers enjoy. Somehow we've decided that the one job in America where you have to commit a felony to get fired is the one where you also control nuclear weapons. Given the damage an unfit president can do, shouldn't it be easier to get rid of one?

Barriers Nowhere in the Constitution

"Four CEOs Were Dethroned Just This Week," Forbes reported one day before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she was opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump's conduct. In fact, 2018 saw a record 18 percent of large-company chiefs forced out, according to the article. "Mercurial, flamboyant and self-destructive CEOs" are increasingly being told to hit the bricks "when their questionable ethics pose a threat to the reputation, mission or growth of their companies."

A good thing, too: All the way up the corporate ladder, the ability to replace an underperforming or misbehaving employee is essential to keeping companies nimble and responsive. Free competition in America's labor markets is, according to libertarian legal scholar Richard A. Epstein, "the surest road to social prosperity and business success."

Not when it comes to the chief executive officer of the federal government, however: That guy should be harder to fire than a New York City public school teacher, apparently. "Impeachment is the ultimate constitutional sanction" requiring "the most serious deliberations," Epstein wrote as debate heated up in September. "For Democrats to pursue the risky impeachment option shows more about their frenzied collective state of mind than it does about Trump's many foibles."

Epstein is hardly alone in that hypercautious view. Judging by how long it takes us to get there and how rarely we do it, Americans seem profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of firing a president. Before 2019, we'd made only three serious attempts at it in our 230-year constitutional history, impeaching just two of 44 U.S. presidents: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Only Richard Nixon, who quit before the full House could vote, was (effectively) removed from office via the impeachment process.

Meanwhile, over the last century, the American presidency has grown vastly more powerful—and more dangerous—than America's Founders could ever have imagined. On the home front, our presidents increasingly rule by executive order and administrative edict; abroad, the commander in chief's war powers have become practically uncheckable: He can add new names to the Predator-drone kill list, and even launch thermonuclear "fire and fury," virtually at will.

You could blame the system, and you'd have half a point. Our Constitution's Framers took a broad view of impeachable "high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Per Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 65, presidents could be defenestrated for the "abuse or violation of some public trust." Alas, the founding fathers also stuck us with the nearly insurmountable two-thirds requirement for conviction in the Senate—an innovation that came late in the Convention and that was approved without debate.

By accident as much as design, our system makes it painfully difficult to remove a president. And the political culture makes it harder still, by erecting barriers nowhere to be found in the Constitution. We've come to view the process as a source of constitutional crisis itself, rather than as a potential solution to one.

Yet if history is any guide, we have little to fear from what's shaping up to be our fourth serious effort at presidential impeachment. Whether it succeeds or not, the attempted firing of Donald Trump will cause the republic little harm and may even do it some good.

High Anxiety

Still, just try telling that to American political elites haunted by specters of wounded democracy and constitutional collapse. Should we dare invoke this dire remedy, they warn, we can be almost certain that something horrible will happen.

"Impeachment is hell," Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose four-year investigation led to Bill Clinton's 1998 rebuke by the House of Representatives, frequently declares. It's "a terrible, terrible thorn in the side of the American democracy," he recently added. (Now he tells us.)

But it isn't just the president's copartisans wailing that dirge. Even those who'd dearly like to see Trump ejected often join in. "I'm heartbroken about it," Pelosi professed at a September 28 press conference announcing the investigation. "There is no joy in this. We must be somber. We must be prayerful." It's doubtful Madame Speaker was entirely on the level here (no joy?); even so, she felt compelled to feign the fear and trembling Americans seem to expect when it comes to offboarding a president before his term is up.

Impeachment is "a hammer blow to democracy," frets former Obama svengali David Axelrod. It's an "extreme constitutional remedy," echoes Late Show host Stephen Colbert. "A Trump impeachment should terrify you," warns New York Times columnist Frank Bruni—though you should feel the fear and do it anyway. No, don't, quails The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty—"not because he doesn't deserve it" but because impeachment "would be a terrible thing for the country." If, God forbid, we ever need to deploy this ultimate sanction, writes Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe, "we can hope only that the nation survives with its spirit intact and the strength to rebuild all that's broken."

Is impeachment really as grave as all that? Few if any of the Framers viewed the prospect of a presidential pink slip with the unbridled horror now common among America's political and intellectual elites. "Some mode of displacing an unfit magistrate is rendered indispensable by the fallibility of those who choose as well as by the corruptibility of the man chosen," Virginia's George Mason argued at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. "A good magistrate will not fear" impeachments, Massachusetts' Elbridge Gerry insisted; "a bad one ought to be kept in fear of them." North Carolina's Hugh Williamson thought there was "more danger of too much of lenity than too much rigour towards the President."

In that, he'd prove more right than he could have known.

False Alarmism

Now, as in past impeachment debates, pundits and pols menace the public with the proverbial series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Impeachment, we're told, risks overturning the will of the people, distracting us from the vital business of government, and unleashing a host of evils—up to and including, if the president himself is to be believed, another civil war. Such fears are radically overblown.

The silliest charge is the most common: the notion that the impeachment process is an affront to democracy, an all-caps "COUP intended to take away the Power of the People," as Trump put it in an October tweet. Twenty years ago, with Bill Clinton in the crosshairs, it was Democrats hurling the c word: "This partisan coup d'état," Rep. Jerry Nadler (D–N.Y.) insisted, "will go down in infamy in the history of this nation"—like Pearl Harbor, apparently.

Only a partisan hack would say such things. Trump's removal would "reverse" the 2016 election only if it installed Hillary Clinton rather than Mike Pence as his successor. What kind of a "coup" replaces one elected official with his hand-picked, duly elected, and loyal-to-a-fault running mate?

We're also told that impeachment is a dangerous distraction from…whatever else the federal government would otherwise be doing. "The president of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap," Trump reportedly insisted at a recent cabinet meeting. "This is not what the country wants to talk about," huffs New York Times columnist David Brooks.

But recent history suggests that whatever disruption impeachment causes will be minor and manageable. During the Clinton imbroglio, Judge Richard A. Posner observed in his 1999 book on the subject, "government ticked along in its usual way through thirteen months of so-called crisis."

It's not as if the choice is between impeachment and federal business-as-usual. Anytime serious i-word talk is in the air, the president already faces a hostile Congress and multiple investigations. The question is whether some additional disruption is worth it to finally bring matters to a close.

Besides, what are Congress and the president being distracted from? Reining in trillion-dollar deficits? Not much chance of that. Perhaps they would be handling what Brooks informed us in another column is the public's core concern: "elite negligence in the face of national decline."

Civil War II?

The Trump era has added a brand new hobgoblin to the usual parade of horribles: the allegedly looming threat of civil war.

"Try to impeach him, just try it. You will have a spasm of -violence in this country, an insurrection like you've never seen," raves erstwhile Trump consigliere Roger Stone. The president himself sent "#CivilWar2" trending in late September when he tweeted a warning from MAGAchurch Pastor Robert Jeffress that impeachment would "cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation."

That dark prophecy is no longer confined to the fever swamps. Respectable opinion mongers from The New Yorker to The Atlantic now grimly contemplate the risk of mass Red-on-Blue violence.

Fortunately, there's little reason to take this catastrophizing seriously. Granted, in a country with more guns than people and a surfeit of angry loners, we can't rule out the possibility of an impeachment-inspired Pizzagate attack, or worse. But political scientists who study actual civil wars confirm that they're practically unknown in developed democracies. If the opening skirmishes are any indication, "Civil War 2" will be fought mainly on the internet, with angry memes as the major armaments and boomers defriending each other on Facebook as the primary casualties. As one wag summed it up on Twitter, "America is too fat for a civil war."

There's no evidence that impeachment even leads to noticeable civil unrest. Were it otherwise, surely we'd have learned that the hard way in the 1970s. From the Weathermen's "Days of Rage" in Chicago to the hippie-punching "Hard Hat Riot" in New York, the Nixon era saw a level of political violence we'd find appalling today. For one 18-month stretch in 1971–72, America suffered an average of almost five domestic terror bombings daily. Yet even with that bloody backdrop, the 37th president's eviction proceeded peacefully. In the end, nobody thought Nixon was worth rioting over.

Hamilton was spot-on when he predicted that any serious fight to remove the president would cause partisan resentments to fester. But sometimes impeachment can lance the boil. As the constitutional scholar Sandy Levinson pointed out in a March article for Cato Unbound, Nixon's resignation even led to "a brief 'Era of Good Feelings,' at least until Gerald Ford pardoned" him. (Mike Pence might want to take note, should it come to that.)

'I've Been Flynted'

"Our long national nightmare is over," Ford famously pronounced in his maiden speech as president, not long after Nixon's cringe-inducing double V-for-Victory salute and departure via helicopter on August 9, 1974. Nixon's struggle had been our struggle, Ford maintained, "the internal wounds of Watergate more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars"—a comparison that might have seemed grotesque to the war widows tuning in, given the 22,000 American casualties Nixon racked up in Vietnam well after he knew the war was lost.

The revelers who gathered in D.C.'s Lafayette Park had a healthier attitude: They hung a sign on the White House fence reading, "Ding dong, the witch is dead."

"I'll tell you what I remember most about Watergate," journalist Jeff Greenfield enthused 10 years after the fact: "It was fun."

Fun?! That sounds positively transgressive, but maybe Greenfield was on to something. We get so little for our tax dollars. Is the occasional bit of entertainment too much to ask? Throughout American history, presidential impeachments have been safe, legal—and all too rare. But what few we've had have provided their share of merry spectacle.

The 1868 impeachment of Andrew Johnson centered on the rather boring charge that the president had violated the short-lived Tenure of Office Act by sacking his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, without senatorial approval. But even that had elements of slapstick. Sec. Stanton refused to give up his post, camped out in his office, and barricaded the door. (It's a wonder that move didn't occur to diva-ish former FBI director James Comey after Trump fired him in May 2017.) With the cooperation of a local judge, Stanton got an arrest warrant issued for his designated replacement, who was hauled out of bed, still drunk from the night before, by a district marshal. The war secretary got less help from his wife when he sent to her for food and clothes. Instead she came by to berate him for making a fool of himself.

The Johnson impeachment was D.C.'s hot ticket of the season. A young Mark Twain filed dispatches from the proceedings: "The multitude of strangers were waiting for impeachment. They did not know what impeachment was, exactly, but they had a general idea that it would come in the form of an avalanche, or a thunder clap, or that maybe the roof would fall in." Charles Dickens, in town on a U.S. speaking tour, wrote his editor that it was "lucky I made so much money at first," since the House debate "instantly emptied our great gallery here last night, and paralyzed the Theaters in the midst of a rush of good business."

To give Ken Starr his due, the Clinton impeachment saga probably was hell for a few people. But save for Monica Lewinsky, most of them deserved it. For the rest of us, the scandal was a guilty pleasure.

Even the collateral damage was amusing. Republican losses in the 1998 midterms—driven in part by the unpopularity of the impeachment effort—forced Newt Gingrich to resign as speaker of the House. His would-be successor, Rep. Bob Livingston (R–La.), had to quit as well upon learning that one of his own extramarital affairs was about to be exposed. "I've been Flynted," he told his colleagues, referring to Hustler publisher Larry Flynt's impeachment-inspired crusade to unearth sexual hypocrisy on Capitol Hill.

