Trump's Failed Impeachment Is Still Worth It

It at least sends a message against future abuses of executive power.


Everyone knows President Donald Trump will not be convicted in his impeachment trial. His party controls 53 seats of the Senate, so there is simply no way the requisite two-thirds will vote against him.

So is there any point to this whole exercise? Yes, there is. Impeachment is not just about this president; it is about future presidents. If Congress fails to act despite mounting evidence of Trump's abuses of office, it would hand presidents a license for misconduct.

Unfortunately, all presidents bend the rules and push the outer boundaries of their powers to achieve their preferred policy outcomes. But Trump didn't just bend the rules; he trashed the rulebook. Moreover, he did so to advance not any policy objective, but his own political interest.

The rough transcript of the call that Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (the call that Trump insists was "perfect") offers compelling evidence that Trump demanded dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden as a condition for releasing congressionally authorized security aid to the country. In the call, Trump first berated Ukraine for not sufficiently "reciprocating" to "all the good" that America does for his country. Then he explicitly asked Zelensky to work with former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Trump's personal lawyer, to launch a corruption investigation into how Biden's son landed a lucrative job at a Ukrainian energy company. Shortly after this call, the administration froze $391 million in congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine. The Government Accountability Office recently ruled that this action violated the Impoundment Control Act, a law passed in the wake of Watergate precisely to stop presidents from substituting their own funding judgment for Congress'.

How could Trump possibly have thought withholding aid was appropriate—especially since he had just extricated himself from hot waters over his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia against Hillary Clinton? As Gordon Sondland, Trump's handpicked envoy to the European Union, explained to Bill Taylor, America's top diplomat to Ukraine at the time, Trump is a businessman and "when a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, the businessman asks that person to pay up." In other words, as far as Trump was concerned, the aid belonged not to American taxpayers but him and he was entitled to use it as a personal slush fund to enlist a U.S. ally in oppo research.

This is generally the kind of thinking one expects from Third World potentates (or Detroit mayors). If a CEO used company funds for personal purposes, he'd be fired in a heartbeat.

So why does Trump deserve a pass? Trump's lawyers argue that he didn't violate any criminal laws and that the articles of impeachment drafted by the House don't accuse him of doing so. The articles merely charge Trump with abuse of power (and obstruction of Congress), a nebulous and subjective charge. But criminal conduct has never been a requirement for impeachment. Even the Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley, one of the few legal experts outside of Trump's legal team who is on his side, accepts this.

In fact, when the Founders wrote the impeachment language in 1787, virtually no federal criminal laws even existed. If they still made provisions for impeachment, it is because they realized that in America's presidential system, the executive is granted powers that he or she may be tempted to abuse for all kinds of reasons. Trying to anticipate all the possible ways and write laws against them was neither possible nor desirable, so the Founders gave Congress the space to make subjective calls. To avoid partisan witch-hunts, they also set the two-third Senate vote bar to remove him from office.

Since then, executive power has grown in leaps and bounds, partly because Congress has not stepped in to prevent presidents from usurping its powers and partly because it has handed its powers to them on a platter. Yet the bar for removal has not been lowered. The upshot is that the president is becoming ever more powerful and ever less accountable.

In an ideal world, Congress would limit executive power or lower the bar for removal or both. But since that'll require the ghosts of the Founders to wake up and once again lead the country, the only nominal check on future abuses are impeachment proceedings that embarrass sitting presidents by exposing their wrongdoings even if they don't succeed in removing him from office. Trump is shameless, but even he is upset that the impeachment will look "bad" on his "resume." Most normally constituted presidents are likely to care quite a bit more about their honor.

Indeed, if Trump is able to get away with using his diplomatic and foreign policy powers to "screw [his] political enemies"—to use the immortal words of John Dean—what's to prevent him or future presidents from using their domestic powers for similar purposes? What would stop them from, say, withholding authorized disaster aid from governors till they deliver dirt on opponents? There are no criminal statutes against such behavior either, after all.

It would be nice if Trump's acquittal weren't preordained, given that, as Fox News' Judge Napolitano has pointed out, there is "ample and uncontradicted" evidence to support his removal.

But doing nothing in the face of his actions would lower the cost of bad behavior so much that even men and women better than Trump would be tempted toward behavior worse than Trump's. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It is sad that an unsuccessful impeachment is one of the few tools left to the republic to stop the absolute corruptibility of the presidency. But it is better than nothing.

A version of this column originally appeared in The Week.

NEXT: 7 More Countries From Which Trump Wants to Ban Immigrants and Visitors

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  1. “It at least sends a message against future abuses of executive power.”

