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Free Minds & Free Markets

Americans Should Impeach Presidents More Often

We don't do it nearly enough.

Impeachment talk in the nation's capital rose from a murmur to a dull roar in mid-May, thanks to a week jam-packed with Nixonesque "White House horrors." On Tuesday, May 9, President Donald Trump summarily fired FBI director James Comey; on Thursday, Trump admitted the FBI investigation into "this Russia thing"—attempts to answer questions about his campaign's links with Moscow—was a key reason for the firing; Friday found Trump warning Comey he'd "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations"; and the following Tuesday The New York Times reported the existence of a Comey memo on Trump's efforts to get the FBI director to "let this go." Along the way, Trump may have "jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State" while bragging to Russian diplomats about his "great intel," according to The Washington Post.

Still, the Beltway discussion of impeachment remained couched in euphemism, as if there was something vaguely profane and disreputable about the very idea. "The elephant in the room," an NPR story observed, "is the big 'I' word—impeachment"; "the 'I' word that I think we should use right now is 'investigation,'" House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell (D–Calif.) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

We don't call it "the v-word" when the president signals he might veto a bill. Yet somehow, when it comes to the constitutional procedure for ejecting an unfit president, journalists and Congress members—grown-ups, ostensibly—are reduced to the political equivalent of "h-e-double-hockey-sticks."

What's really obscene is America's record on presidential impeachments. We've made only three serious attempts in our entire constitutional history: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998—both of whom were impeached but escaped removal—and Richard Nixon, who quit in 1974 before the House could vote on the issue. Given how many bastards and clowns we've been saddled with over the years, shouldn't we manage the feat more than once a century?

A 'National Inquest Into the Conduct of Public Men'

Impeachments "will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties," Alexander Hamilton predicted in the Federalist. That's how it played out during our last national debate on the subject, during the Monica Lewinsky imbroglio of the late '90s.

Bill Clinton. Public domain.Bill Clinton. Public domain.The specter of Bill Clinton's removal from office for perjury and obstruction of justice drove legal academia to new heights of creativity. Scads of concerned law professors strained to come up with a definition of "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" narrow enough to let Bill slide. In a letter delivered to Congress as the impeachment debate began, over 430 of them warned that unless the House of Representatives wanted to "dangerously weaken the office of the presidency for the foreseeable future" (heaven forfend), the standard had to be "grossly heinous criminality or grossly derelict misuse of official power."

Some of the academy's leading lights, not previously known for devotion to original intent, proved themselves stricter than the strict constructionists and a good deal more original than the originalists. The impeachment remedy was so narrow, Cass Sunstein insisted, that if the president were to up and "murder someone simply because he does not like him," it would make for a "hard case." Quite so, echoed con-law superprof Laurence Tribe: An impeachable offense had to be "a grievous abuse of official power," something that "severely threaten[s] the system of government."

Just killing someone for sport might not count—after all, Tribe pointed out, when Vice President Aaron Burr left a gutshot Alexander Hamilton dying in Weehawken after their July 1804 duel, he got to serve the remaining months of his term without getting impeached. Still, Tribe generously allowed, in the modern era "there may well be room to argue" that a murdering president could be removed without grave damage to the Constitution.

In the unlikely event that Donald Trump orders one of his private bodyguards to whack Alec Baldwin, it's a relief to know that Laurence Tribe will entertain the argument for impeachment. But does constitutional fidelity really require us to put up with anything short of "grievous," "heinous," existential threats to the body politic?

The Framers borrowed the mechanism from British practice, and there it wasn't nearly so narrow. The first time the phrase appeared, apparently, was in the 1386 impeachment of the Earl of Suffolk, charged with misuse of public funds and negligence in "improvement of the realm." The Nixon-era House Judiciary Committee staff report Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment described the English precedents as including "misapplication of funds, abuse of official power, neglect of duty, encroachment on Parliament's prerogatives, [and] corruption and betrayal of trust."

As Hamilton explained in the Federalist, "the true spirit of the institution" was "a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men," the sort of inquiry that could "never be tied down by such strict rules…as in common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts."

If the standard is "unacceptable risk of injury to the republic," Trump's behavior just may be impeachable.

Among those testifying beside Sunstein and Tribe in 1998 was Northwestern's John O. McGinnis, a genuine originalist, who argued that the Constitution's impeachment provisions should be viewed in terms of the problem they were designed to address: "how to end the tenure of an officer whose conduct has seriously undermined his fitness for continued service and thus poses an unacceptable risk of injury to the republic."

Contra Tribe, who'd compared impeachment to "capital punishment," McGinnis pointed out that the constitutional penalties for unfitness—removal and possible disqualification from future office holding—went "just far enough," and no further than necessary, "to remove the threat posed." In light of the structure and purpose of impeachment, he argued, "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" should be understood, in modern lay language, roughly as "objective misconduct that seriously undermines the official's fitness for office…measured by the risks, both practical and symbolic, that the officer poses to the republic."

Today, even the president's political enemies tend to set the bar far higher. Donald Trump has acted in a way that is "strategically incoherent," "incompetent," and "reckless," Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi said in February, but "that is not grounds for impeachment."

But incoherence, incompetence, and recklessness are evidence of unfitness, and when we're talking about the nation's most powerful office they can be as damaging as actual malice. It would be a pretty lousy constitutional architecture that only provided the means for ejecting the president if he's a crook or a vegetable, but left us to muddle through anything in between.

Luckily, Pelosi is wrong: There is no constitutional barrier to impeaching a president who demonstrates gross incompetence or behavior that makes reasonable people worry about his proximity to nuclear weapons.

Impeachable Ineptitude

When Barack Obama was president, Trump once asked, "Are you allowed to impeach a president for gross incompetence?" Earlier this year, Daily Show viewers found that tweet funny enough to merit the "Greatest Trump Tweet of All Time" award. Still, it's a valid question.