And it was instructive, to say the least, to observe the lengths to which Clinton would go to keep his job. In his book, Judge Posner summed up the saga as "the ultimate Washington novel," the major effect of which was "to make it difficult to take Presidents seriously as superior people." That's a lesson worth relearning time and again.

De-Imperializing the Presidency

Of course, you could argue Trump already has us covered as far as that lesson goes. On a daily basis, he's doing an amazing job of demystifying the presidency, without the inconvenience of a House inquiry and a Senate trial.

If so, then what good is the current impeachment effort supposed to do? That's a question raised recently by executive-power critics on both the left and the right. "Recent partisan impeachment crusades haven't challenged the gravest executive excesses," The American Conservative's Jim Antle pointed out. "Drone an American citizen, no worries. Drone on about Joe Biden in a telephone call, constitutional crisis."

"If Trump is going to be impeached," The Intercept's Murtaza Hussain wrote, "don't fool yourself that what he's allegedly done to Hunter Biden is the worst crime he committed while in office."

It's a fair point: The third-rate shakedown attempt at the heart of Ukrainegate probably isn't even the worst thing Trump did in the month of July. Even so, in politics, as in economics, incentives matter. Lower the cost of bad behavior and you'll probably get more of it. Not launching an impeachment inquiry in this case would signal that, going forward, it's perfectly acceptable for presidents to use the diplomatic and foreign policy powers of the office to, in John Dean's memorable phrase, "screw [their] political enemies." Moreover, to tolerate Trump's blanket stonewalling of Congress would establish the precedent that it's OK for presidents to ignore lawful subpoenas if he thinks the people investigating him are "biased." Repudiating those notions is hardly a waste of the House's time.

Antle and Hussain are right to suggest that the more fundamental problem is the office, not the man. The presidency has grown far too powerful to entrust to any one fallible human. Will the current impeachment drive do anything about that?

Impeachment's core purpose is to serve as "a bridle in the hands of the legislative body upon the executive servants of the government," as Federalist No. 65 puts it. But history proves there's no guarantee any particular impeachment will further that purpose. The Johnson showdown coincided with, but probably didn't cause, a long period of congressional assertiveness. Bill Clinton's personal "hell" had little effect on the balance of powers between the branches, other than forging a bipartisan consensus to get rid of independent counsels.

It's only the Nixon impeachment struggle that sparked a wide-ranging effort to de-imperialize the presidency. As Americans began to understand in the 1970s, the real "national nightmare" was what Nixon and his predecessors had been able to get away with for far too long. The 37th president's abuses had highlighted the dangers of concentrated power, and the exercise of long-dormant muscles in the impeachment drive seemed to embolden Congress to push further to reclaim its rightful authority.

The congressional reformers of the '70s did more than force Nixon from office. They pushed for legislation that would make it harder for a future Nixon to abuse his office. The post-Watergate Congresses enacted a suite of significant, if imperfect, restrictions on executive power: passing the Presidential Records Act and strengthening the Freedom of Information Act to increase executive-branch transparency; passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to limit the president's ability to spy on Americans; passing the Privacy Act and Tax Reform Act of 1978 to restrict executive misuse of lawfully collected personal information. Additional reforms, such as the Impoundment Control Act, the War Powers Resolution of 1973, and the National Emergencies Act, addressed powers Nixon had abused outside the context of Watergate.

The post-Watergate Congresses made a lot of mistakes, and the good they did was steadily undermined by less assertive lawmakers in the decades that followed. But they carried out the last serious effort to limit executive power. Impeachment wasn't a "distraction" from that effort but the catalyst for it. Today, for only the fourth time in American history, an American president has been forced to contemplate early retirement via the impeachment process. Those of us who'd like to downsize the presidency itself have little to fear from that process and some reason to hope.

NEXT: Coup 53

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  1. Illegal wars. Warrantless domestic spying on every man woman and child in America. Extraordinary rendition. Extrajudicial assassination of American citizens without trial. Unconstitutional executive amnesty. Unconstitutional off-shore oil drilling ban. Unconstitutional nationalization of health insurance industry. Reason: HIP HIP HOORAY!

    Leaning on a foreign ally to investigate Democrats mired in corruption without actually withholding any resources or making any threats of any kind: WHYCOME WE DON’T IMPEACH MORE PRESIDENTS! HURRRRRRRR DURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    1. The author acts so innocently confused, because he does not like the president and feels like everyone is just declining to fire him because of social norms or something.

      We don’t fire the president more often because generally a significant number of people in this country THINK HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB. I used to have two supervisors and a manager who reported to me. They decided together on hiring and firing decisions. Never would they fire a person if even one of the three felt that person could be saved. This worked rather well, and helped prevent personal conflicts, clique bias and other small shit from being firing offences.

      I didn’t vote for Trump. I dislike his immigration and trade stances. I also think he scores way too many own-goals, and reflects very poorly on the office. Yet I do not think the deeds he is accused of come near the threshold of wrong-doing to overrule the 40 – 50% of people in this country who want him in that position today.

      1. “The author acts”

        Key phrase, the author is acting. Just amazing to see all the fakery and stupidity everywhere lately. Here is another asinine thought-turd on the cover of Reason.

        Hurr durr, people get fired all the time, so why shouldn’t the unconstitutional D.C. bureaucracy succeed in its attempt to overturn the people’s election, on the basis of something not 1% as bad as what most Presidents have done, 10 months before the voters are scheduled to make their decision on whether to fire the President.

      2. More like 20%.

        1. Does this comment mean only 20% want him?

          Even with recent polls, this is hard to accept. The percentage of people that want gone regardless of consequences is much closer to 20% than people who want to keep him.

          1. Yeah, I’d say there’s a solid and constant 15-20% of the population that has truly and deeply hated him from day one and want him removed by any means available. These are the ones heartily cheering the impeachment coup. This also constitutes the mainstream press and cultural elite, which makes it seem like a lot more than 15-20% to observers both within and outside that bubble.

            They hate Trump, everyone they know hates Trump, and all they hear on TV and in their media is how much Trump is hated. So they naturally believe Trump requires immediate removal, something which would have happened long ago if not for a tiny minority of corrupt politicians, white nationalists, and Russian puppets holding up their righteous delivery of justice.

            I’d say about 40% of the country is more-or-less okay with Trump, they like the results they’re seeing in the economy, they generally like seeing the establishment shaken up in Washington, and really hate what the Democrats and media has become. The impeachment spectacle and repeated media feeding frenzies turn them off far more than Trump’s crass tweeting, and drive them to give him more benefit of the doubt than they’d otherwise be prone to. These people are likely Trump voters in 2020.

            And there’s another 25% or so who are definite Trump fans who will stick by him no matter what. They’re the base, and they’re not going anywhere. The media likes to pretend these people either don’t exist or are on the verge of abandoning Trump at any given moment.

            The remaining 15% of so are not Trump fans by any stretch of the imagination and could possibly be persuaded by Democrats, but also don’t quite understand why the party has gone so far left on policy and banked so much on an impeachment — especially during an election year. They probably wouldn’t be upset if Trump was no longer president, but they also don’t think he did anything that necessarily warrants the 24/7 hysteria they’re seeing out of the media and Democrat leadership. These people are probably not going to vote for Trump, but may very well stay home on election day.

            1. And that 65% you identify represents a hell of a lot of firepower that’s available to be unleashed if they are convinced that Trump is dead on accurate when he says “The people impeaching me are really after you. I’m just in the way.” And what’s the best way to convince them he’s right? Render their 2016 votes invalid by an impeachment process that doesn’t pass either the laugh or smell test.

              This is how you get a civil war. And there’s a good size chunk of that 65% that’s the ones responsible for making sure your blue city has food, water, and power. Might not want to piss them off.

      3. And even if the author thinks that the bar should be lower, his suggestion that presidents are uniquely hard to fire isn’t accurate. Plenty of state-licensed employees keep their jobs after groping clients or submitting fraudulent bills because the review process is controlled by their professional association. The process for judicial removal is similar in some states (i.e
        judges deciding whether their buddies deserve to be fired).

      4. The author is more than confused. To equate corporate firings to impeachment is a logic failure. When a corporate firing occurs it is the corporate hierarchy that does the firing – the same hierarchy that did the firing. When a president is impeached it is NOT the hiring hierarchy doing the firing – it is an unrelated entity. To be analogous to a corporate firing a president needs to be removed by the hiring entity – the electorate. It may come as a surprise to the author but we have a process for doing this and it’s hardly onerous. It’s called an election.

        1. Who the hell is this Healy and how did he actually get a VP job at Cato? It’s hard to imagine Cato suffering this kind of illogical thought process as a reflection of that organization. The TDS, ‘orange man bad’ hysteria is real.

          Relating this to a corporate board firing a CEO that they hired is NOTHING like Congress impeaching a president that is duly elected by the citizenry, and saying it isn’t a serious thing doesn’t make it not a serious thing. Every 4 years we have a de facto impeachment referendum at the end of his first term, and a possible termination of his party’s power if he’s sufficiently out of line and the party doesn’t reign him in if it is a second term. It is THIS reason that the FF gave us a very high threshold for over-powering a president over policy and political dissent. No, this isn’t like firing a CEO. This is more like one bitchy manager trying to fire another bitchy manager cuz ‘bitch got the job instead of my bitchy girlfriend’.

          And deciding to do it in the 4th year when they’ve been working on it since prior to him taking office is nothing more than the parody of the absurd, particularly when it is hatched in a kangaroo court of one-sided opinion and not a single actual criminal charge made. Anyone not recognizing this as a political ploy either isn’t being honest or they are purposely being stupid. No, corruption isn’t a charge. It’s an opinion and an nonspecific category as ubiquitous as climate change. And obstructing Congress is a ridiculous allegation to make against the leader of the opposing party, and it’s just as silly as charging Congress with obstructing the President. The very concept of politics IS opposition.

          The only thing Healy actually does almost get right is that no, it isn’t technically a coup, though it can easily be argued that using such powers to fundamentally weaken the opposition party has fundamentally the same results.

      5. The author is another simple minded leftist glossed over in libertarian clothes.

    2. Impeach the President? Hell, why stop there? I can think of lots of politicians who deserve the boot! Impeach Pelosi for being a general slime-ball. Impeach Bug-Eyes Schiff for being a public clown. Impeach AOC and her whole Jew-hating squad. Impeach Maxine encitement-to-crime Waters. Impeach Schumer and Feinstein and that idiot Swalwell. Go further; impeach our douchebag governor, and our state congresscritters, and our local mess of a mayor and his overpaid water commissioner. Impeach ’em all, clean down to the dogcatcher. Throw ALL the bums out! Sweep the whole slate clean and start over — preferably with a lot more Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

      1. Reading the article, I’m thinking the same: why can’t we impeach Congressmen and Senators more easily? The answer Healy glosses over, is they were elected and they shouldn’t be removed just because a majority doesn’t care for one of them anymore (at least he mentions the “The Federalist Papers” where it is heavily discussed).