    “Abuse” like beating that hag in an election? “Abuse” like being Donald Trump?

    1. LOL

      Get out of here with that right-wing nonsense about how “the deep state” has been looking for an excuse to remove Drumpf since before he even took office. It’s such an absurd conspiracy theory.

      1. When will you book be on pre-order?

    2. It wuz HER TURN!!!

      1. The Turn of the Shrew.

    3. “It at least sends a message” should be the Libertarian Party’s formal motto.

      1. Right next to, “Thou shalt not suffer worker wages to rise.”

      2. “There’s nothing more libertarian than bureaucratic coup attempts and kangaroo courts, if it sends a message about non-existent abuses of executive power” – t. Shikha

        Reason’s definition of libertarian and the dictionary’s are now light years apart.

        1. Yeah is it just me or is Reason turning into just another leftist rag? I hate politics and politicians more than anybody, but I’d be a lot more supportive of the attitude at Reason if they had a history of shitting on Obama, Bush Jr. Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, Carter and anyone else going back for their abuses of power. Why pick on the new guy?

          1. Because he doesn’t act presidential…and he’s orange.

    4. I think we should investigate Shikha Dalmia for various unspecified malfeasance, corruption and abuse of power.

      Even if the investigation fails, it’s still worth it. It will send a message against malfeasance, corruption and abuse of power.

      1. She should be held at GitMo, without bail, during this exhaustive multi year process.

    5. As they used to say, “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.”

    6. I hear she still has “the urge”.

  2. More excellent analysis from my favorite libertarian writer. This is almost as good as her pieces using American guilt about slavery to argue for Charles Koch’s immigration agenda.


  3. Trump’s Failed Impeachment Is Still Worth It
    It at least sends a message against future abuses of executive power.


    Wait until Trump’s second term, Shikha.

    Trump would love to be the only President to survive 2 Impeachments!

    1. I think you underestimate the Democrats. He will survive three or more unless the dems lose the house during the ‘real’ impeachment vote in November.

    2. Trump needed a three-cushion bank shot at the Electoral College the first time. Four years later — with an electorate that is less white, less rural, less bigoted, less religious — it would be even tougher for his base to put him into position for a chance at another trick shot.

      There just aren’t enough uneducated racists, superstitious slack-jaws, disaffected incels, gay-bashing rubes, and on-the-spectrum right-wing malcontents left in America these days to constitute a winning national electoral coalition.

      1. There just aren’t enough uneducated racists, superstitious slack-jaws, disaffected incels, gay-bashing rubes, and on-the-spectrum right-wing malcontents left in America these days to constitute a winning national electoral coalition.

        Think the hicklib will be disabused of this notion before or after he’s put on the train?

        1. Well, Progressives do love trains.

        2. I’m honestly not sure this guy is for real in spewing his vile, or just a poor excuse for a parody. Regardless he seems to believe, as they pretty much all do, that his good intentions will get him a pass.

          And we all know a bull will not charge a vegan, right?

        3. There will be no train. Just more liberal-libertarian progress, making America better against the preferences and efforts of right-wing culture war casualties. Science, tolerance, reason, modernity, education, progress, inclusivity — all of the things anti-social clingers can’t stand.

          1. Tolerance??? Did you actually write tolerance???

            Haha haha!!!
            Donkeys are the most intolerant people in the country.

            1. Donkeys are the most intolerant people in the country.
              And the least dedicated to science, reason, modernity, education or inclusivity.
              As for progress…they are dedicated to “progressing” us to a Soviet Amerika – gulags, and all.

          2. Why can’t you even pretend a belief in soap? Your stink precedes you and fouls each space in which you slouch.

      2. There just aren’t enough…

        moderate Democrats to beat him.

    3. Hi, I’m lc1789. I love licking out Trump’s asshole.

      How do you express your love for Dear Leader?

      1. Aww he made you cry.

        1. Troll Off, in front of the old school yard, at noon! Or are you chicken, Buttplug?!

      2. Poor new sock troll cannot pit Hillarys dick down to form complete sentences.

  4. I never really wanted that impeachment, anyway. It’s probably sour.

    1. Lolz

  5. LOL, you think that’s what this impeachment is about? Heh. Sure.

    1. No, of course she doesn’t. She’s talking to people she believes to be less intelligent than her.

      1. Talk about speaking to a minority group. There are very few people that are less intelligent than Shikha!

        1. She is facing a mirror.

          1. A stare down that’s now in hour number 7

  6. It sends the message that it is a waste of time and a good way to lose your majority in Congress. This is the message Republicans got in 1998 when they impeached Clinton and this likely seems to be the message the public is going to send Democrats this fall.