The conventional wisdom says no, largely on the basis of a snippet of legislative history from the Constitutional Convention. As James Madison's notes recount, when Virginia's George Mason moved to add "maladministration" to the Constitution's impeachable offenses, Madison objected: "So vague a term will be equivalent to a tenure during pleasure of the Senate." Mason yielded, substituting "other high crimes & misdemeanors."

But the Convention debates were held in secret, and Madison's notes weren't published until half a century later. Furthermore, the language Mason substituted was understood from British practice to incorporate "maladministration." Nor did Madison himself believe mismanagement and incompetence to be clearly off-limits, having described impeachment as the necessary remedy for "the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the chief Magistrate."

Thus far, the Trump administration has been a rolling Fyre Festival of negligence and maladministration, from holding a nuclear strategy session with Japan's prime minister in the crowded dining room of a golf resort to having the former head of Breitbart News draft immigration orders without the assistance of competent lawyers. Near as I can tell, James Comey's verbal incontinence had a bigger impact on the 2016 election than Russian espionage, but liberals hold out hope for a "smoking gun" of collusion that's unlikely ever to emerge. Meanwhile, the Trump administration was apparently clueless that firing the FBI director in the midst of the Russia investigation would be a big deal, and Trump himself was unaware that admitting he did it in hopes of quashing the inquiry was a stupid move.

As the Comey story emerged, pundits and lawbloggers debated whether, on the known facts, the president's behavior would support a federal felony charge for obstruction of justice. But that's the wrong standard. As the Nixon Impeachment Inquiry staff report pointed out: "the purpose of impeachment is not personal punishment. Its purpose is primarily to maintain constitutional government." Even if, to borrow a phrase from Comey, "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a charge of obstruction on these facts, the House is free to look at the president's entire course of conduct and decide whether it reveals unfitness justifying impeachment.

A Rhetorical Question?

The Nixon report identified three categories of misconduct held to be impeachable offenses in American constitutional history: "exceeding the constitutional bounds" of the office's powers, using the office for "personal gain," and, most important here, "behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office."

It would be pretty lousy constitutional architecture that only provided the means for ejecting the president if he's a crook or a vegetable, but left us to muddle through anything in between.

When Trump does something to spark cries of "this is not normal," the behavior in question often involves his Twitter feed. The first calls to impeach Trump over a tweet came up in March, when the president charged, apparently without evidence, that Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower.

The tweet was an "abuse of power," "harmful to democracy," and potentially impeachable, Harvard Law's Noah Feldman proclaimed: "He's threatening somebody with the possibility of prosecution." Laurence Tribe, of all people, agreed. Murder may have been a hard case, but slander? Easy call. Trump's charge qualified "as an impeachable offense whether via tweet or not."

I confess it wasn't the utterly speculative threat to Barack Obama that disturbed me about Trump's Twitter feed that day in March; it was that a mere two hours after lobbing that grenade, Trump turned to razzing Arnold Schwarzenegger for his "pathetic" ratings as host of Celebrity Apprentice. The Watergate tapes exposed much more than a simple abuse of power. They revealed a fragile, petty, paranoid personality of the sort you'd be loath to entrust with the vast authority of the presidency. And Nixon didn't imagine that the whole world would be listening. Trump's Twitter feed is like having the Nixon tapes running in real time over social media, with the president desperate for an even bigger audience.

As it happens, there's precedent for impeaching a president for bizarre behavior and "conduct unbecoming" in his public communications. The impeachment of Andrew Johnson gets a bad rap, in part because most of the charges against him really were bogus. The bulk of the articles of impeachment rested on Johnson's violation of the Tenure of Office Act, a measure of dubious constitutionality that barred the president from removing Cabinet officers without Senate approval.

But the 10th article of impeachment against Johnson, based on different grounds, has gotten less coverage. It charged the president with "a high misdemeanor in office" based on a series of "intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues" against Congress. In a series of speeches in the summer of 1866, Johnson had accused Congress of, among other things, "undertak[ing] to poison the minds of the American people" and having "substantially planned" a race riot in New Orleans that July. Such remarks, according to Article X, were "peculiarly indecent and unbecoming in the Chief Magistrate" and brought his office "into contempt, ridicule and disgrace."

'Peculiar Indecencies'

From a 21st century vantage point, the idea of impeaching the president for insulting Congress seems odd, to say the least. But as Jeffrey Tulis explained in his seminal work The Rhetorical Presidency, "Johnson's popular rhetoric violated virtually all of the nineteenth-century norms" surrounding presidential oratory. Johnson stood "as the stark exception to general practice in that century, so demagogic in his appeals to the people" that he resembled "a parody of popular leadership." The charge, approved by the House but not voted on in the Senate, was controversial at the time, but besides skepticism about whether it reached the level of a high misdemeanor, "the only other argument offered by congressmen in Johnson's defense was that he was not drunk when giving the speeches."

It's impressive that Trump—a teetotaler—manages to pull off his "peculiar indecencies" while stone cold sober. Since his election, Trump has used Twitter to rail against restaurant reviews, Saturday Night Live skits, "so-called judges," and America's nuclear-armed rivals. The month before his inauguration, apropos of nothing, Trump announced via the social network that the U.S. "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability," following up the next day on Morning Joe with "we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all."

As Charles Fried, Reagan's solicitor general, observed, "there are no lines for him…no notion of, this is inappropriate, this is indecent, this is unpresidential." If the standard is "unacceptable risk of injury to the republic," such behavior just may be impeachable. An impeachment on those grounds wouldn't just remove a bad president from office; it would set a precedent that might keep future leaders in line.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

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  • BigT||

    "The first calls to impeach Trump over a tweet came up in March, when the president charged, apparently without evidence, that Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower."

    Except it was true. Don't forget that the SS were all over Trump Tower with access to everything. Maybe not malicious, but definitely able to observe, record, and report to their boss -Obama.

    The bar should be very high indeed to remove a duly elected President. Uncouth, arrogant, careless behavior does not endanger the Republic, only the dignity of the individual.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Methinks Healy would have never written this article if Herself had won.