        As for this impeachment (assuming Pelosi delivers the papers to the Senate), I see it as multiple setup coup attempts by Democrats attempting that aren’t working because first of all they’re lying about what Trump did, and second their allegations lead people to compare Trump’s alleged behavior with actual behavior of Democrats. It was Hillary who was working (in a dirty way) with Russians, not Trump, to affect the election. And whether or not foreign aid was held up to Ukraine by Trump to allegedly get an investigation into Biden, begs the question as to why Reason is defending the Bidens instead of being libertarian and asking that the Bidens be investigated for selling out the US to fatten their wallets (TDS brought on by a lifetime of fighting US presidents perhaps?). Frankly, I think Trump and the country should want Ukraine to cooperate in investigating what US citizens did there, and if there wasn’t corruption we wouldn’t have heard about it except for a Democrat who leaked a fake description of the call and submitted that claiming to be a whistleblower.

        I’ll bet that in 6 years, Pelosi and Schiff will be gone with reputations worse than Joe McCarthy for facilitating Democrat dirty schemes and corruption.

    3. Impeachment can actually only be accomplished through the Senate, which is a Republican majority. What’s on trial here is his INTENTIONS, which is nearly impossible to prove. So it’s very unlikely that impeachment will happen.

      The media from day one of Trump running for president, has launched an all out attack on him. Trying to sway public opinion against him, by repeating the same sort of things over and over. It’s a tactic common with propaganda, you say something enough times, people will believe it…

      I never saw anyone attacked that way in the media, which I would best describe as machiavellian. This actually had the opposite effect and motivated me to vote for Trump, because “the enemy of my enemy, is my friend.”

      The goal has been all along, to turn REPUBLICANS against Trump. That way, Republican Senators will be forced to abide by the will of their constituents, who have been “poisoned” against Trump by the media.

  2. Have you read the articles of impeachment? Each article concludes by saying that Trump “warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

    (The House said something similar in its articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton.)

    This would be more than just “you’re fired!” If the House has its way, it would be “you’re fired, and you’ll never be able to hold a federal job again, not even park ranger.”

    Did *The Apprentice* go that far?

    1. I think the point was that it shouldn’t take the process of impeachment – and its requirement of high crimes and misdemeanors. You should be able to fire the president simply for being less than optimal at the job.

      Which, of course, means that you believe you have some method of doing so dispassionately and without influence of petty partisan politics. It would simply be a job review… a “How’m I doin'” that actually has teeth.

      1. That happens in the fourth year.

        The Framers rejected giving such authority to eject a president over disagreements on policy to Congress, as it would make the Executive subordinate to the Legislature.

        1. A revolving door chief executive…like a Italy, has proven very successful. Not.

          1. Britain has done fairly well with that system. However, this does lead to a single, dominant leader who rules the country for decades and causes general chaos when they retire and/or finally get voted out.

            I think the American system of routine, 4-year elections is far more stable and prone to less chicanery than the British “let’s hold elections now” system.

            1. A constitutional monarchy and common wealth has done well using something different than a republic isn’t a particularly strong reason to endorse a different system.

              Though, I always felt Obama would have been much better at head of state, than chief executive. While Bush would have been better at chief executive than head of state.

              Our biggest challenge is finding the Washingtons, Jacksons, Roosevelts that can are effective as both head of state and chief executive. It’s a pretty big ask.

              1. It worked so well that the Scottish are trying to get our from underneath it, the Irish rebelled against it and so did the US, as well as multiple Caribbean,African and Asian countries.

              2. “…Roosevelts…”

                I’ll pass. On both of them.

        2. +100

          It’s one of the reasons that the Senate is required to have a 2/3 majority to remove government officials from office.

        3. Seeing as congress can impeach for any reason it wants, the framers did give it such a power. They just also made it take a relatively high amount of agreement to accomplish, making it unlikely to happen over trivial reasons.

          But they certainly gave the power.

          1. You misread the US Constitution.
            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.

            Impeachment is not constitutionally allowed for “anything Congress wants”.

            1. Exactly right. It was made intentionally difficult to overturn the will of the electorate, except for the most serious of crimes that put the country at risk. That does not include either because you hate Trump or didn’t like the fact that Clinton got a BJ in the Oval Office.

            2. Most interpret high crime wrong also. It meant at the time of the founding a crime done by the high officer. Not a greater crime, not a crime previous to being elected but a crime while holding office.

              Made up crimes not on the books do not qualify.
              If we want Bernie or Fauxahontis we get to choose in less than a year.

        4. “That happens in the fourth year.”

          Precisely. Every President comes in with an automatic sunset clause. Impeachment is for the extremely rare case where you can’t stand to have them complete the remainder of their term.

      2. Generally the people who fire someone are the same people (or jobs) who hired him.

        Congress did not hire Trump. This is not a Parliamentary democracy.

        1. ^ This. I’d be fully on board with a Constitutional right to recall, but that right would have to belong to the people, not DC critters.

          1. Commifornia has a Recall Election provision. It was from before California went Commie.

      3. It’s called an election.

  3. Why is it hard to fire the president?

    Because we want some semblance of continuity in our government. We already change the top executive every 4 or 8 years. There is a penalty every time – it takes time to get a team together, get people appointed to the various executive positions and get them all up to speed. Changing even more often will certainly do one thing…. it will reduce the control that elected officials and the people have over the government.

    1. +10000

      Impeaching Presidents earlier than their terms is not even fixing the problem with our current political elite class.

      reason knows all about that .

    2. Isn’t that a positive?

      1. Somewhat…. but with the size, scope and power of the federal government, having a weak and ineffective leadership provided by elected officials because they are perpetually learning a new job means that the unelected career bureaucrats are the ones in control – unaccountable to the electorate.

  4. Although this sounds like a reasonable thought… “hey, why can you fire the cashier at Wendy’s as soon as you feel like they are not doing a decent job, but it is so hard to fire the president?”

    But that is a simple-minded analogy designed to distract from the real consequences. It is born of a specific circumstance and desire (get Trump), not a serious analysis of the issues with executive leadership in this country.

    We already have a hard limit of 8 years in office, and there is already an automatic fire/rehire process at 4 years. This limits the amount of power and control a president can exercise – if there is a way to wait him out, the bureaucracy can resist his leadership quite successfully.

    This is why the final conclusion is the appropriate one – reduce the power of the presidency and the federal government. It is already much larger and much more powerful than intended. This not only makes controlling it much more difficult, it inevitably leads to intrusions into our lives in ways that are neither desirable nor acceptable.

    Of course, the people who founded the US federal government understood this. They created a system that was inherently limited in power. The constitution granted a specific and limited set of powers to the government (the enumerated powers)… and that’s it. They even added the 9th and 10th amendments to underline what was meant by the structure of the constitution in regards to enumerated powers.

    And because it was hard to operate within such tight constraints… we began ignoring those constraints almost immediately. And the consequence has been pretty much exactly what the founders worried about as they crafted such a limited government.

    The only way to fix the problem with the presidency is to somehow try to put that genie back in the bottle. If we want to reduce the dangers of executive power, we must reduce the power he wields.

    Unfortunately, there has been no appetite for this at any point in our history. In fact, we have steadily increased the power and scope of the federal government from the moment it was formed. And if you take a listen to the opposition to the current president and their alternative proposals, firing this president and replacing him with any one of them (from either party) would only accelerate the growth of the power of the executive – in some cases wildly and even exponentially.

    1. Reducing government power is simple, prohibit it from initiating force.

      1. Which you have yet to explain

        1. Its mindless.

          The only way to take the use of force away from government is to be the ones using force.

          Nature of man is that someone, somewhere wants to use force on you. We accept governments because they HAVE the force to protect us and our rights from someone stronger or more capable of wielding force against us.

          Of course, our outsourcing that protection to government so our neighbors would leave us alone about the damn neighborhood watch is why our government is stronger than we are at repelling adversaries and keeping us in line.

          1. “…We accept governments because they HAVE the force to protect us and our rights from someone stronger or more capable of wielding force against us…”

            Well, we grant power to a government since we are incapable of providing for the common defense, or of protecting individual rights or enforcing contracts otherwise.
            We tolerate that behemoth since we have little choice, but it ought to be beat into submission on a regular basis.

  5. What is it with Reason and the apparent enthusiasm for impeachment as if it’s a harmless lark to be enjoyed on a regular basis? What is it with people who are so wrapped up in their pious political theories and smug sanctimony that they have no concept of how the real world operates?
    Does the writer really think it’s okie dokie to put the country through such silly bullshit for fun? Does the writer think there’s no need to have some semblance of a working government on the world stage? Do you really think this has no negative impact on foreign and domestic policy? do you really think this has no impact on a president’s ability to focus on issues properly? Are you friggin’ nuts? Is government by committee a better option? WTF?
    Or is this just another Libertarian fantasizing about another libertarian dreamland that can never actually exist in reality?

      Reckless Choices, Bad Deals, and Dangerous Provocations
      Trump’s Foreign Policy Is in a Downward Spiral Toward 2020

      The longer Trump stays in power, the worse our long-term relations with other nations get. “Make America Great Again” = “America First” = “Other nations can suck hind titty; they are 15th-rate at best”. We can slap tariffs on them willy-nilly, and they will never notice, or treat us in kind. We can make THEM pay for walls to keep THEM (drug dealers and rapists that they are) OUT of our pristine-clean nation! Only totalitarian dictators get Trump’s admiration and respect. And we think that those 15th-rate nations will never notice, never resent us, and never pay us back in kind.

      Thanks Trump, for you attempts at playing POTUS! You have failed!

      Dump Trump!

      1. No quite up to the OBL standard, C-

      2. beautiful reaction. Have policy difference with the president? Impeach. That’s a totally feasible way to govern.

        1. In a parliamentary democracy, if the parliament loses confidence in the Prime Minister, they vote him or her out. No angst, sturm und drang, no coup d’é·tat, and (usually) no street fights or riots. No fancy show trials. NO “presumption of innocence”!!! Certainly NOT a 3-ring circus! And note that parliamentary democracies have NOT fallen off of the Earth!

          1. Then move to one of those countries. You propose to uproot the very foundation of this country because Orange Man bad. You are suffering from a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome and you should probably seek help before you injure yourself, or assault a person in a MAGA hat.

            1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

              So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

              Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

              Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

              Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

              At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

              Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to .

              Thank You! -Reason Staff

              1. You keep cutting and pasting that as if it was good stuff.

                It’s not.

                It’s kinda sad.

                1. Almost as sad as kanabiis’s comments along the lines of “America… Love it, or leave it!”

                  The same could be said of people who do NOT like the USA’s constitutional provisions for impeachment!

                  1. The ones the House is ignoring by refusing to send the Articles to the Senate?

                    1. According to kanabiis-style “logic”… If you don’t like living in a nation where Congress ignores the Constitution… As if THAT hasn’t been going on for a LONG time… Then you should leave, for a better nation!

                  2. BTW, seems you were calling for a Parliamentary system, ignoring that we are not one. If you think that is better, there are other locations to move to try it. Or you can back a Constitutional amendment to change our entire political system.

                    But whining that something isn’t so seems pointless.

                    1. That includes your whining about my whining! Deal with it!

                  3. Almost as sad as kanabiis’s comments along the lines of “America… Love it, or leave it!”

                    But he didn’t say ‘Love it or leave it’. He said, if you prefer a parlimentary system, there are countries that use that, and you’re free to seek out what you prefer.