    And oh by the way, you really only get one bit at the apple. If Trump is re-elected, I seriously doubt Democrats will have much appetite to do this again. So that means impeachment will be pretty much off the table in Trump’s second term because they wasted it on this bullshit.

    But Shika still thinks it was worth it.

    1. I could see some of the more moronic ones like AOC and Schiff still having the appetite, but I doubt they’ll have the capability. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dems in Congress got spanked in the next election over this, and any surviving moderate Dems would probably have enough basic pattern recognition to realize what a repeat would mean.

      1. Nancy Pelosi will be the first person in history to blow two House majorities, and the retarded Democrats will still keep her in power.

    2. You have to hand it to the Dems though, they are basically following through on their campaign promise in a way I don’t think the Republicans could ever. They know it’s going to probably end up a loser for the electorate and they are doing it anyway. Kind of like with Obamacare or the retarded shit they are ramming down VA throat currently. They know in the long run it matters that they actually do what they say are they going to do for fundraising purposes and the Republicans will never repeal any or most of this shit because the media will bleat like a stuck pig about how awful it would be.

      1. And they can tell their donor class and base they tried to do what they wanted.

      2. You are right about that. The only problem is that they retook the House by winning in a bunch of swing districts with candidates who didn’t mention impeachment and promised they were going to be reasonable.

        The Democrats kept their promise to their base in a big way. I think the price of that is going to be losing control of the House. What do those Democrats who won in Trump voting districts in 2018 have to run on?

        1. Look at Obamacare though. These people wrecked the health insurance market and even though it cost them the house and senate they are still campaigning on it. It was an unpopular bill when it was passed so much so it lead to historic levels of republican legislatural control and the Republicans ran on and one on killing it and they still didn’t kill it. It took Trump gutting the mandate to do it and they still won’t destroy the legislative frame work of that monstrosity. In the meantime the Dems are allowed to argue they should get another shot at healthcare even though their last attempt failed miserably and completely and at the same time they had a win for their donor class and base.

      3. They know it’s going to probably end up a loser for the electorate…

        Even if the Democrats lose the House, nearly all of the incumbents are still going to keep their seats, as they do every election. That’s what they actually care about. If a Democrat Congressman can keep his job by pandering to his base, then he’s happy, even if that means a few of his Democrat colleagues lose.

    3. If Trump is re-elected, I seriously doubt Democrats will have much appetite to do this again.

      Oh, I’d strongly disagree with this. If Trump gets re-elected, it could result in a full-on psychotic break. Look what happened when Bush got re-elected in 2004, and with a popular vote majority, no less. Now imagine Trump winning the electoral college again AND getting the most votes on top of that. Cities might end up devolving into full-scale riots.

      1. Unless dumb white people start rioting, I seriously doubt that. In the past real riots have been race riots. And the black community just doesn’t care about this enough to riot. TDS is a white man’s disease.

        So what you will end up with is a bunch of Antifa freaks rioting in places like Portland and Seattle just like they have been. Otherwise, there will just be the usual crying and ritual gnashing of teeth on Twitter.

  7. “If a CEO used company funds for personal purposes, he’d be fired in a heartbeat.”

    This couldn’t be farther from the truth

    1. Dennis Koslowski said his solid gold wastebasket, shower rods and bacchanalian parties on the Greek Islands were just part of the perks he deserved as Tyco’s CEO.

    2. No shit. If the CEO of a major corporation offered to work for reasonable compensation, he’d be fired in a heartbeat.

      1. This, because he wouldn’t agree to his board members’ compensation requests when it became their turn to ask their boards for higher pay.

        Large public corporations have had a significant governance problem for awhile now.

        1. And, he would be unable to function in his job because he would be ostracized by other executives for breaking their cartel.

  8. After 3 years of screeching TDS daily, couldn’t the Dems have come up with a longer list of high crimes and petty stuff than this?

  9. I tried to find a Shihka article about impeaching Obama and I couldn’t find one. Despite droning brown kids, pen and phone executive overreach, and sending pallets of cash to terrorists.

    Weird, huh?

    1. She was young, and in love!

      1. That was back when she claimed to be a conservative so, you know, she wouldn’t oppose the law and order President with whom shared an ethos.

    2. Obama was loved by Reason because he was a member of the Ruling Class: Ivy League pedigree, member of the Senate, smooth, articulate, and with well-creased pants.

      While Shikha might have tsk-tsked his more gross abuses of power, she never would have suggested impeaching him; he was one of Them.

      Despite Reason’s Postrelian blather about the inevitability of their ideas, they are as hidebound and orthodox in their views as the French aristocracy was in 1789. Trump has shown all of the Media to be nothing more than eager courtiers in the Versailles Palace; speaking the Truth of the Powerful to those unwashed masses.