  • Fat Stanley||

    Soooo... BigT is asserting the Secret Service engages in surveillance at the direct behest of the President??

    Please loosen your tinfoil hat. Oh and BigT, be sure to add "mendacious, self-enriching, corrupt, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice" to that flattering list of Trumpian behaviors you have shared.

    Clinton was duly impeached for lying about a blow-job. Making false statements under oath and obstruction of justice. Harsh, but not more than he deserved based on a reasonable definition of how we expect our Presidents to conduct themselves.

    When will Trump be subjected to similar scrutiny for the actions and statements of his campaign and administration, which have damaged the country a lot more than lying about a consensual blow-job?

  • Sevo||

    "When will Trump be subjected to similar scrutiny for the actions and statements of his campaign and administration, which have damaged the country a lot more than lying about a consensual blow-job?"

    Maybe when he does something which is impeachable rather than just give lefties the heebie-jeebies.

  • Fat Stanley||

    Sevo - I agree that being a small-minded, vindictive pathological liar is not per se impeachable. My question was I guess to subtle for you. Lemme try again: WHEN WILL THE SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE THE PATRIOTISM AND BALLS TO DEMAND TRUMP'S SWORN TESTIMONY?

  • Fat Stanley||

    Sevo - I agree that being a small-minded, vindictive pathological liar is not per se impeachable. My question was I guess to subtle for you. Lemme try again: WHEN WILL THE SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE THE PATRIOTISM AND BALLS TO DEMAND TRUMP'S SWORN TESTIMONY?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    The Clinton impeachment was petty and ridiculous -- and keep in mind he was not convicted, so the impeachment had no effect (other than to make the GOP lose seats in the 1998 elections).

  • a2plusb2||

    Clinton's impeachment flowed from the machinery created at the time of Nixon's impeachment. Clinton had been sued for sexual harassment by several women. Clinton testified under oath in response to those suits. The Monica Lewinsky bit was the best known perjury he committed in the testimony.
    -- The House prosecutors showed wavering House Republicans that any ordinary American who did what Clinton did would and have gone to jail. That 'rule of law' shaming convinced them to vote for impeachment.

    BTW, the Constitution provides for impeachment of judges, and other high officials, besides the President. The Senate has removed about two dozen persons, mostly judges, in its history. This article doesn't compare the standard the others have been held to to the standard we consider for Presidents.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Clinton DESERVED to be keelhauled under an aircraft carrier...just not for boinking the help. The Democrat establishment has been covering for President Bubba and his charming wife Bruno for decades now, but there is amclar pattern of influence selling, carelessness with classified material, and questionable fund raising in general.

    I have to admit that by niw, I simply discount any accusations against Trump as probable bushwa. The hysterical Left has throw so much bullshit that I just turn off anything that even sounds like what has gone before.

    Is Trump an asshole? Sure. So is Shrillary. So is Obama. In fact I can't think of a President of major Presidential candidate in my lifetime who wasn't, and that specialfically includes St. Kennedy.

  • Michael Dirmeier||

    I agree, and your comment is especially true when we elected someone who was uncouth and arrogant. We get what we elected. When we get that, we have no grounds for impeachment.

    Whereas, in 2009, we inaugurated a President who ran as a sheep and governed as a wolf. That was grounds for impeachment.

  • Rat on a train||

    The first calls to impeach Trump over a tweet came up in March...
    The first calls to impeach Trump were in November. It has been less of a reaction to events as much as a search for justification of a desired result.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I believe the first call was in November along with a call for "faithless electors"

  • Sevo||

    "The first calls to impeach Trump were in November. It has been less of a reaction to events as much as a search for justification of a desired result."

    And "the investigation" has been running equally long.
    In the last week of 2016, we were assured "the details" showing something or other were to be released "Thursday". Several weeks ago, Mueller assembled an "all-star" cast of DNC and Clinton Slush-Fund contributors, and they were going to "have the details soon". And then Jr. got caught lying for no reason, but this was "close to the smoking gun!"
    Today's dead-tree version has the press patting each other on the back for the wonderful job they've done in demolishing Trump's cred; I swear, that's what the article claimed.
    I didn't vote for him and still wouldn't but he's got 'em steppin' and fetchin' like their pants are on fire and their ass is catchin'.
    And the lack of self-awareness among the press and the Ds is very amusing to behold.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    This has to be the most unlibertarian article ever written by Gene Healy. The most unlibertarian article I've ever read from Reason.

    The problem isn't Donald Trump. We have elections every four years - THAT'S how we get rid of "dangerous" presidents.

    We have a Constitution with co-equal branches of government. We have a Bill of Rights.

    The libertarian position is to get back to limited government so NO president can be dangerous.

    It seems that Reason has forgotten what libertarians believe and developed full-blown TDS

  • Fanglemeister||

    Whiny bitches like Healy flinging excrement like this do not deserve such a thoughtful response. Reading this piece, I can't help but picture Healy as a scowling Veruca Salt, arms crossed and stomping his foot to get his impeachment NOW!

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Healy thought Felonia Von Pantsuit was a "wonderful public servant". Smart money says he'd never have written this article if Herself had won.

    He likes his tyrants with a (D) next to their names.

  • Sevo||

    Dunno whose sock you are, but you probably ought to put a sock in it:

    "You've been warned, America: Hillary Clinton has never met a war she didn't like"
    [...]
    "[Clinton] has been getting a lot of questions about Iraq recently," said Healy, "and that is as it should be, because her role in helping perpetuate the worst foreign policy disaster since Vietnam is certainly something that ought to be looked at in terms of her fitness for higher office."
    Clinton, he explains, was one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the war in Iraq, pointing to her comments from the floor of the Senate, in which she said parrotted talking points used by supporters to make the case for military intervention."
    http://www.unitedliberty.org/a.....didnt-like

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We need to worry a lot less about Trump, who actually is not doing a horrible job considering what he inherited, and the opposition against him, and focusing on driving the progressive(communist) element out of power. While we can, and while we still have a country.