                    This particular country doesn’t have one of those systems.

                    And we DO like the country’s Constitutional provisions for impeachment.

                    We just recognize that they’re currently being abused.

                    Because the charges boil down to ‘We don’t like the way you do things’ and ‘You refuse to comply with us trying to kick you out because we don’t like the way you do things’

                    And the Constitution does not empower the Congress to impeach over policy differences.

                    But the most abusive part of the whole thing is that they really don’t find anything Trump did to be wrong–because they’ve done them, and worse. It’s that Trump is the one doing them.

                    And the Constitution definitely doesn’t provide for Congress to impeach the president because they don’t like him.

          2. Because that’s what is totally going on in britain with brexiteers. We never see riots in France or Greece. Are you fucking stupid?

            1. Citations please about the number of street riots SPECIFICALLY over the issue of a Prime Minister getting dumped?

              1. If you’re going to be so specific as to only now go to riots over changing an official, please cite the times of riot in the US over impeachment.

                1. You want me to argue against myself? My original point is that people do NOT riot over someone getting rid of their Emperor, POTUS, or Prime Minister… You conservatives are pearl-clutching and pants-shitting over that which does NOT usually happen! “…and (usually) no street fights or riots.” I wrote.

                  So quit yer bitchin’ and pants-shitting, over the prospect of the USA using CONSTITUTIONAL METHODS of getting rid of our shitty Emperor-Wannabe!

                  Or do you want me to list all of the dates on which the USA had NO riots over a POTUS getting shit-canned? How about EVERY FUCKING DAY?

                  1. You want me to argue against myself?

                    Nigga, you couldn’t even win that.

                    1. You know, the exact same point that I made (NO riots over dumping a malfunctioning Emperor-wannabe are in the offing, most likely) was made by this article right here…

                      “There’s no evidence that impeachment even leads to noticeable civil unrest. Were it otherwise, surely we’d have learned that the hard way in the 1970s. From the Weathermen’s “Days of Rage” in Chicago to the hippie-punching “Hard Hat Riot” in New York, the Nixon era saw a level of political violence we’d find appalling today. For one 18-month stretch in 1971–72, America suffered an average of almost five domestic terror bombings daily. Yet even with that bloody backdrop, the 37th president’s eviction proceeded peacefully. In the end, nobody thought Nixon was worth rioting over.”

                      Are you closed-minded ones among the conservatards SOOOO stupid, y’all don’t even read and comprehend the articles? You might want to RIOT against your own stupidity, Red-Rocks-in-the-Head!

          3. Well then shit for brains, perhaps you should start a campaign for an amendment converting our system of government to one of a parliamentary style. Barring that, fuck right off. The purpose of our government as designed is not to satisfy shitstain policy wonks, it is to satisfy the people as a whole who will decide on their leader’s job performance in less than a year.

          4. “…In a parliamentary democracy,…”

            Which this ain’t.

        2. I have some policy issues with Trump. But he shouldn’t be impeached for that.
          He should be impeached, though, for with holding aid to ukraine in lieu of dirt on the Bidens. (Rudy is still running back and forth to ukraine on some conspiracy theories so, in some ways, this is still going on!). Trump definitely committed impeachable offenses re Ukraine. I am obviously not an expert. He only released the aid, on 9/11, because 2 days prior, congress started to investigate.
          For some that say the dems should have taken this to the Supreme Court to get their witnesses, yeah I guess so. But it certainly looks like Trump is hiding something.
          I hope the Senate Trial will call relevant witnesses such as Mulvaney and Pompeo. Bolton. Trump wants to turn this into a circus but Mitch will prevail. He won’t allow witnesses to come forward bc he knows what those witnesses will say. Democrats in the Senate just need 4 republican to join them in the process vote. In other words, being able to hear from relevant witnesses. Some have said to call the Bidens and the whistleblower. Re the Bidens, they aren’t relevant witnesses to what trump said or did re Ukraine. (If you want to investigate the Bidens, do it. But it’s a separate issue.). 71% of americans want to hear from Trump’s aides, a recent poll showed. With 85% dems and 64% repubs. The american people deserve to hear from these “fact” witnesses. The republicans in the House said it was all hear say. Now they can hear from people closest to this.
          I pray for this president every night. I want him to be successful. But I love this country and our republic. I see Trump tearing our country apart. I’m not talking about the division. He doesn’t respect our Constitution and the rule of law. He has said he can do whatever he wants. This is not OK for the POTUS!

          1. This is one of the most well written pieces of horse shit around here, so ill try being nice.

            Apparently you don’t realize Eric ciarmella, the “whistleblower”, was bidens point man in Ukraine during the burisma scandal and joes now infamous “I told them to fire that dangumbed prosecutor, and they did!” Time period. He LITERALLY was working for v.p. Biden at that time. But it’s not suspicious at all the whistleblower is a bitch den croney…nooo…pure coinkydinks.

            Your problem is casually dismissing the bidens as relevant witnesses when youre too ignorant to understand if the whistlblower is called to testify the questioning from the senate will point a line straight to biden. When ciarmellas very close ties to biden are sussed out the next logical step is to ask him what he knew about Ukraine corruption, burisma, hunter bidens position and how he got it, etc, etc down the rabbit hole.

            That’s literally the reason Schiff blocked him from testifying, or even being named, because Eric ciarmella is a partisan Biden crony who probably knew of all this shady stuff and threw a last minute hail mary to try and muddy the waters as Giuliani and trump got closer to the truth about burisma and prosecutor shohkin.

          2. He should be impeached for with holding aid to ukraine in lieu of dirt on the Bidens.”

            Except that didn’t happen. The Ukraine got its aid, and there wasn’t any investigation of Hunter Biden. You want him impeached for something that didn’t even happen?

      3. And you can tell how bad his policy is by the tumbling stock market and how many people are leaving the country rather than entering it.

        1. The man jumping from the 51st floor grinned happily as he passed me by on the 20th floor. Everything was peachy-keen! So far at least…

          If you buy into Warren Buffett’s advice to be ‘fearful when others are greedy,’ then get ready to be full of fear
          Even at the peak of the dot-com bubble, traders weren’t as aggressively positioned as they are now: Felder

          1. Keep pimping a recession, you sack of shit. Soon you’ll be right up there with Krugman

            1. If you had taken that advice the first time… when Trump took office… You’d have missed out on one of the biggest runs of all time.

          2. Squirrelly, have you even THOUGHT about killing yourself over the holidays? Surely you must feel depressed and unloved.

            1. You STILL pimping for the Evil One? Have you ever heard that you reap what you sow?

            2. Geez, can’t we be civil? He’s a human being.

              1. Nah he’s a socialist wanna-be. He should definitely pull his lip over his head and swallow

              2. Squirly doesn’t understand civility. Posters used to try and engage him reasonably. He invariably related to incoherent, ad hominem filled rants. After awhile people stopped trying and instead just began attacking him personally. Anyone who disagrees with him is automatically a Trumpista or some other derogatory epiteph. He routinely calls the President by any insulting name he can come up with. He is laying in the bed that he made.

                1. Well, at least I don’t recommend that people should commit suicide, like Shitsy and Nardless the Nadless often do!

                  You know what? I’m not at all a leftist… But I have noticed that the actual leftists posting here, never (that I have seen) tell people to commit suicide! Some of the rightists do! I wonder what THAT has to say about civility v/s political leanings?

                  1. No, they just wish us to all die off or submit to the see Kirkland and Tony for reference.

                    1. I have NEVER seen Kirkland or Tony telling people to go “off” themselves. I was specifically thinking of them, actually. I have never even seen them say (“Sevo” style) “fuck off and die” or “go off and die where no one can smell you”. The conservative posters here have NO record that they can be proud of, as far as this whole thing goes!

                      But yes, the coercive ways of the left do offend me as they doubtlessly offend you as well…

                    2. “…I have never even seen them say (“Sevo” style) “fuck off and die” or “go off and die where no one can smell you”…”

                      Right. They just want to steal my wealth! What great guys!
                      Fuck of and die where we can’t smell you.

              3. “Geez, can’t we be civil? He’s a human being.“

                You get the Trumpists now?

                1. Thank you for proving my point.

              4. “Geez, can’t we be civil? He’s a human being.”

                I see you’re new here.

      4. “The longer Trump stays in power, the worse our long-term relations with other nations get.”

        Why do idiots presume an assertion is an argument or evidence?
        Fuck off.

        1. I love the belief that we must honor all treaties while no other country is obligated to do the same with us.

          NATO is a shit show. The UN is also a shit show. We should leave both.

        2. Says the poster who hardly ever makes substantial posts using actual arguments or evidence… Beyond “fuck off”. I posted a link at least… Where’s yours? Will it point to 4Chan or Breitbart?

          1. You have absolutely nothing of value to say, sqrlsy, and you get the hihn treatment

            1. I understand. Only pro-Trump TDS is of ANY value!

          2. Squirrelly, all of that is still far better than you deserve. Now go drink some Drano. Adults are talking here.

            1. SOME supposed adults are just barfing up brainless garbage!

              1. “…SOME supposed adults are just barfing up brainless garbage!..”

                Yes, ans we’re hoping you leave.

          3. SQRLSY One
            December.20.2019 at 12:11 pm
            “Says the poster who hardly ever makes substantial posts using actual arguments or evidence…”
            Posts by a fucking TDS victim who seemingly is very selective in his/her reading. IOWs, full of shit.
            Fuck off and die where we can’t smell you.

            1. One-trick pony no longer knows how to think or write persuasive arguments or thoughts, and so, repeatedly writes “Fuck off and die where we can’t smell you.” It’s vaguely funny the first time you see it, but it is VERY boring when you see it the 99th time. Has one-trick pony been checked for senile mental decay lately?

      5. When you cut off a moocher they get upset.

      6. Yes. We should remove the vote from the people and let our self identified elite elect our leaders instead. This is why people call you dumb sqrsly

    2. “What is it with people who are so wrapped up in their pious political theories and smug sanctimony that they have no concept of how the real world operates?”

      They’re Utopians. Their entire being is about what could be, not what is

      1. “Or is this just another Libertarian fantasizing about another libertarian dreamland that can never actually exist in reality?”

        didn’t need my comment haha you nailed it

  6. We get so little for our tax dollars. Is the occasional bit of entertainment too much to ask?

    Hence, Trump, a non-stop 3-ring circus, that perfectly matches our 24/7 news addiction. Frequent impeachments would drain them of their drama, like sex after marriage.

    1. Most people who support impeachment are filling voids because they no longer get to fill other voids

  7. Is that doll supposed to be Putin? It looks more like Stephen Miller.

  8. It’s hard because their are 350 million guns in this country and a bunch of their owners voted. All it takes is one man/woman to decide the whole thing is rigged. This is a good thing. We have job evaluations for presidents every 4 years where we actually bring in another guy for an interview to decide if we want to hire him and fire the other guy. Ideally in a vacumn there would be nothing wrong with what your proposing but historically it’s a rare and change is hard for many people.

    1. Taxpayers have to pay for elections, so the compromise was 4 years for Presidents, 2 years for Representatives, and 6 years for Senators.

      People like Healy think they have solutions to problems but their “solutions” are silly. Either we all act like adults and get involved with our government system so its fair and via elections we get decent politicians or we end this charade.