      1. Yep, it has more to do with being one of the Right People, the ability to shiv someone while smiling and looking cultured.

        Either that or the chocolate penis.

    3. Someone impeached Obama?!

      Oh, that’s right nobody did.

  10. But Trump didn’t just bend the rules; he trashed the rulebook.

    I sincerely doubt Trump’s actions were much different from previous administrations aside from the vulgarity of the president not attempting the transactions through third parties.

    And it’s silly to believe anything that applies to the Trump presidency translates to others. Trump has been an existential threat to the entirety of the Democrat Party (aside from those yokels who voted for him) and the Republican establishment. He wasn’t your standard binders-full-of-women existential threat like Mitt Romney, or a simple if extraordinarily eloquent Alinksyite like Obama. He is unique in his ability to utterly annihilate the United States of America from his office. This impeachment portends nothing.

    1. Simply on the issue of “dealings with Ukraine, limited entirely to this one topic”, the Obama administration has proven to clearly be much more corrupt than Trump.

      Let that sink in. As bad as you believe Trump to be…. this incident proves beyond any doubt that Obama and his team were far worse.

      The more we learn about Ukraine, the more we learn that the principles were getting rich off of various schemes, and the Obama administration was the lever to extract that cash.

      Trump’s ‘abuse’ of strong-arming them to give up the dirt on how the Obama administration actually accomplished that really isn’t a rounding error on that level of corruption.

      And that is the worst they could find for Trump – and it is an “oh, by the way” for Obama.

      Way too many people have confused “clean and well-spoken” for “not corrupt”.

  11. But Trump didn’t just bend the rules; he trashed the rulebook.
    At least he hasn’t been picking up dogs by their ears. Or holding meetings while taking a dump.

  12. But what message are people receiving about future abuses of legislative power?

    1. The message that the democrats are totally opposed to free elections, and no one should let them on any ballot anywhere.

  13. I would think an unsuccessful impeachment would send the exact opposite message. I’m not sure that getting away with abusing your powers once would discourage you from attempting it again, especially when half the country is arguing it’s not even an abuse of power and that’s the half of the country that voted for you. It’s not as if the likes of Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton telling you you’ve committed a shameful act is going to be much of a disincentive.

    1. I would think an unsuccessful impeachment would send the exact opposite message.

      I had the same knee-jerk reaction. *If* you were absolutely convinced he were guilty, the message it sends is “Here’s how to do it and get away with it.”

      Then I remembered that it’s Shikha and that thread is a knotted mess better left untugged.

  14. “But Trump didn’t just bend the rules; he trashed the rulebook.”

    He is accused of thinking about the possibility of maybe linking foreign aid to politics. This was done openly by the Obama administration (and every other one), so it is not against the rulebook.
    He is accused of ‘obstructing congress’, which is clearly constitutional when done using a veto, so also not against the rulebook.
    Stick to border nonsense; there are better idiots on impeachment.

    1. True, Shikha is the queen of immigration nonsense.

  15. Thought this was gonna be Reason’s normal drivel, then saw that it was the weapons-grade autism that is Shreeka. I swear the only reason I come here anymore is for the comment section regulars. They do your job for free AND manage to be entertaining

  16. ” Congress fails to act despite mounting evidence of Trump’s abuses of office, it would hand presidents a license for misconduct.”

    Trump’s ‘impeachable’ offenses are about changing the the (evil, unAmerican) foreign policy of ‘our’ government. The State Department arranged the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government using paid demonstrators and snipers who shot Kiev demonstrators from rooftops in order to sow chaos and install its own people to run Ukraine. The eastern provinces rebelled against the US puppet government and the resulting bloodshed is at the hands of Obama administration officials.

    Kudos to Putin for accepting Crimea back into Russia where they twice voted to return during the ’90s. Unlike the 500-year borders of Serbia – from which the US government created the narco-human trafficking ‘state’ of Kosovo – The borders of Ukraine were less than 20 years old.

    Washington, DC is no place for a foundation or magazine that professes to be libertarian.

    1. “”” Congress fails to act despite mounting evidence of Trump’s abuses of office, it would hand presidents a license for misconduct.”””

      Following that line, I guess it could be said the democrats in the senate that let Clinton off the hook would hand presidents a license for sexual harassment, perjury, and obstruction.

    2. Libertarians don’t care, wootendw.
      Their skepticism of official narratives and anti-Russia adventurism doesn’t venture outside the established narrative.
      The biggest thing coming out of this impeachment should be the narrative that cold war with Russia is fundamental to US security.
      Yet… crickets

  17. Shorter Dalmia: Trump has more impeachable wrongdoings than you can Shikha stick at. But we’re going to shake that stick, because that is something, and something is better than nothing.