  • Les||

    When did Healy write this? As has been pointed out, Healy was very critical of her.

  • Libertarian||

    "The libertarian position is to get back to limited government so NO president can be dangerous."

    Correct. When people were saying how stupid/dangerous G.W. Bush was, my answer was that, if Congress was doing its job, we should be able to elect an idiot or a despot to the Presidency, and not worry about the country's future.

    However, as someone who thought the first Bush should have been impeached for intervening in the Iraq/Kuwait war, I agree that impeachment should be a much more common threat than it is. Not only would it remove the immediate problem of whoever the current president was, it would have a corrective effect to those who aspired to the presidency. Sometimes a quadrennial election is not soon enough to get rid of the problem.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Okay, Robespierre. Bring on the guillotine.

    Don't be surprised when the blow back consumes you too.

  • Agammamon||

    While I lean towards Trump not 'deserving' impeachment (so far), I don't believe *at all* that we should just resign ourselves to dealing with these assclown for 4 years.

    So, impeach away I say!

    As for getting back to limited government, if Congress used its own authority more often - and that includes the authority to censure and even remove the Chief Executive - then we might be able to get back there. But as it stands, where one person can make legislation and war for 300 million people on a whim with their 'pen and phone' . . .

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    ". . . if Congress used its own authority more often . . . " Gee, and you trust these guys with the power to impeach . . .

  • Zeb||

    They have that power. Whether anyone trusts them with it is irrelevant.

    I think he has a point that for more limited government you do need congress to assert its constitutional powers more and for the presidency to get knocked down a peg or two.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Precisely how is removing Trump going to get us any closer to limited government? Replacing him with Pence? Or creating so much chaos that it insures we have someone like Cory Booker, or Andrew Cuomo as president come 2021?

  • Zeb||

    I think the idea is that it makes future presidents tread more lightly and stay within more reasonable bounds of power.

  • mpercy||

    Impeachments all the way down.

    1 Vice President Mike Pence (R)
    2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R)
    3 President pro tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch (R)
    4 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R)
    5 Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (R)
    6 Secretary of Defense James Mattis (I)
    7 Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R)
    8 Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (R)
    9 Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (R)
    10 Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (R)
    11 Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta (R)
    12 Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price (R)
    13 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (R)
    – Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (R)[a]
    14 Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (R)
    15 Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (R)
    16 Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (I)
    17 Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly (I)
    ^ Not a natural-born citizen (acquired U.S. citizenship by naturalization) and thus ineligible for the Presidency.

  • Jerryskids||

    We have elections every four years - THAT'S how we get rid of "dangerous" presidents.

    We've impeached two Presidents, removed neither of them. Americans have removed 4 Presidents - Lincoln, McKinley, Garfield and Kennedy - by more extreme measures, and it's not for lack of trying that another dozen or so weren't removed the same way. Americans don't sit around waiting for things to get done, their can-do attitude leads them to do things for themselves.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Pretty much every president since Grover Cleveland should have been impeached for betraying their oath of office.

    Maybe even Grover should have been impeached

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Coolidge and Harding were all right.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    Article 1, Section 10 has been ignored since 1914.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    The first time or the second time?

  • Johnimo||

    Woodchippin' is eloquent and brief. The writers at Reason have become idiotic, but we'll have to forebear the nonsense because the laughter it evokes is too enjoyable. Perhaps, the magazine may consider adding Alfred E. Newman to writing staff.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Whatever happened to the libertarian who wrote:

    Clinton wants to start a war with Russia
    Trump wants to start a war with China

    Clinton is awful in predictable ways
    Trump is awful in unpredictable ways

    God, I miss that guy

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If Trump is trying to start a war with the Chinese he's doing a piss poor job of it.

  • JeremyR||

    Eh, there was an article about how wonderful government run/funded museums in DC are so wonderful. That struck me about as unlibertarian as you can get.

    And then, the infamous article advocating mandated health care insurance (long before Obamacare)

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I missed those articles.

    I do remember Ron Bailey's article about mandatory vaccinations. With a scary cover too!

    I nearly canceled my Reason subscription over that one.

  • Jickerson||

    We have a Constitution with co-equal branches of government. We have a Bill of Rights.

    We have a Constitution that the government does not follow and that pretty much every president has violated with impunity. That alone should ideally be an impeachable offense. That means that authoritarian scumbags like Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. would all have been impeached if we lived in a world that actually made sense. But Congress is complicit in this treason, so why would they do such a thing? Still, there is nothing unlibertarian about impeachment, and nothing inherently good about waiting for elections.

    The libertarian position is to get back to limited government so NO president can be dangerous.

    That part I can agree with.

  • Zeb||

    It's not really libertarian or unlibertarian, but just a commentary on the mechanics of constitutional government.

  • Les||

    Your reasonable lack of outrage is surely unwelcome here.

  • ||

    "...Thus far, the Trump administration has been a rolling Fyre Festival of negligence and maladministration, from holding a nuclear strategy session with Japan's prime minister in the crowded dining room of a golf resort to having the former head of Breitbart News draft immigration orders without the assistance of competent lawyers. Near as I can tell, James Comey's verbal incontinence had a bigger impact on the 2016 election than Russian espionage, but liberals hold out hope for a "smoking gun" of collusion that's unlikely ever to emerge. Meanwhile, the Trump administration was apparently clueless that firing the FBI director in the midst of the Russia investigation would be a big deal, and Trump himself was unaware that admitting he did it in hopes of quashing the inquiry was a stupid move."

    What's the author's point? And these days, it's hard to know what's going to be 'a big deal.' Besides, the Comey firing shouldn't have been a big deal; the DNC made it so. Know what I think? Nothing Trump has done comes remotely near as bad as what Hillary did with her private unsecured server and her Foundation. Didn't she leave behind classified documents in Russia?