      Healy doesn’t think a Civil War 2.0 is possible and that makes him a moron. Many Americans also didnt think there would be a Civil War in 1861. The difference will be that there are Patriots in every state and the Lefties will be the target. Watering the Tree of Liberty and restarting this Republic with the Constitution and tiny and limited government.

      1. If Trump is removed from office, it will be because he lost Republicans.

        So no. Civil War 2.0 is basically impossible, because the pre-conditions necessary to create the inciting event defuse the thirst for response.

        1. Republicans cannot solely remove Trump. There are too few of them.

          If Trump is removed by 67 Senators, it would be:
          43 Democrats
          2 Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party
          1 Independent
          1 Socialist
          19 RINOs
          1 Mitt Romney

          1. Civil War 2.0 would not be a “thirst for response”.

            It’s self-defense. Clearly we don’t have Rule of Law anymore. If all bets are off, then I will never let Socialists put me in a camp or steal what I have without a fight.

          2. Most of the RINOs went out in the last election. Except for Romney, who came in, and I suspect strongly he will be a one-termer. I did a count during Trump’s first two years of GOP votes that could flip to convict and they had a very close margin. If Dems had the House then, I believe it could have happened. But I think it’s impossible now…the Senate support for Trump solidified in the last election.

            1. More to the point, it solidified after Kavanaugh. That event showed the current Republican leadership that the Democrats can’t be counted on to act in good faith.

        2. Escher, you are making a very serious error in judgment by stating Civil War 2.0 is impossible. For a medical professional, your emotional intelligence meter seems to be busted, which is probably not a good thing.

          You assume that increased engagement will be a hallmark of civil war 2.0, and you are mistaken. It will be disengagement that precipitates the conflict. Think it through.

  9. 1. Because the president is elected by the voters, not simply “hired” from a pool of applicants. If Congress wants to impeach and remove a president, they need to make a clear and convincing case to the voters that he’s unfit to hold the office, just like board members who want CEOs fired need to make a case to the rest of the board. Voters selected the president. Congress doesn’t get to just unselect him at whim.

    2. There’s already a mechanism to remove a crappy, non-criminal president every four years. If he’s so god-awful, the opposition can field a challenger and make a case to replace the current crappy president.

    3. This is a dumb article. Of all the impeachment articles, this is probably the dumbest, which says alot, considering they let Binion write.

    1. The President was not elected by the voters he was elected by the Electoral College. President Trump actually lost the popular vote. And depending on the poll there is evidence that a majority or close to a majority want President Trump removed. The reality is there is not a super majority for removal and President Trump will remain in office. But we can fire him in November 2020.

      1. the electoral college was elected by the people. This is simple stuff. Why do some people have so much difficulty understanding?

        1. Because it is not as simple as people elect the electoral college. It is our system but it tends to distort the vote. Other systems would also distort the vote in other ways and I would not suggest they be used as an alternative. What I am saying is the suggestion that saying “President Trump was hired by the voters” is not entirely correct. Therefore it is not unreasonable to have him fired by the Congress.

          1. “Because it is not as simple as people elect the electoral college…”

            Keep whining, loser.

          2. The presidential election isn’t one election. It is 50 small elections (the electoral college). If it helps you understand how it works, think world series. You may win game 1 400-0, but if you lose the next four games 0-1, you still didn’t win the series. So yes, he was hired by the voters. Just not the voters you prefer.

            1. An interesting analogy but to be more accurate it would be as if six of the seven games were decided before the series with 3 wins for each team and only the last game really mattered.

              1. Doesn’t matter. The POTUS is elected though the EC, and the hags winning votes for ‘most witch-like’ in High School matter exactly as much as the popular vote.
                Grow up and get over it.

              2. An interesting analogy but to be more accurate….

                No. It is perfect. Yours is completely wrong.

                It’s just like a 50 game world series.

                And Hillary put a lot of effort into winning games that were shoe-ins by large margins. And she won them. Hugely. Like she wanted to. She utterly crushed Trump in several games.

                But not enough. Because it’s the number of games, not the cumulative number of runs in each game.

              3. That’s a completely retarded assertion.

                And trump actually won the popular vote as well when you subtract the brainwashed masses of California. Fuck California and their ignorant voters.

                Also, remember in Obamas first election when the massive black voter turnout also caused prop 8, the gay marriage bill, to massively fail in California? Black voters voted against prop 8 nearly 9 to 1 against. Compared to exit polling showing white people voted in favor roughly 6 to 4, that couldn’t overcome Obamas black voter bump and prop 8 failed.

                …and then remember a year later when the legislature overturned prop 8s failure for “reasons”, aka the uppity white liberals in Cali couldn’t let the votes of all those “ignorant” black folks that shot down prop 8 carry any weight.

                Yeah, fuck California doubly.

          3. Of course the president was elected by the voters.

        2. “Why do some people have so much difficulty understanding?”

          Because they are full of “confirmation bias” and tribalistic loyalties. My tribe good, your tribe bad. Now THAT is SOOO simple, even a caveman can get it! Oooog Thag says Trump GOOD! Other tribe = Stupid Tribe, is simply following the “Orange Man Bad” simpleton’s script!

          1. It’s so weird how the one ‘tribe’ is made of of people from all ‘tribes’, but the other tribe is just the most sullen assholes from
            a single tribe.

        3. Because the whiplash from direct democracy to republic is nauseating.

          We do not elect our president by direct democracy. If we did, we would have a President Clinton right now. We elect a president through republican means, of people designating representatives who then make a decision.

          Removing the president early through impeachment is the same process. Duly elected representatives in the House make the case that the president should be removed, and then the duly elected representatives in the Senate make the decision.

          So the sudden shouts of “democracy!” express either contempt for, or ignorance of, how our civic government actually works.

          1. If you change the rules of an election the results and voter behavior would change dumbfuck.

            1. These knuckleheads will literally say anything to get their way.

              EscherEnigma mentions Rule of Law for this Republic. In the same breath talks about how Lefties ignoring the Rule of Law is just how it works.

              He leaves out the part about how a pissed off populace that is subjected to tyranny has a right to do something….

      2. “The President was not elected by the voters he was elected by the Electoral College. President Trump actually lost the popular vote….”

        Keep whining, loser.

      3. There’s no such thing as the popular vote because only electors vote for the President.

      4. I’m sure Hillary’s tombstone will read:

        “But I got more votes!”

      5. Trump won 30 of 50 states.
        Time to get over it, Mendacity4ever.

  10. Gene Healy. Another person who lives in a bubble and has no idea how the other half lives. Just come out and say you’re an Anarchist, dude.

    Does the USA have a bloated and overly powerful federal government? Yup.

    Is impeaching every President who gets elected the answer? Nope.

    I would say more but this guy is a joke. I knew Cato was going downhill but geesh.

    1. I’d also wonder why this is the FIRST time they made this argument. For a guy who has done less to annoy libertarians than any other President, arguably, since Coolidge.

      1. Because Charles Koch funds Reason and Cato and Charles Koch is a globalist libertarian, which is to say he’s a liberal.

        1. And he hate Trump for the same reason a lot of businessmen hate Trump…because Trump reworking trade deals and enforcing immigration laws cost them a lot of cheap labor and the ability to make profit overseas. They don’t care that over the long-term they were hollowing out the U.S. economy. They see the U.S.’s prosperity as irrelevant to whether they make a profit, because they figured the U.S. would eventually be replaced by markets like China…even though the only reason China lets U.S. businessmen do business in China is because they see the U.S. as a viable threat. Once that goes away, China’s not going to keep letting the Koch’s enjoy the same degree of economic freedom.

          1. Coolidge was also against free trade and open immigration (signed the Immigration Act of 1924). The Koch brothers and Reason would hate him if he were President today.

    2. And trump isn’t the problem. Not relative to the rest of the federal government.

  11. I can’t really be bothered to read the article and so will just respond to the headline. Freedom of association is why anyone can be fired for any reason. This does include presidents. However, I think everyone would like to see a reasonable justification for being fired. That case hasn’t been made regarding Trump imo. There is also that issue of who is the boss in charge of hiring/firing. For the President, that is the American people. That only one side of the house insists they have the right to fire him is closer to a jealous coworker competing for the job trying to get him fired. Sure, they are free to do that but once it goes up to management there needs to be a convincing reason and better than 50% support for it (if we are paralleling the Senate/SC with a board of directors.)
    Basically, the process is more or less fine and people doing their jobs poorly should be fired. The problem when relating to this impeachment is that the case has been poorly made that the employee is doing the job bad enough or engaging in poor conduct to be fired before a near-pending contract negotiation.

  12. If Trump gets re-elected, which seems increasingly likely given the opportunities the Democrats keep giving him, he should go for the record of number of impeachments in a presidential term. I think if he really tries he could be impeached 3 or 4 times…

    1. That would require the Ds to hold the House. They’re trying their hardest to avoid that outcome

      1. Given that it took them only 12 weeks to do this one, they have time to do 3 more before the elections in November, and if you count the two months between the election and inauguration, they could get in the 4th one by then. Of course, with a little more haste, the upper bound on the number of impeachments between now and then is unlimited.

        1. Fair enough. I was working with the presumption that they wouldn’t be fool enough to attempt this more than once a year

  13. “Today, for only the fourth time in American history, an American president has been forced to contemplate early retirement via the impeachment process.”

    This didn’t happen. I’m no mind reader but I’d bet my whole stack.

    Solid article though. Great to see you reference The Intercept. I hate a lot of their solutions but they’re great at recognizing problems and calling bullshit.

  14. Just like the Seinfeldian apology, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”, I’m obligated to say I’m not a bit fan of the current president, his tweets and vulgarisms, but his actions, in the face of a clearly hostile press and un-supportive congress are mostly to my liking.

    However, I’m seeing more anti-Trump screeds in the pages of Reason and fewer reasoned analyses. Where is the clear step-by-step description of exactly why he should be impeached? And this article asking why we shouldn’t fire presidents the same way we do fast-food workers or retail clerks?? Not your most stellar work.

    1. It’s pre-holiday, gotta-make-deadline-and-get-outta-here crap. Never surprising, but always a little disappointing.

  15. Duh, is this supposed to be a hard question? Consider how grueling the hiring process is for POTUS, and it’s obvious why firing them wouldn’t be undertaken lightly. In no other democracy is there anything so exhausting, not only to the candidates but to interested parties and onlookers. as the process by which POTUS are selected.

  16. “But political scientists who study actual civil wars confirm that they’re practically unknown in developed democracies.”

    Um, how many of these developed democracies exist or have existed to be studied? I’m guessing the number is quite low?

  17. Nice article. I’ll go on record as saying that of all 3 Presidents who were impeached (Nixon imminently so) all 3 should have been tossed out on their ass with Nixon going straight to a jail cell. As far as Trump? Yeah, it’s fun watching him lose his shit and all, but he too is guilty of unfathomable corruption and graft and should be tossed directly into The Rich Douchbag Club at one of his cheesy hotels so he can do what he really wants to do: fuck chicks who will let him do that because he’s rich. Let him go, man.

    1. Why do you think anyone cares what some scumbag who can’t keep his commitment thinks?
      Fuck off, scumbag; come back if you ever decide to be a decent human.