    Ignore that he is in a stronger position now than when the Shikha shaking started.

    1. Even shorter: Shikha is angry at Trump because he never asked her to pee on him.

  18. Wow, you’d think Unreason would at least want to hear the POTUS’ side of the story before pronouncing this impeachment trial as a good thing….which it is not. This is going to have very negative effects that will plague us for a long time afterward.

    I think Ms. Dalmia’s assumptions on the long-term consequences of this impeachment on the two branches are willfully naive and ignorant.

  19. How is asking about something that everyone already knew about asking for dirt?

    1. If only the President had asked the FBI or the IRS to look into it!

    2. “Digging up dirt” is as much a part of the revisionist narrative as “Do me a favor”. Just as the idea that when the President threatens to withhold Congressionally-appropriated funds unless he gets his quid pro quo it’s a clear violation of the separation of powers but when the Vice-President does it, it’s fine because there were reasons.

  20. “It at least sends a message against future abuses of executive power

    But keep in mind, she meant to add, that such message only matters and satisfies our agenda when the executive is someone we dislike.

  21. Reason has been taken over by communist sympathizers with no ability to use logic or REASON. Reason is memeing itself to death with writers like this. Dalmia needs to be fired. She doesn’t belong writing for this formerly respected magazine.

  22. Almost every point this progressive shill attempts to make is a lie or distortion. Every single article. Every single time.

    “Congress has not stepped in to prevent presidents from usurping its powers and partly because it has handed its powers to them on a platter. ”

    For once I agree with you Dalmia; Congress has been “delegating” this power for decades; do you think in any way it would be less so had Stumbles McMyturn been elected instead?

    I wish Trump were a statesman, but alas he is not. He is anything but. But if we end of with a plurality of federal judges who actually respect the constitution as it was written and intended and do not legislate from the bench; with possibly fewer legislators who delegate to a vast administrative bureaucracy and who might be held to do their job [legislating and taking responsibility for it], I’m good with that.

    1. Not the hero we want, but the hero we deserve.

  24. Of all of the stupid takes on impeachment, this is by far the dumbest. There is not one single person who will be taking away the message that “abuse of power is not OK!”

    Not one single member of the Democrat caucus voted for impeachment because they were worried about abuse of power. Not one. Clinton’s team came out of her hotel room the morning after election night and said “don’t worry, we are going to impeach him!” The democrats have not even hit the pause button on that refrain for a single minute in the intervening years.

    Nobody on Team D has even bothered to seriously pretend that they are impeaching him for any reason other than being elected over Hillary. Schiff spent years spouting off about colluding with Russia and didn’t skip a beat when that was proven false. Then he went on and on about working with foreign governments to dig up dirt on opponents being treasonous, damaging to democracy, a threat to the constitution —- all while having been caught on tape talking to someone he believed to be an agent of the FSB with access to Putin who had dirt on Trump, including naked pictures. Schiff personally asked to receive that information from a foreign government. And not one single person in the democrat caucus (or in the supportive media, I might add) had a problem with it. Nobody even bothers to mention it.

    So nobody who isn’t on Team D believes for a second that this has anything to do with abuse of power. You’d have to be a complete dupe to buy that line – even if Trump did abuse his power, there is no rational reason to believe this impeachment has anything to do with that.

    Which should be a serious “take a look in the mirror” moment. If you are buying any of this nonsense, this is your “holy crap, I am just as susceptible to motivated reasoning as everyone else” moment. Believing that this impeachment sends any sort of anti-corruption message is utterly irrational. It is at odds with all of the facts – irrespective of anything that Trump has or has not done. The democrats have loudly and repeatedly demonstrated that Trump’s actions are not relevant to this process in any way. They were moving forward with it regardless of what the facts were. And if you bought in to it, then you are a dupe. There is no sugar coating that.

    1. One of the few cogent comments here. Many of the most popular Presidents have killed tens of thousands of Americans in elective wars or interventions, signed thousands of unconstitutional bills into law, and given away millions in public funds to cronies. The bar for impeachment has been so lowered that Trump’s sins fly over it like a 747. This mag is so Beltway in its views that you have to snicker if you call it “libertarian.”

  25. Unfortunately, all presidents bend the rules and push the outer boundaries of their powers to achieve their preferred policy outcomes. But Trump didn’t just bend the rules; he trashed the rulebook.

    This is a silly claim. All presidents “trash the rulebook”. Starting a war without Congressional authorization is much more serious than this, and multiple previous presidents have done that.