  • Dadlobby||

    I took issue with Cato's coverage of PRESIDENT Trump and suspect that the Charles Kock-Ed Crane fight for control which removed Crane has resulted in a shift towards conservatism (more center right). I reduced my $$ support for Cato and contributed to Trumps campaign as Clinton and the Democrats were a much larger threat to a Libertarian Government and Constitutional constraints on government. Healy's prattle about impeachment follows the Democrats partisanship prattle for impeachment making me think that he is one of them, following the anti Trump rhetoric that he's (insert choice of slander; unpatriotic, Hitler, fascist, sexist, racist, stupid, uncouth, etc., etc.) "bad" and deserves removal from office. How about these idiotic pundits and democrats recognize he's the president and start to work on the issues?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Gotta love the cognitive dissonance of "instead of impeaching Trump, Congress should start using it's constitutional ability to act as a check to the executive branch" from all the Trumptards.

  • GILMORE™||

    "instead of impeaching Trump, Congress should start using it's constitutional ability to act as a check to the executive branch"

    What's "dissonant" about that?

    Its like saying, "Instead of abandoning your car every time it runs out of gas/breaks down, you should conduct regular maintenance and identify sources of problems"

    And who specifically are you responding to?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The dissonance that impeachment IS one of congress's constitutional abilities to act as a check on the executive branch.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    It is a given that impeachment is a "terminal check" on the chief executive. That's not what was being referred to.

    I think you know that.

  • GILMORE™||

    one of

    You just made my point. Its not the only one.

  • GILMORE™||

    You also haven't actually pointed to whomever what you were responding to.

    its hard to evaluate how 'dissonant' others are when there's no example offered.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Well, I guess you'll just have to fire me for insubordination then.

  • GILMORE™||

    Its more like, "point out that stormy likes to yell at clouds"

  • Sugarsail||

    you should really not throw terms like "cognitive dissonance" around without actually knowing what they mean. The term comes from Leon Festinger to describe the behavior of the apocalyptic doomsday cult he was studying when they were confronted with the reality that the doomsday didn't arrive when expected. If you want to actually see an example of cognitive dissonance in modern times you should watch Al Gore's behavior when someone points out to him the ice caps didn't actually melt in 2013 and Bangladesh and Florida are not actually underwater.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    There is nothing more pathetic on a libertarian site than so-called libertarians defending a sitting president. I mean what's next? Pornhub commenters complaining that there is too much anal?

  • GILMORE™||

    Stupid arguments are stupid independent of who the critic and object of criticism are.

    Handwaving about "so-called libertarians", for example, is stupid when there's nothing essentially libertarian being discussed, and you're not even trying to identify who you're referring to. Its just idiotic, meaningless posturing.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    I think you are trying to have things independent of context. Unfortunately, words always have context. Otherwise, they are just syntax empty of meaning. In addition, attempting to define the realms of libertarian discourse to some set of topics that meets your approval is just kinda silly, no? Criticizing positions of political power and those who hold them is one of the central tenets of libertarianism. Unless you subscribe to some fantasy Blockian thin version that tries to limit everything to some statement of the NAP independent of context. In fact, I would not be surprised if you did hold on to some such life ring in the messy seas of ideology and biology. So who is posturing, then?

  • GILMORE™||

    Criticizing positions of political power and those who hold them is one of the central tenets of libertarianism.

    this doesn't magically make stupid arguments less stupid.

    as noted below; by your token, you should have been a firebreathing "Obama-is-a-secret-Kenyan!!". Because no criticism of people in power can ever be stupid. And making stupid arguments somehow makes you Super-Libertarian to boot. ergo, libertarians are required to agree with even the most retarded claims.

    i made the point below why calling for impeachment, sans a solid-legal-case to back it up, is stupid. Unless you have some coherent rejoinder, you're just cheerleading stupidity and pretending that this makes you more-libertarian for doing so.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Criticizing positions of political power and those who hold them is one of the central tenets of libertarianism.

    No, it's not.

    It's certainly one of the favored pastimes of libertarianism, but it is not a tenet.

    Unless you are including it within the commitment to free speech that IS a tenet of libertarianism.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Sometimes the president's enemies are less libertarian than he is.

    (and there is too much anal -- I would rather stick my dick in a garbage can)

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    I guess "instead of executing hardened gang members for murder, we should stop letting them get away with armed robbery when they were new gang members" is also cognitive dissonance?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Three branches of government, dude.

    And I don't see Rand Paul and Justin Amash as Trumptards.

    And have you read the 9th and 10th amendments?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everyone has such a hardon for a Pence administration.

  • ||

    At what point do they realize (not that it could ever happen) there isn't gonna be a 'reset' so as to install Hillary?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I think Hillary is around 153rd in the succession line, just behind the congressional lunch lady.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Congressional lunch lady for President! Her slogan could be "No Seconds Till You Finished Your Plate!"

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Line of succession only has 17 spots (VP, SOTH, PPTOTS, then the 14 cabinet secretaries), though one of those spots is currently held by a naturalized citizen (who is thus ineligible).

  • Bra Ket||

    And the lunch lady is probably an illegal immigrant anyway.

  • Sevo||

    Rufus The Monocled|7.16.17 @ 11:30AM|#
    "At what point do they realize (not that it could ever happen) there isn't gonna be a 'reset' so as to install Hillary?"

    Never.
    They are not that bright.

  • Rat on a train||

    No, no, no. It is like a beauty contest. If Trump is removed the first runner-up is crowned.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen||

    ...which would put second runner-up Gary Johnson one heartbeat away from the Presidency. That's a terrifying thought.

  • GILMORE™||

    ^^pretty much a one-shot kill for how stupid this "impeachment" argument is.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Indeed. Impeachment at best replaces one statist politician with another.

    One would think that libertarians of all people would understand that "getting the right people in charge" is not a viable solution.

  • gah87||

    Impeachment at best replaces one statist politician with another.

    So too, it appears, do elections.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Bingo. Well-said.

    Man, you're smart.