    2. Oh Tony, you’re so predictable.

  18. Whenever I read the comments of the Boomer GOP crowd here talking about civil wars and how great their gun is I hear “The Ride of the Valkyries” in my head. Am I the only one?

    1. More like Dixie.

    2. I thought you just heard the desperate crying and pleading of little children.

    3. “how great their gun is”

      Why is a gun-grabbing Marxist douchebag like you even here?

  19. “the U.S. hews to the old-school regime of employment at will, which means most of us can be frogmarched out of the building at any time—for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.”

    And any of you can tell your employer to fuck off and march out of the building at any time—for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.

    So… what’s your point?

  20. “… Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?”

    In this case, for the same reason we would object to seeing someone fired for no cause.
    Did you really have a question, or is this a round-about justification for TDS?

    1. In this case, for the same reason we would object to seeing someone fired for no cause.

      Based on every article about non-discrimination in employment law I’ve read, y’all’s actual reaction isn’t “object”, but to shrug your shoulders and say “well, that’s their right”. If you’re feeling magnaminous, you might lead “I wouldn’t make that decision, of course, but […]”.

      As a group y’all really aren’t opposed to being being fired for petty reasons. You’re just opposed to people of your tribe being fired for any reason.

      1. “As a group y’all really aren’t opposed to being being fired for petty reasons. You’re just opposed to people of your tribe being fired for any reason.”

        That’s not a strawman, that’s just flat out bullshit.

      2. There is a big difference between saying that’s something is wrong and that something ought to be illegal.

        There is also a big difference between firing someone and impeaching someone.

      3. Wrong…and there is a historical example that is relevant here: The non-impeachment of POTUS Nixon.

        Nixon won a smashing victory in 1972. Within 21 months of this incredible win, he resigned because he (and we the people) knew he broke the law and had to go. 100%, no debate. There was an extensive evidence and documentary record. The case was built. The American people were ready to pull the trigger and remove him.

        The point is Escher, you need that complete case. You need that broad consensus. So where is it? I don’t see it.

        The House impeached, now make the case to the jury (the Senate).

  21. “Americans can lose their jobs for almost anything. Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?”

    Has the author of this sub heading ever unwillingly lost a job? And that is the very least of the possible replies available to this frighteningly juvenile statement.

    While I’m sure that most any POTUS could handle the financial concerns, and no doubt transition to some other form of productive activity, the ramifications – both domestic and international of such a disruptive act should be self evident to anyone that can be trusted with sharp objects.

    The people who wrote, and the people who ratified the Constitution certainly thought there was a bit more to the matter.

    1. People wonder why libertarianism cannot get taken seriously. Between the poorly closeted progressivism, and the displays of rank immaturity is there really any wonder why?

  22. Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?

    We are not hesitant. We get to give him an up or down vote on getting booted every four years and the Constitution gives him an automatic boot every eight years. Having a bunch of political malcontents boot him because they are bitter they lost the last election is an affront to the republic. Especially so when they are a minority in 2/3 of the elected branches of government.

  23. The President’s highest and most unforgivable crime is that he’s going to win reelection.

    1. Probably in a landslide as more and more previously apathetic or hostile voters have been forced to defend him.

      1. I had major doubts about Trump, but I knew he would prove clarifying.

        Now I recognized I had no idea just how clarifying.

        I’m not getting tired of this bullshit. I’m getting more and more pissed off, and more and more determined.

        1. Thomas…November 2020 will not get here fast enough.

  24. Americans can lose their jobs for almost anything. Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?

    Uhh, because as a voter and constituent, I’D like to give him the boot. And by the evidence and lack of coherent charges, there’s no reason to give him the boot.

    But sure, if you really want President Pence, then impeach away.

    1. Schiff is discussing impeaching Pence also.

      Just in case anybody wondered where this would go.

      And, remember — impeaching Trump is urgent…just not delaying-Christmas-vacation urgent.

      1. Of course I wonder where this whole thing is headed. Obviously, Pence is a clone of President Trump, policy-wise. It makes me nervous to see how far this crowd is willing to go. After all, we haven’t experienced this kind of hostility in a long time…I don’t like it. It worries me. This morning we know that Pelosi is slowing down delivering the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate Committee. Can’t wait to see what old McConnell and McCarthy do next. If it only all this were just a game.

        1. Given that the Articles of Impeachment passed, they should schedule a hearing and order the managers to appear by them or the articles will be voted down post haste.

        2. Easy to answer where this is going: Impeach Trump, then Pence. President Pelosi.

  25. Since his inauguration, Donald Trump’s tenure has been a whirlwind of self-dealing, management pratfalls, and public meltdowns of the sort that might get a mere captain of industry summarily canned.

    But enough about Nancy Pelosi and the Media.

    1. I love people acting like they’d be OK with being accused of treason and spied on by your own government for three years for literally zero reason.

      1. That’s Reason style big L Libertarianism for you.

  26. Yesterday, my wife told our 9 year old son that Trump’s impeachment was an historic event. I didn’t feel like saying it’s not that historic,-21 years ago, another president was impeached because he got a BJ from an intern then lied about it.

    1. It’s historic because… well, at least compared to Clinton, this is a first term impeachment designed explicitly to keep him from inevitably being re-elected.

  27. Making the President firable like a corporate CEO…as long as it’s the same people doing the firing as did the hiring, I presume…would mean a Parliamentary system.

    That “solves” the power of executive overreach by blurring the executive and legislature into one big indistinguishable mass. Though it doesn’t really resolve questions of government power, since those parliamentary democracies tend to have that problem.

    If we were a parliamentary democracy, the lower legislative chamber would choose the chief executive and cabinet. In other words Nancy Pelosi would be Prime Minister, and who knows what oddballs we’d have as cabinet members.

    1. Maybe we could have an inbred, dysfunctional royal family, one of whose members would be titular head of state. I mean, let’s go whole hog.

      1. Yeah, its not like our founders ever experienced that system and designed ours to specifically NOT be like Englands…

        Youd think people would realize the literal point of founding our country was to NOT be like England, and in fact be MUCH BETTER than England, by now. That revolutionary war thing was just for shits n giggles.

    2. Parliamentary systems got Europe Hitler and Mussolini.

  28. Americans can lose their jobs for almost anything. Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?

    Holy Fuck, really?!?

    It’s one thing for Joe The Plumber to lose his job, it’s quite another thing for Joe The Plumber to lose his job because government bureaucrats and career politicians conspired to get him fired.

    This shitshow is just a couple steps shy of Lebron-James-level “Why are people so upset when the government curtails their freedoms and countermands their wishes?” mindlessness.

  29. If you write an article advocating for a position without addressing the arguments against that position at all, you’re probably wrong.

    In this case, there’s an obvious terrible problem with letting the Democratic Party invent impeachment criteria as it pleases so as to undo the results of any election it loses, and that’s before we even get around to their increasingly horrible policies.

    Reason is definitely among the “libertarian” sites that is more devoted to its “both sides are equally bad!” narrative than it is to what’s actually best for advancing libertarian principles, but it should still be obvious at this point that letting the Democrats get away with this is a big step backwards for liberty.

    1. Well said.

  30. Maybe we should be thinking more about why we so frequently reelect sitting Presidents. If you look at history we see that Presidents are most effective in their first 1 or 2 years. So why, keep them around for eight years. Most of there second term is not governing but focus on legacy. Maybe parties should be more open to nominating an alternative and opposition parties should put up better candidates after the first term.

    1. Nah, you’re just trying to project Obamas weak ass presidency on others. Just cuz Obama was more worried about his diva status his last 4 years doesn’t mean everyone does

      1. In fact, generally speaking Presidents tend to try and pass big items that are controversial in their second term, because they don’t have to worry about re-election. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it’s bad. Didn’t Clinton do Welfare reform in his second term?

        1. I don’t think this is correct. President move the biggest stuff first when their political capital is greatest. By their second term political capital is dissipating and migrating to the potential next president. The first stringers in the cabinet usually move on letting someone from bench take over. The second term provides some continuity but that should not be the only reason to keep a president on the job.

  31. Other countries cancel presidencies and then call elections all of the time. So in that sense, it is not a big deal. And if the president goes the VP is in charge and so the same political party is in charge. Sp these two points support this aricle’s thesis. But the third person in line is the speaker of the House and in this iteration it is a peron in the opposite party. so that’s problematic. But Pence could appoint a VP no? So maybe it’s not problematic unless Pence is impeached on day 1.

    My beef with this whole process is that no one is talking about running more Republicans in GOP primaries and caucuses. We knew this was coming months ago and there was plenty of time for Republicans to say, :hey wait, maybe we should have a back-up for the 2020 election?” But they didn’t do this and no one is currently floating that idea. Why is that? Wouldn’t voters want this option, even GOP voters?

    1. Republicans have rigged the primary for Trump.

    2. Heraclitus
      December.20.2019 at 1:05 pm
      “Other countries cancel presidencies and then call elections all of the time. So in that sense, it is not a big deal….”

      Other countries have coups, also; you should at least act as if you had something worth posting.

    3. “Other countries cancel presidencies and then call elections all of the time. So in that sense, it is not a big deal….”

      Uh. Unstable ones that tend to be banana republics.

      I know Democrats want to be tin pot dictators but man this was cyclically stupid even by their standards.

      1. Let’s be generous and say that he was meaning parliamentary systems like Britain. London can call a vote with just a few weeks notice. I’ve personally never understood how you can have such an unstable system. However, it has lasted for centuries and isn’t a banana republic by any means.

  32. The author seems content with allowing the Deep State to determine all policy and direction for the country. I’m not. So I declare his whole argument baseless and foolish. Quoting: “The congressional reformers of the ’70s did more than force Nixon from office. They pushed for legislation that would make it harder for a future Nixon to abuse his office.” Yeah, how did that work out under Obama and his Iran-sympathetic right-hand lady and his cozy cadre in the FBI and DOJ who manipulated and lied to the FISA court?

  33. I generally agree with the authors position that impeachment is not the end of the world. I think he is absolutely incorrect about one thing. His assumption that Trump has done far worse is unlikely. I think many presidents- especially democrats- normally get away with far more than is reported. I think the exact opposite is true of President Trump. I think anything he does even if it is untrue or significantly exaggerated is reported. Trying to get Ukraine to find out if Hunter is really qualified to sit on the board of an energy company or wether he is there because of Washington systemic corruption probably really is the worst thing he has done. Millions of us out here really do want that kind of corruption investigated and stopped even if it does help the president politically. It could also be considered keeping a campaign promise.

    1. Buh Biden. I think you are going to get to the bottom of it Nancy Drew.

      1. Just don’t investigate Crowdstrike!

  34. Because not all Americans think that most reasons for dismissal are valid or termination worthy events! Two people get into an argument in a workplace breakroom but only the conservative gets terminated! This is not fair and NOT a termination worthy event. So, unless you’re one of the rabid unhinged who melted on the day that Trump won the election (and subsequently immediately called for his impeachment because….reasons) then you’re likely NOT going to find any termination worthy events in what the president did or did not do. This so-called impeachment is just the culmination of the liberal/progressive hissy-fit temper tantrum that the left began on election day 2016.