  26. Who did it start with? Washington calling on state militias to put down the Whiskey Rebellion? Adams and the Alien and Sedition Act? Jefferson and the purchase of Louisiana et al? Maybe W.H.Harrison is the only president who didn’t.

  27. It at least sends a message against future abuses of executive power.

    Does it? Warren is already promising to forgive student loan debt on her first day in office.

    Try dealing with reality for once.

  28. I don’t get it. Every one of the impeachment articles has comments 9 to 1 against the authors. However, the authors seem dead set on praising the impeachment to the point of madness. The following points remain uncontested.

    1: Investigating corruption by prior officials is part of Trump’s job.
    2: This started at least as far back in April 2018 (earliest recording I’m aware of which has Trump discussing this), long before Biden even announced his nomination.
    3: The “announce investigation” versus “conduct investigation” is a completely nonsensical argument. The more you think about it, the more foolish it sounds. No rational person would hear that statement and think that Trump did not want an actual investigation conducted.
    4: While he could have (and arguably should have) included the DOJ, we know for certain that the “resistance” groups were engaged in active conspiracies against Trump and had committed what is at best double-think to let Clinton off the hook before the election. You cannot fault him for not trusting his own people.
    5: The aid was released within the allotted time frame.

    NONE of the previous facts have been adequately addressed or challenged. These have to be refuted before you can say that Trump abused his power at all.

    This impeachment is sending a clear message alright. A message to Congress that they had better have their ducks in a row with an actual crime before they try any nonsense like this again.

    1. I agree with all of that, but the worst part is that the pro impeachment takes are stupid. I don’t mind things that I disagree with but are intelligently argued. But most of the time I end up arguing on Trump side of things not because I agree with Trump, but because the other side of the argument is stupid.

      In the Trump era, almost all of the pure political articles a treason have been sophomoric and nonsensical. The Jacket seems to be the only one of the old guard who is anywhere close to his original position, which is that he pretty much hates politicians and is annoyed with everything to do with politicians.

      But to have lived through an era where the president of the United States used his office to spy on and sabotage the media, the opposing party’s presidential candidate, and nonprofit organizations friendly to the opposition and watch Reason not bat an eyelash about the entire thing and then watch them get ginned-up into a fever pitch over fictional collusion with Russians is really hard to take. These are my people. It hurts to watch them suffer from such fever dreams.

      1. I have to agree.
        We really first saw this in the Kavanaugh hearings, which were embarrassing. How can Congress follow lines of reasoning to essentially convict a man of assault without enough evidence to power a lynch mob? An accusation with neither date nor location? Read through a 50 year old man’s high school yearbook? Then get shocked that he gets angry at them for dragging both him and his entire profession through the mud? It read like a comedy sketch.

        1. I don’t get mad about politicians, or the behavior of others. But that really made me angry. Not because I have any affinity for the dude… I never heard of him before. And not because I wanted him on the bench… again, never heard of the dude and had no idea what kind of justice he would make.

          But their first and only criteria was to attack him on what was essentially at most a non-event from when he was a high school kid? I was angry… not just for him, but for my son. Because the world they are building is a world where that could happen to him. And people were actually angry about a non-assault that by the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence didn’t even happen… 35 years later? To have a reputation as an upstanding dude, a father who coaches his daughter’s sports teams and is giving in the community… and have all of that not just ignored, but thrown in the trash over what were most probably the fantasies of a mentally ill woman? And over something that, even if it were to have happened was still not more than a 2 on a scale of 1-10?

          And they did it with glee. Every one of them had to have known that they were slandering an innocent man for purely political purposes. It was evil. Not the kind of evil that politicians like to pretend the other side is.. but deep in your heart malice for your fellow humans, so much so that you can look them directly in the eye and not care one whit that you are unfairly wrecking their reputation… tearing the dude away from his daughter’s sports teams such that not only is he no longer the coach, but he can’t even attend the games. And all in the hope of scoring a few political points. That’s evil.

          I am still angry about that. I hope everyone else is too. I have not voted anything other than (L) in decades. But I’ll be remembering that incident come November, you can bet on that.

  29. This is what a “Senior Analyst” comes up with?

    This is like high school level shit.

    1. ^ this.

  30. So is there any point to this whole exercise? Yes, there is. Impeachment is not just about this president; it is about future presidents.

    Every president since Nixon has proven you wrong, Shikha.

    1. That’s a good point. Everything the Obama Administration did with respect to the spying on the Trump campaign was worse than anything from Watergate. And you can add to that all of the stuff from the IRS and the nonprofit organizations. And you can add to those two lists of items the spying on journalists.