  • Sugarsail||

    "Impeach" has become the mating call of the butthurt sore loser after an election humiliation rather than indicative of any serious infraction by a President.

  • ||

    Reason = The CNN of libertarianism.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Or ESPN of libertarianism?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Except for the libertarianism part.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    The best libertarian writing is no longer done by Reason (if it ever was). David Harsanyi and Robert Tracenski write at the Federalist. John Stossel and Walter Williams write for Townhall, Kevin Williamson writes for National Review.

    No one needs Reason anymore. So perhaps, the libertarian era is upon us.

    Because we don't need Reason anymore.

  • ||

    Today Reason is CNN. Tomorrow Reason will be more like the Banana Splits.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Four banana, three banana, two banana, one.
    All bananas playing in the bright warm sun.
    Flippin like a pancake, poppin like a cork
    Fleagle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I'd ask the author of this piece to list the impeachable acts by Trump since he was sworn in on Jan. 20.

    The closest thing I've seen is how he dealt with Comey, and to me, it was kosher according to his authority and job description.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Go ahead and impeach him then. Lol

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    The last thing the Dems want is to actually impeach him, let alone remove him from office. President Trump is a boon for fundraising and making the base forget the DNC scandals. Railing against Mike Pence wouldn't have the same ease. They just want to constantly keep the aura of suspicion hanging over him until 2020.

    To be fair -- the GOP is just as dishonest, as it's now clear they never really wanted to repeal Obamacare, despite voting to do so several times when BO was in office.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Exactly, they're all lying POS.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Democrats can't. They would need Republican votes in both House and Senate.

    If Trump is actually impeached, it means that either (A) Democrats retook Congress in 2018, or (B) his party is turning against him.

    The first one would be a bad, but not unheard of, development (presidents party regularly loses seats in mid-term elections, and the Republicans don't have a great lead at the moment).

    The second would be a very bad sign, and make him a lame duck if nothing else.

  • John Titor||

    Of course, the fact that this article continuously whines about Trump tweets for no other reason than to virtue signal your dislike is in no way reflective of your general decline in standards and ability.

    Please Reason, continue being useful idiots for the left.

  • DOOMco||

    I confess it wasn't the utterly speculative threat to Barack Obama that disturbed me about Trump's Twitter feed that day in March; it was that a mere two hours after lobbing that grenade, Trump turned to razzing Arnold Schwarzenegger for his "pathetic" ratings as host of Celebrity Apprentice.

    how dare he have an opinion on two things?
    two whole hours, people! that's all the time it took for trump to switch gears.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ultimately, the only check on power that really matters is the American people. Even the Constitution is only as important as its principles are to average Americans. The extent to which constitutional principles have been subverted by government is the extent to which people generally want those principles subverted. The drug war was popular. If presidents can wage war without congressional authorization, it's because the American people, more or less, want that--and those are just a couple of examples.

    We talk about how the American people don't want to sacrifice their standard of living to fight climate change and note that the left is authoritarian for tying to inflict their will on the American people anyway. Sometimes, however, we have a hard time coming to terms with the reality of what people want ourselves. In another thread today, I wrote about how market forces are people making choices, but Smith originally wrote about the invisible hand within the context of culture rather than economics. If the American people don't want to make sacrifices for climate change, then the government shouldn't force them, and if the American people don't want to impeach their presidents more often, then that's what they want.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If we impeached every President whose ego outstripped his ability, and whose arrogance seriously eroded the safety of the Republic, we would (minimally) have to retroactively impeach Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Bubba Clinton, and Barak Obama. John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter escape largely because their goes were not the primary problem with their administrations. All six named clearly did more damage to the American Nation than Trump seems likely to do, EXCEPT if you count not following along with whatever the Progressive Left's mania of the day as 'damage'.

    Those calling for Trump's impeachment really need to look to the power structure of their own Party. The Democrats are so politically bankrupt that they nominated a women who ran a campaign so awful that she lost to a blowhard Surreality TV star.

  • Bra Ket||

    Just killing someone for sport might not count—after all, Tribe pointed out, when Vice President Aaron Burr left a gutshot Alexander Hamilton dying in Weehawken after their July 1804 duel, he got to serve the remaining months of his term without getting impeached. Still, Tribe generously allowed, in the modern era "there may well be room to argue" that a murdering president could be removed without grave damage to the Constitution.

    Dueling may not be legal (though it kinda was at the time), but it certainly doesn't equate to murder for sport.

  • AmerigoChattin||

    After growing sick and tired of Reason's steady drift toward progressive authoritarianism, I left about 18 months ago.

    I now return and am greeted by this article, advocating, in effect, for more coups d'état. Maybe I'll check back in a couple years.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Bye Bye! We will mees you!

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    They'll still hit you up for donations though.

    Send money! Cuz we're the best libertarian writers EVAH.

    The libertarian era is upon us! Just around the corner! So send us money!

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    I'm sick and tired of your leftist rhetoric, Reason-n-n (see what I did there). The president was lawfully elected, and therefore he and everyone connected his administration are not only above suspicion, but above the law, and therefore everything he says and does is not only lawful behavior, it's acceptable behavior.

    Publishing an article that desires to hold our elected office holders to a higher standard then to which they are currently held is not just un-libertarian, it's downright un-American.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Nice strawman you have there -- it would be a shame if anything happened to it.

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    It's more like I was using hyperbole to make a point.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    No, this was a strawman. The point would not be valid without the hyperbole.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Crusty does not build strawmen. He gave up after his chinchilla roommate kept eating them.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    It's only hyperbole if it isn't pretty much the treatment that the last two Democrat administrations got.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    And Hillary Clinton was a wonderful public servant.