  35. We couldn’t impeach Bush because Cheney would have been worse. Trump is exponentially superior to Pence on the issues but Pence would at least be competent. But Santa Trump just gave us $1.4 trillion in presents so we have Christmas in December!! Thank you Santa Trump!!

    1. Trump is better than literally any of the nut jobs in the Democrat field. The party is pulling left and has one too many left-wing lunatics in their ranks. That ALONE should make Reason happy.

  36. Author outed himself as yet another effete cuck who is verablly masturbating with his quill pen.

  37. Is there no Edith Efron (RIP) at the Reason??? Most of the authors there now are little more than juvenile delinquents. This article is additional evidence.

    1. Their writing in the age of Trump reminds me of the cool, cynical, hipster kids at the back of the class in high school who would then go and smoke and just roll their eyes at how everyone else was stupid. They were cool at one point but then the act gets stale as they grow older.

      That’s how I read this.

  38. Removal of a president during a term must be for high crimes and misdemeanors ( in the original sense). Presidents can be removed by voters each 4 years. Presidents can be removed by his party voters each 4 years by refusing a nomination. Under no circumstances can or should a president be removed because of hate or dislike of policies, because, that is reserved for citizen voters.

  39. .
    As this leftist bootlicker fantasizes about another Banana Republic-style erosion of our government, he should also consider the converse.

    Why can we not keep a President for more than 8 years if we want??

    I would gladly keep President Trump in office for 12 years instead of ANY of the derelicts on the ‘debate’ stage last night!


  40. Americans can lose their jobs for almost anything. Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?

    Are you really so dumb that you don’t understand the difference between the impeachment of an elected official and the firing of a private employee? You really don’t understand the differences in power, motivation, and impact between the two situations? What kind of imbecile would even ask such a question?

    1. Never mind people prefer their impeachment to come with an actual crime backed by HARD evidence.

  41. “Copacetic” is not actually a word. It was a ‘word’ invented in the Deep South to make fun of high-falutin’ language.

    1. We don’t speak French or Latin. That’s not how our language works. Wifi is a word now. So are modem, laser and rhoticity.

      I find the adaptation of words to mean the exact opposite of their original meaning to be more worrying. Or something completely different… as in “begging the question”.

      1. “Begging the question” has transformed in source as well as meaning. From the original, short for “Begetting the question”, to the current common usage, which is short for “the question begs to be asked”.

        Considering the modern form is logical, doesn’t use non-standard abbreviation of words, and we have far better phrases to mean circular reasoning, I have to disagree with your example.

    2. “…It was a ‘word’ invented in the Deep South to make fun of high-falutin’ language.”

      Please show me a word which was not ‘invented’, and while you’re trying for pedantry, you’re just showing snobbery.

    3. Don’t know much about American jazz do ya?

  42. Why are people skittish? Because impeachment undermines free elections. When the people elect someone, it SHOULD be be difficult to reverse their decision, and it should absolutley require agreement by a spermajority of senators from both parties.

  43. Yikes, a POTUS isn’t some interchangeable burger flipper who works at a Mcdonald. He was elected by the people to represent them and chosen to govern the nation.

    If we used impeachment regularly for every presidential misconduct or perceived abuse of power, the government wouldn’t be able to function. The House and or the Senate (depending on party representation) would gain an upper hand over the executive branch and maybe even the courts in an American system that’s supposed to be about checks and balances.

    Obama tried to write his own immigration law and formed his own treaty with a terrorist nation with no congressional approval. Even the non binding Paris Treaty was likely a treaty. And then there was surveillance, secret drone kill list, and other hits the media kept mum about. We’ve argued for years that the feds can’t force us to purchase a product, and now the lower courts have confirmed.

    By the standard used by the democrats, the GOP controlled house should have impeached Obama right at the conclusion of Fast and Furious. It’s ridiculous. Obama is famous for saying “I have a pen and phone”. There he was, saying if congress doesn’t give him what he wants, he’ll do it his own way! He was president for EIGHT @#$#@$#@ YEARS! He funded an entire healthcare law without congressional approval! The architect of the law clearly intended “states” in the law to mean states of the nation, and then tried to word salad his way out of trouble when the admin changed their mind. And the media does nothing!

    But sure, I oppose this impeachment because I LOVE Donald Trump. Yeah I had a huge man crush on Brett Kavanaugh when the dems came after him. That’s the only reason I stuck up for him.

  44. Since his inauguration, Donald Trump’s tenure has been a whirlwind of self-dealing, management pratfalls, and public meltdowns of the sort that might get a mere captain of industry summarily canned.

    Is this for real?

    You don’t get to say shit like this and not mention the flips side like:

    No new wars. Prison and tax reform. Strong economy. Among other things.

    Never mind there was supposed to be a financial and nuclear catastrophe.

    Know what else? Seems to me Obama should have been canned too.

    1. “…Seems to me Obama should have been canned too.”

      Using the IRS to punish political enemies seems like an actual, you know, CRIME.

      1. Um, drone executing two citizens sans trial is about as bad as anything ever done by any Prez.

        Maybe sending 70,000 to camp was worse.

        1. Obama did a lot of shit that was legit impeachable and also used exec privilege to keep congress from getting answers about an actual abuse of power that resulted in dead people… you know – contempt of congress.

          I made fun of the show 24 for showing racist America impeaching the first black president over nothing. I laughed and said that shit would never happen. Proof: BO.

    2. A strong economy because of pencil-necked bureaucrats at the Fed being able to do their job. Isn’t the Fed a wonderful thing?

      1. What?

        1. It’s Tonyworld.

          1. “Must not give Trump credit for tax reform”

            1. You’re being too kind:
              “Admitting I’m a fucking lefty ignoramus in print”

  45. Gee, maybe an impeachment that has the nation at each other’s throats isn’t the best place to start working on the problem of the imperial presidency.

  46. You forget one thing…President Trump wasn’t hired or promoted or anything like that to be President.
    He ran in a Presidential Election, Won the Republican Primaries and went on won The Presidency to The United States of America in a Electoral College Landslide.
    When you write things such as “Anyone in America can be Fired for just about anything” is distorting truths and The Constitution.
    The Impeachment was a Partisan Effort to erase over 60 Million Voters rights. I have no problem with the House to Impeach a President, unless they do so without Evidence or Facts… They Impeached purely on Animosity and Hatred by a Radical Left. The Radical Left who Lost last election, and a big one at that.
    What the House did will go down as the Greatest Political Coup Attempt through a Majority and without a drop of Bi Partisanship. Their messege to American Voters is “Your Vote only matters if we The Left allows it”
    Whats hilarious is the Terror Democrats cried out before 2016 election that if Donald Trump lost, would he cause a commotion and not accept the lost… Hmm seems like Hypocrisy.
    One more point, The Dems based all this on having to rush this because President Trump poses a Dark Threat on National Security yet they hold onto the Articles? I pray everyday for these Dems to pay for this come next election for Presidency and House. America was slapped in the face and told we are too stupid to decide our President, well let’s come back in a year and check that Statement out.

    1. Nah, he didn’t win anything,

      Luckily for him, he’s failed upward into a post that comes with more job protection than the vast majority of American workers enjoy.

      This ‘writer’ actually believes that Trump failed up. Can you even start to grasp the sheer derangement of the type of mind that can think that and still remember to breathe?

      1. Oh, that the hag would have ‘failed up’! Bribing foreign governments for political access while she was a sitting S/S wasn’t quite ‘failing’ enough, it seems.

  47. Trumpers should welcome this circus. It’s clear to most other than the most hyper partisan lefties that this is purely partisan. An election is looming in under a year. The senate will not vote to remove Trump. This tactic will blow up in the face of Democrats and Orange Man will be re-elected. Dems are doubling down on the bullshit that cost them ’16.

    Fuck Trump, though, because he sucks (but he’s hilarious) as does the GOP.

  48. Reason really should hire some writers who are able to reason.

  49. Healy laments the 2/3 requirement for conviction in the Senate, and presumably would like to see it replaced by a simple majority.

    But this seems like an excellent way to produce more situations in which a single party controls both the executive and the legislative branches. If a party holds both houses of Congress, they can impeach the president on a pretext, decline to accept the new president’s nominees for vice-president, then impeach the new president on equally dubious grounds, allowing the Speaker of the House to take the office.

    Granted, recent events have shown that divided governments can grow the deficit and restrict individual freedom very well. Still, I think that partisan rancor and obstructiveness act as a check, if not an entirely effective one, on the growth of the government.

    1. There should be a 2/3 requirement for the house to even advance impeachment articles to the senate, and the supreme court should approve of removal if the senate does vote for removal.

      Impeachment should be a “political process” only until the senate trial. Due process should formally kick in after the senate vote.

  50. “We” aren’t firing the president. “We” get to fire the president or are least the incumbent’s party every 4 years. “We”get to decide if “We” want to fire the president in 11 months and counting… So what we have here is a desperate deep state coup that any true libertarian sound be appalled by this specific impeachment process.

  51. Reason is determined to destroy its credibility over Trump.

    “Why are we so hesitant to give presidents the boot?”

    Because it isn’t “we” (the American people, I mean) giving him the boot. It is “we” that elected him. Barring evidence of actual serious crimes, and the House Democrats have not found an actual crime to put in the articles of impeachment, it is “we” that have the right to remove him at the next election.

  52. Impeachment is for REAL Crimes and not just because you hate the guy. I mean Democrats were calling for Trump to be impeached before he was sworn in. This is all part of the Obama era idea thatr “we are the people we have been waiting for” and how democrats assumed they were going to remain the dominate party for the rest of time (just like the media told them they would be.) Yep, they (The Democrats) refused to let Republicans a seat at the table or to compromise on anything, That is why it was so easy for Trump to undo Obama’s meager accomplishments, they were not bipartisan. NOW, they have vpoted along party lines to impeach him…. Funny, I think they just made sure he would win his second term.

    1. I don’t know why this is so hard for Reason to understand. It’s not like it was established in the JEFFERSON administration.
      Oh right, it was.

      Ever since the impeachment of Samuel Chase for political disagreement was rejected, we have had a strong precedent. Impeachment is for crimes. Even major incompetence might be a concern. However, standard diplomatic horse trading and sausage making should not be and cannot be the basis for an impeachment.

  53. Presidents and nearly all of Congress have committed impeachable offenses (failure to uphold their Constitutional oaths, to start) for generations but this attack on Trump is something else. It’s fueled by extreme mad dog partisanship, a near 50/50 bifurcation of a public with irreconcilable differences, and the deep state!

    1. AFAIK, it is the first impeachment driven by a desire to overturn a national election.
      Whether it is the first or not, it is exactly that.

  54. It is perfectly “OK for presidents to ignore lawful subpoenas” if congress failed to go through the supreme court. There is nothing here. A dispute between the executive and legislative must be handled by the judicial branch.

  55. It SHOULD be more difficult to get rid of a US President than most of the rest of us in our jobs. I fear our first Constitutional crisis is when this actually happens. Richard Nixon might have done a service by letting the process play out in 1974…he would have been convicted by the Senate, and we would already have found out if the Republic stood. Instead, he resigned.

    Now, we have a President who will never resign and will play my guys against your guys until the death. His legacy depends on it…the only thing he cares about.

  56. The author is a silly Fool. Democrats started the killing war in Vietnam. President Nixon ended that war! Learn some history.