      But no, let’s send a message by worrying about a president who wants to expose the literal selling of US foreign policy for cash money for relatives. Yes! That is the hill to die upon. Let us prevent all future presidents from exposing the corruption of politicians that came before them!

      1. Nixon was an altar boy compared to those who came after him (with possibly the exception of Carter).

      2. Carter sent a military force into a foreign country without congressional authorization though. More than once. And he’s about as virtuous as you are going to find.

  31. The impeachment was necessary because President Trump refusal to modify his behavior. Most people would have taken the Mueller report as a warning. President Trump learns he can get away with cheating and he is right back at it with the Ukraine affair. While acquittal is for certain, the Republicans would do well to contribute to a effort to get the President out of office. The lose of 8 to 12 Republican votes would let the President know they expect him to tow the line through the November election. You should support your party’s president, by they should know there are limits to that support.

    1. Finally! Someone who gets it!

      By not working with the Russians, Trump stole the election! So it is obvious that he should have learned his lesson and not tried to not work with ukrainians to steal the election in 2020! Not colluding with Russians and exposing Democrats who are in bed with ukrainians is a danger to democracy!

      It really is so simple!

  32. Shiksa, you ignorant slut…

  33. Worth it for nothing else than showing everyone the Republican party deserves to perish.

    If the dems ever did the same, send their party to the guillotine as well.

    1. The Democrats manufactured a dossier and then used it to get a FISA warrant for the purpose of spying on the campaigns of their political opponents.

      Does that rise to the same level of what President Trump has done?

  34. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just wait until a Democrat is President again. Then it will be:

    “Gasp! We can’t tie the President’s hands! The President needs tools to address this crisis! We can’t have 535 Secretaries of State! Teh executive privilege!”

    1. All future Presidents will be impeached. In 8 or 12 years it will be SOP and won’t even make the headlines anymore.

      1. I say we flip the whole thing on its head. Outgoing presidents have to serve 5 years in prison unless 2/3 of the senate agrees to throw the sentence out.

        1. Interesting concept.

          How about a year in prison for every 100 US servicemen killed in battle ( not training) unless Congress has declared war?

      2. That seems pretty likely. But I figure whoever is on the receiving end will declare it a travesty…until they get their turn to dish it out.

        1. Not a chance. First, the number one criterion for being impeached is that the House is held by the opposing party. That’s a big hurdle, right there. Incoming presidents tend to have coattails. And the entire house is up for election every election cycle.

          Second, this is a unique circumstance. The media and the Hillary camp were so deeply intertwined and so strongly believed that she was finally getting her long-awaited turn, they were devastated when she lost in such a shocking manner. You could see it in their faces live on TV as they went from celebration to despondency as the night wore on.

          This created a vortex of sour grapes that sustained itself through the years. Also, you had the “backup plan” of the FBI spying… which I’m going to assume that a lot of top Clintonites were aware of, based on their comments. So they all got wedded to the idea that they were going to toss Trump out after he won.

          That scenario is highly unlikely to ever present itself again.

          Even with a (D) in the White House and an (R) House of Reps, you are not going to have an accomplice media giving 24/7 spin. So momentum for an impeachment will be really hard to maintain, even if it is actually justified. So it is going to take a slam-dunk case in that scenario. (remember, Bill was actually, factually guilty of multiple felonies, and stood credibly accused of even worse – actual rape and sexual assaults, on top of his de-facto sexual harassment of a young intern – and that didn’t even peel off the hard left feminists)

          But if (D) manages to hold the house this fall…. yes. Look forward to endless impeachment inquiries.

      3. All future Presidents will be impeached.
        If you think the honest, honorable people’s complaints about impeaching Trump are loud, wait until you hear the dishonest, dishonorable people, including the media, complain about a demoncrap being impeached.
        While the meme is that Trump could get away with “shooting someone on 5th avenue”, the truth is that only a demoncrap gets excused for egregious violations of US laws and the Constitution.

  35. He publicly confessed, then provided a White House document corroborating his confession, even before others besides the unnamed “whistle-blower” weighed in.

    It’s a slam-dunk, air-tight case.

    The Senators who vote to acquit him will be voting to convict themselves.

    1. You know who else had a slam-dunk?

      I’m sorry. I’m a horrible person.

        1. Your GIF isn’t working, but I’m guessing it’s Hitler dunking.

      1. Too soon.

        1. I know. The body’s still warm.

          Probably residual heat from the burning fuel.

          I’m really, really sorry.