    Bill Weld said so

  • GILMORE™||

    - Contrarily
    (and a more accurate representation of what you're doing) =

    "How dare people demand evidence! If you don't knee-jerk support impeachment all the time regardless of reason, you're a statist Trump-sucking russian-stooge! I am obviously more libertarian than all of you for wanting to replace Trump with Mike Pence. Questioning my absent/retarded reasoning is de-facto proof of your ideological impurity. Trumptards! Yokels!"

    my view =

    1 - there's no actual proof of anything impeachable. Of course congress CAN impeach based on the most flimsy conditions, but why would that be particularly justified now? What, exactly, is the "best single case"? (rather than this 'throw spaghetti against the wall about stuff that 'appears' unpresidential' bullshit)

    2 - even were the effort conducted (for no apparent reason) and successful (which even then would be unlikely), what exactly is gained? Political chaos, and a Mike Pense administration? Congratulations, you've accomplished absolutely nothing, and probably brought in a more-dangerously conservative administration, while completely discrediting the idea of reasoned-political opposition. You've just established a precendent that we should overturn any administration that "feels uncool" on popular whim, and helped make america closer to a banana republic.

    Tell me why i'm wrong, if you want.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    There's also the question of how the people who voted for Trump (and would not have voted for Pence) react if Trump gets impeached for flimsy reasons.

    "Sure you can vote, but if the Washington elites don't like who you vote for, we will throw the result out"

    A major benefit of democracy is that it gives the majority a nonviolent way to enforce their will. If you take that possibility away, will the majority just acquiesce, or turn to less nonviolent methods?

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    "How dare people demand evidence! If you don't knee-jerk support impeachment all the time regardless of reason, you're a statist Trump-sucking russian-stooge! I am obviously more libertarian than all of you for wanting to replace Trump with Mike Pence. Questioning my absent/retarded reasoning is de-facto proof of your ideological impurity. Trumptards! Yokels!"

    I think questioning one's libertarianism is utterly daft, which is why I don't do it, and mock others who do. I also have never seriously called someone a "yokel" or a "cosmo," and I mock those who do, because they are simplistic insults that showcase the insecurity of the ones using the insults. It is interesting, however, that you felt the need to boil it down to such a simple-minded view. Judging libertarian purity is foolish, Gilmore, which is why I am amused when others do so. But please, be a victim if that makes you feel better.

    The article calls for holding the president to a higher standard than to which he is currently held, which is one that I agree with.

    As for your other questions, I am not arguing in favor of Trump's impeachment, so please find someone else to play with.

  • GILMORE™||

    It is interesting, however, that you felt the need to boil it down to such a simple-minded vie

    after your hyperbolic straw-man screed above? that's cute.

    I am not arguing in favor of Trump's impeachment.... The article calls for holding the president to a higher standard than to which he is currently held, which is one that I agree with.

    The article specifically calls for impeachment. "Calling for a higher standard" is meaningless absent intention to enforce that standard. What did you have in mind? More dramatic Tut-Tutting?

    by trying to say you 'agree with the article' but 'don't agree with those calling for impeachment', you seem to be splitting hairs into nothingness here,

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    that's cute.

    Thanks - I try to use some level of creativity, hyperbole, and maybe even humor to point out the inanity of others. I feel it helps get my point across fairly well without trying to sound like a self-centered douchebag. But hey, I could be wrong.

    The article specifically calls for impeachment.

    I didn't read it as such - I read it as suggesting that maybe the standard for impeachment should be much lower than it currently is, and uses Trump's haphazard Tweets and incompetence - incompetence as in the initial travel ban executive order - as evidence of behavior that could have lead to an impeachment in the distant past. I do not think his Tweets are evidence of impeachmable behavior, but if he knew that each Tweet could be used as evidence of his erratic mental stability in an impeachment hearing, I think the country would benefit. For example, paying some attention to the wars we are currently in - and which he could end - is better than randomly Tweeting about a morning talk show host's face.

    I do think we should be better off as a country if our elected officials - and those in their administrations - were held to the standard Healy suggests, or at least that we aspired to hold them to such a high standard. And yes, this standard would only apply to Trump, and to no one else, ever, and especially should not have applied to any other president, either.

  • GILMORE™||

    I do think we should be better off as a country if our elected officials - and those in their administrations - were held to the standard Healy suggests,

    How do you 'hold officials to standards' sans making an example via impeachment?

    That's exactly the point he makes

    An impeachment on those grounds wouldn't just remove a bad president from office; it would set a precedent that might keep future leaders in line.

    and exactly the point I made above which you ignored.

    you can have and eat your cake all you want. I'm not sure there's anything to disagree with. Not sure what the basis for your hyperbolic whinge was.

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    Not sure what the basis for your hyperbolic whinge was.

    Obviously.

  • GILMORE™||

    I'm not sure incoherence isn't something to pat yourself on the back about.

  • GILMORE™||

    "is"

    lol

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    My initial comment was in response to the many other comments calling Reason's publication of the article un-libertarian, etc. I did not think that was too complicated.

    As for the rest, I still don't see how Healy is explicitly suggesting that Trump must be impeached, and I don't understand why a fairly even-handed article expressing the sentiment that if presidents were held to the standard Healy suggests that could be held to is outrageous.

    So, going back to this: by trying to say you 'agree with the article' but 'don't agree with those calling for impeachment', you seem to be splitting hairs into nothingness here,

    I agree with the general sentiment of the article, and I do not read what he wrote as an explicit call for impeachment. If he had written, "Trump should be impeached for his actions, " which he didn't write, then I would disagree with him. Again, my opinion is truly not complicated.

    But please, feel free to write BUT HE DID WRITE THAT to convince me.

  • GILMORE™||

    I still don't see how Healy is explicitly suggesting that Trump must be impeached

    as asked multiple times and ignored = how do you expect this claimed "higher standard" to be accomplished without setting an example?

    Its what Healy specifically says is the means to achieve this 'higher standard' - impeachment.

    e.g. "it would set a precedent that might keep future leaders in line."

    you seem to somehow imagine that you can accomplish your 'higher standard' without the actual means Healy specifically prescribes

    iow, "have cake, eat cake".