    1. Nixon effectively ended the war, but Democrats did not start the war in Indochina. That was inherited from the ongoing fear of communist expansion on the heels of a longstanding peasant rebellion in a French colony which became superimposed on WWII. Vietnam became the frontline of the Cold War. How might history have been different if Japan had occupied French Indochina?

      Learn some history indeed.

      1. The first troops sent into Vietnam were sent by jfk…

        Learn some history indeed

        1. “The first troops sent into Vietnam were sent by jfk…”


      2. Japan did occupy Indochina. Oh, did you mean didn’t occupy Indochina? I believe the fight against Communist in Asia started under Truman and was continued under his predecessors. Johnson took it up a notch by using the Bay of Tonkins to justify a stupid war and then interfered and left a bad general in charge for way too long.

      3. Nixon not only ended the war, he ran for office on ending the war, and fulfilled a campaign promise. That’s why its stupid as h*ll to blame him for the war.

        The reason he didn’t pull out immediately because his position was that there needed to be an “honorable peace”, meaning the US wouldn’t pull out and leave the situation in Vietnam a bigger mess than we went in, or have had American soldiers die in vain. His plan was “Vietnamization”, meaning training the South Vietnamese troops and having the South Vietnamese government take over the war effort. This of course led nowhere and was just a big quagmire.

        Similar situation we’ve been in recently with Middle East wars, although despite the problems there’s a good argument that withdrawal has to be strategic, since the initial withdrawal from Iraq created a vacuum for ISIS.

        Watch people at Reason and the Intercept blame Trump for the warmongering of previous Presidents though, just like they blame Nixon for JFK.

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  58. “That happens in the fourth year.”
    Precisely. Every President comes in with an automatic sunset clause. Impeachment is for the extremely rare case where you can’t stand to have them complete the remainder of their term.
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  59. Yes, we can lose our jobs for any reason.

    The colour of our skin, our sex, religion or opinions which when based on reality are as unchangeable as any physical characteristic.

    That is the society we live in. Is it the one you want?

    1. “…opinions which when based on reality are as unchangeable as any physical characteristic…”

      Still lyin’ about the Holocaust and trying to blame your failures on the Jews, Misek?
      Stuff it up your ass.

    2. I find that simply sharing the truth is far more effective at bringing justice.

      Like the fact that you regularly demonstrate yourself to be both a troll and a bigot.

      You brought up Jooos on this thread where it has no relevance simply to elicit a reaction as per the definition of “troll”.

      “ In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.”

      I have provided evidence of science and logic. Providing evidence does not make someone a bigot. Refusing to recognize that evidence does.

      You have demonstrated bigotry.

      Examples of bigotry in a Sentence
      “ a deeply ingrained bigotry prevented her from even considering the counterarguments”

  60. “De-Imperializing the Presidency”

    Trump (whom I did not vote for) is not an imperial president. His administration is still full of his political enemies. If you want to de-imperialize the president, you need to get Congress to stop delegating its powers to the executive branch for Trump AND ALL future presidents.

    Moreover, Trump is trying to bring troops home from abroad but the military-industrial-CONGRESSIONAL complex will not let him. Nor will he be allowed to make peace in Korea. Trump is far less ‘imperialist’ than any of his predecessors. That is actually why the ‘intelligence’ community wants him out.

    1. Trump is first and foremost incompetent. So whatever he does will end up as an argument for the opposite approach.

      The Tulsi crowd can bitch about having any US military presence in the world is a moral violation, but any such simplistic thinking merits extra scrutiny to make sure it’s not simplistic for the sake of being simplistic.

      Afghanistan has been a failure nobody wants to own up to, but we’re not even there to make a state in Afghanistan, we’re there to be near Pakistan’s nukes. Should we just ignore that kind of thing?

      1. I prefer an incompetent non authoritarian to a competent dictator.

      2. Incompetent? Japan trade deal, Chinese trade deal, renegotiated NAFTA, strong, consistent economic growth, low unemployment (even if these were Obama’s policy, which is a bullshit argument, if Trump was incompetent he would have destroyed these not continued the growth), just got a democratically controlled HOR to agree to fund his walls, decreased border crossings (rather you agree or not this was one of his goals), a likely trade agreement with the UK, drawdown in Syria (which Obama started), a recently announced drawdown in Afghanistan, two Supreme Court Justices approved and multiple lower court justices approved, withdrawal from the Paris Accords (rather or not you agree with this, he did campaign on it), etc. Considering his track record of getting what he promised to get done (as well as growing support among African Americans and Hispanics according to several polls) how do you define competence? I am sure it involves him cow towing to your preferred policies rather then the ones he actually ran on.

        1. Yes, Trump is competent. *Pats your head*

      3. we’re there to be near Pakistan’s nukes.

        Yeah, it’s not like there’s already another nuclear-armed power right on their borders or anything.

        Fuckin’ LOL at you making neocon arguments for occupying a country that we should have left about two days after that bullet entered Bin Laden’s skull.

      4. “The Tulsi crowd can bitch about having any US military presence in the world is a moral violation, but any such simplistic thinking merits extra scrutiny to make sure it’s not simplistic for the sake of being simplistic.”

        You can’t have Tulsi helping Trump by criticizing her own party on intervention, so now you have to find some convoluted way to demean Tulsi without appearing as if you support staying in AFG.

        1. The only thing I want to see from Tulsi the Team D Front Runner Slayer is to put a metaphorical stake in that bitch Warren’s heart on national TV.

        2. This is the hilarity that ensues when “libertarians” lose their brain to TDS. They become interventionists!

      5. “Trump is first and foremost incompetent…”

        Why do lefty fucking ignoramuses make false assertions and assume them to be the equivalent of evidence or at argument?

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  62. You are absolutely right as i can see in this post-well-updated.

    Good job

  63. Mr. Healy unbelievably understates what happened this week. The impeachment is a cause of national shame, disgrace and dishonor for my country. Impeachment is nothing to celebrate; it doesn’t matter who is president. I don’t appreciate the irreverent tone of the article regarding impeachment (informative as it was).

    The best outcome is a brief Senate trial so the country can get this over with and move on. There is no consensus to remove POTUS Trump; the votes just aren’t there.

    That said, We the People will settle this November 2020. Can’t wait.

  64. The American people are the ones that hire the president, and they are the ones that should be able to fire him… AT THE VOTING BOOTH!

    1. The American people do not only vote for president.

      1. And your point is what? The elect their representatives to represent them, and the majority of the polling shows that impeachment is not favored by the people. So it would appear the Democrats are going against the will of the people. But keep grasping at straws.

  65. More presidential impeachments? Sure.

    How about a periodic vote to flush all of Congress, too?

  66. SQRLSY One
    December.21.2019 at 8:26 pm
    “I have NEVER seen Kirkland or Tony telling people to go “off” themselves. I was specifically thinking of them, actually. I have never even seen them say (“Sevo” style) “fuck off and die” or “go off and die where no one can smell you”. The conservative posters here have NO record that they can be proud of, as far as this whole thing goes!
    But yes, the coercive ways of the left do offend me as they doubtlessly offend you as well…”

    Poor, ‘tarded SQRLSY One. My suggestion that people ‘fuck off and die’ is far worse than the lefties desire to use the awesome power of the government to take my (and your) wealth, except for that lame and questionable apologia at the end.
    Fuck off and die where we can’t smell you, shitbag.

    1. THIS is how conservatives think that one makes friends and influences people… How one changes hearts and minds… How one makes the world a better place. I, for one, am glad that I am a libertarian, NOT a conservative! “Conservatives” of today’s Trump-worshipping kind, that is… I recall some olden days, when conservatives believed in “small government”!

  67. Where is the REASON?
    Why not impeach the Democrats for their fake Russian resistance?
    I don’t want to be ruled by Democrats and their Supreme Court Constitution dodgers

  68. No one thinks that the Impeachment trial is going to “bring things to a close”. Democrats rejected the results of the 2016 election and are attempting to nullify 63,000,000 votes who elected President Trump. If they would do that, then they certainly will have no problem refusing to recognize a decision by Senate’s Republican majority. The country is now permanently divided and it is naive to think it is ever going to end.

  69. Every time Reason covers the Democrat efforts to “investigate” the President it gets treated like their actions are in good faith. That they are truly concerned that the President is lawless and out of control. Nothing in what Trump has done is even close to lawless and it was not a shakedown. I would be concerned if Trump over looked the apparent corruption of the previous Vice President and his son when he promised to “drain the swamp.” I’m trying to figure out if Reason writers are dumb and naive or do they just think we are stupid?

  70. So the illustration contains a Putin doll in it, and the title states that we shouldn’t freak out about impeachment?

    Journalists are still trying to connect Trump and Putin and the Russians, long after nothing came of the whole collusion thing, and we’re supposed to trust their take on impeachment now?

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  72. Congress has passed legislation that hands that power to the Executive. Congress should not bitch when that power is abused. Write legislation that the President can execute. By the way, do we yet have a Federal budget for FY2020? (Continuing resolutions do not count)

  73. It’s not nearly as easy to fire people in the U.S. as the author claims. If it was that easy, the unemployment rate would be much lower. Switzerland has consistently registered the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world. One reason is the type of technical education acquired by noncollege bound students. But the main reason is that firing employees is much easier in Switzerland than just about anywhere else within the OECD, including the U.S. This means employers don’t mind taking a chance on people. If it doesn’t work out, they can easily and quickly let them go.

  74. So, the Deep State (Democrats and Republicans) and the MSM feed the country a bunch of lies and half truths about an outsider who is trying to clean the Swamp. Why would anyone who wants to get rid of the corruption of the FBI, the FISA court (With the domestic spying on the press and opposition politicians) want to listen to the bad guys who want to neuter the President and his attempts to clean up these messes?

  75. I never cease to be amused by “experts” on political history, who were not present during the history, to tell us all about it. Nixon gets better with every passing administration, yet everyone kowtows to criticisms like it’s dogma.
    Trump? Toss the dopey bastard out.
    The constitution ignored? What? Again?
    Congress, courts, government in general shirking responsibilities and putting self interest and politics ahead of America?
    No shit, Buckwheat. No shit.

  76. another thing: “Almost alone among industrialized democracies, the U.S. hews to the old-school regime of employment at will, which means most of us can be frogmarched out of the building at any time—for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.” Where is that old-school regime operating? I hardly ever see it. Gross abuses demand reams of ‘paperwork’ before the boot actually kicks the abuser out For example: “Changes in our broader society are also to blame. During the 1950s, the military, like much of the nation, became more “corporate”—less tolerant of the maverick and more likely to favor conformist ‘organization men.’ As a large, bureaucratized national-security establishment developed to wage the Cold War, the nation’s generals also began acting less like stewards of a profession, responsible to the public at large, and more like members of a guild, looking out primarily for their own interests.”

  77. another thing: “Almost alone among industrialized democracies, the U.S. hews to the old-school regime of employment at will, which means most of us can be frogmarched out of the building at any time—for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.” Where is that old-school regime operating? Maybe he’s talking about university football coaches (for having a losing season, which sounds unsportsmanlike to me) or a CEO who was found to have wrongthink (termination utterly unrelated to his performance as an executive). “Had Sanchez been a head coach or a CEO, he would likely have been cashiered.”.”

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