      2. Ooo … that was pretty low.
        I approve the irreverence, but still…damn

    2. But, Thomas, confessed to what? Even if everything charged is true, it amounts to not much more than what used to be called “dirty tricks” in campaigning. So many past Presidents have done so much worse with no comeuppance. The Obama/Biden administration fomented a coup in Ukraine, profited from nepotism and corruption, bullied a foreign head of state as though he were a personal puppet, and set in motion a political assassination attempt. If you want to be a purist like the otherwise-cogent Napolitano, shouldn’t you mention the far better cases against most of the other 42 miscreants who held the office? (I’m forgiving the Whiskey Rebellion and Louisiana purchase.)

  36. “Yes, there is. Impeachment is not just about this president; it is about future presidents.”

    Exactly. They’ll all be impeached out of spite.

  37. More compelling evidence that Shikha should be ignored.

  38. What a crock of shit. Politicians will abuse power so long as they exist. They can’t help themselves for them know all and what is best for all and damn it the ends justify the means!

  39. “In fact, when the Founders wrote the impeachment language in 1787, virtually no federal criminal laws even existed. If they still made provisions for impeachment, it is because they realized that in America’s presidential system, the executive is granted powers that he or she may be tempted to abuse for all kinds of reasons. Trying to anticipate all the possible ways and write laws against them was neither possible nor desirable, so the Founders gave Congress the space to make subjective calls.”


    The founders didn’t want there to be a slew of federal laws. They left the vast majority of criminal punishment to the States. They explicitly did this. You can’t really understand the constitution we read today without understanding the United States that existed between the one we know and the end of the American Revolution. I’d wager the author doesn’t even know about it. The intent of the framers was to keep the federal government minimal, but to have an executive because they lacked one before and it didn’t go well. Contrary to modern wishful thinking, the constitution did not, and does not prevent the POTUS and other officers from being charged, tried, and convicted for crimes committed. The impeachment process is there to provide a means to remove someone from office yes, but it is a limitation on Congress, not a protection for POTUS.

    You see prior to the constitution we know, the congress appointed an executive committee to run the country when Congress was not in session. It was comprised of members of Congress who were appointed by congress, and it then selected/appointed a President (yes, this means that in the full history of the country Washington was not the first POTUS). Under this mechanism they had a way of controlling who was POTUS – who also had essentially no actual powers to execute the laws.

    When splitting it off to a separate branch, there needed to be a way to remove officers from office for committing crimes that made them unfit for office – in the opinion of the Congress. They didn’t need to account for any law, they explicitly covered that with “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors”. Note that it doesn’t say “other federal crimes”. They didn’t need for there to be an array of federal crimes because they (rightly) believed that the states and lower should be handling crimes rather than the federal government which was a union of the states (hint: it is in the name 😉 ).

    Perhaps the author should learn the history before writing about it and making claims as to why they did what they did and wrote what they wrote.

  40. “A version of this column originally appeared in The Week.”

    I’ve been noticing things like this fairly often on this site lately. How about moving these lines to the beginning of the article, so that we can tell up front that it’s just more mainstream media drivel and not actual libertarian commentary?

  41. Ah yes, it “sends a message”, always a reliable excuse for any action, no matter how stupid. That ranks right up there with the “slippery slope” that is always a reliable excuse for inaction.

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  43. …Prevent what? That’s naive. He is not of the personality profile that humbley changes his ways because people get pissed off at him. “They’re wrong, he’s right, end of story.”

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  45. The lessen ought to be … don’t cry wolf.

    But the lessen is as lost on the writers at Reason as it was on the proverbial boy, who, as the story goes, got his ass eaten when a real wolf came around.

    The Dems and their enablers in the media have been playing a sleazy trick on the American public. Let’s hope the public does not tune them out if and when a real crisis arises.

  46. “Allowing the Regressive Ledt to aantonly abuse power to try and re-instate the outcome they tried to rig the 2016 election to produce will somehow stop future government abuses.”

    This garbage must be a Shikha Damia screed. All it’s missing is some out-of-nowhere paragraph about why we should kill all the Jews and send all our money to Iran so the Islamofascists will pretend to like us.

  47. It sends a message that every president that has a congress of a different party will be impeached for anything they choose. If the Senate is also of the opposing party the Presidential election doesn’t matter. The President will be chosen by the House and Senate. The worst message of all. Absolutely disagree with this article.

  48. Yeah, the Impeachment fiasco sends a message all right: Don’t worry about War Powers, starting unwinnable wars, ending unwinnable wars, collateral damage and the like, instead don’t make a non-Quid Pro Quo request from a foreign leader to investigate events that the previous Vice President bragged about conducting.

    Oh and you have to obey testimony requests from Congress even if the Supreme Court might say that you don’t.

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