    I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I'm simply pointing out what's obviously wrong with your assumed posture. If it has any purpose, its to show other people that this kind of rationalizing contortion fails when its attempted, and maybe encourage others not to bother.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    I also have never seriously called someone a "yokel" or a "cosmo,"

    I am glad we are on the same page, Crusty.

    Judging libertarian purity is foolish,

    The Fool is the most powerful Trump:

    The Fool has the number 0, for someone ready to go in any direction, open to all possibilities. He belongs nowhere, has no past, but an infinite future. Every moment is a new beginning. In arabic letters the 0 has the shape of an egg, the symbol for the origin of life. The Fool is change, motion and the readiness to jump into life, with no cares ever. The Fool knows no difference between possibility and reality, the zero means a total lack of hope and fear, the Fool suspects and plans nothing. He reacts directly to the current situation, nothing is calculated, nothing is hidden.
  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    The sillier and more ridiculous the reason for impeachment, the better.

  • GILMORE™||

    So you were a birther, then?

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    There is a difference between cheering on idiocy to be entertained and supporting it and devoting one's energy to it.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    So that's a YES?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Crusty, you are just the crappiest white knight evar.

  • EscherEnigma||

    That's actually what Trump's lawyers have seriously argued, so I'm gonna have to point out that this attempt at hyperbole is a Poe.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    There has been sufficient justification to impeach probably every president since Calvin Coolidge left office. Every one of them violated the Constitution.

    But the fact is -- the case against Trump is the weakest of that lot. Largely because he hasn't had time and has had little ability to act so far, but still, it's intriguing that Reason chose to publish this article now.

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    it's intriguing that Reason chose to publish this article now.

    It really makes you think.

  • Johnimo||

    Another Reason editorialist, proving himself the equal of Trump. Is there health insurance that covers death from laughter induced side-ache?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Comedy gold, Reason! And it wasn't from Shikha this time.

  • Robert||

    This amounts to saying a POTUS should be impeached because the cocktail party crowd doesn't like him for continuing to be a regular guy, for using his celebrity as previously, for not forfeiting his freedom of speech as an American. Why don't you just paint mustaches, beards, horns, & stink lines on this photos, huh? After all the years of complaining about the disingenuousness of politicians, you get an ingenuous one, & that's no good?!

  • Robert||

    I think I've asked this before: Is Gene Healy related to Ted?

  • Ecoli||

    Since the country is about equally divided, "we" should begin impeachment proceedings immediately after every presidential election after stomping our feet and trembling our lips because the other side won, which was impossible.

    It took those prescient Democrats to kick off this trend, and for that I thank them.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Hillary Clinton is awful in predictable ways . . .
    Donald Trump is awful in unpredictable ways . . .

    So, how does impeachment change that awful equation, Gene?

    Oh, by the way - Nixon resigned. He wasn't impeached. Why do you have Nixon's face morphing into Trump's face in the cover? Other than as click bait.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Obama had far more in common with Nixon than Trump does.

  • Zeb||

    So I guess you didn't read the article which states early on that two presidents have been impeached and Nixon resigned before congress could act.

    Nixon is an excellent example here because the threat of impeachment spurred him to leave office.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hrm... I think, philosophically, a problem with impeachment is that we directly elect or presidents (ignoring the electoral college for a moment) so having a *different* body oust them can seem like circumventing the will of the people.

    If our president was voted in by Congress instead (more like a prime minister) then out would probably be more common/more acceptable.

    Alternatively, if impeachment was followed by a recall or special election, it would probably be more acceptable. But seeing as it would probably just put the vice president in charge... Well, unless you think the vice president wasn't involved, then what's the point?

    Overall, I feel that our constitution didn't fully think through the consequences and ramifications of impeachment. Like the post of vice President itself (which was originally the runner-up to President), the framers were building something new, and goofed in places. We probably need an amendment to improve the process to make it a realistic and viable remedy.

  • FreedomIsBetterThanLiberty||

    Why do dudes like this author believe they get to decide how elected officials behave and not voters?

  • Empress Trudy||

    This is complete nonsense.

  • Rockabilly||

    If King Obama didn't get impeached I'm willing to give Trump as pass. Especially since the democrat progressive socialist communists are all freaking out. They're spending time on Russia rather that on taxing farts and diet-soft drinks.

  • Red Twilight||

    What would Obama be impeached for? That he did not piss in your hillbilly gob sucking on Drumpf's taint when you were thirsty?

  • mysmartstuffs||

    That's actually what Trump's lawyers have seriously argued, so I'm gonna have to point out that this attempt at hyperbole is a Poe.

    My recent post: Co Embed Review
    My recent post: Contractor Marketing Confidential Review

  • mysmartstuffs||

    That's actually what Trump's lawyers have seriously argued, so I'm gonna have to point out that this attempt at hyperbole is a Poe.

    My recent post: Co Embed Review
    My recent post: Contractor Marketing Confidential Review

  • Zexufang||

    Presidents... so much.

    In my view - it is Federal Judges who need to be impeached more often.
    They have become the tyrants - with NO restraint on their unconstitutional rulings and actions.

  • Michael Dirmeier||

    If Healy's position had been implemented at the time Washington was inaugurated, we probably would not be the United States today. We would be another 2-bit unstable country, and a whole lot smaller than we are. In the end, it doesn't matter, because we are progressing toward that smaller, fragmented country, anyway -- no rational observer can believe this "union" is going to continue for much longer.

  • TxJack 112||

    People like this author make me laugh because they have no understanding of why the Founding Fathers made impeaching a President so difficult. The reason it is hard is to prevent stupidity like she suggests. Impeaching a President is an act of last resort because it throws the Federal government into turmoil. In our history, only two Presidents have been impeached and both were acquitted of all charges. The first, Andrew Johnson, was the victim of a 100% politically motivated attack. However, Clinton was the victim of his own stupidity and ego. Clinton only avoided impeachment because he was able to use the media and change the focus from the actual charges against him to the phony claims the proceedings were about sexual infidelity. Of course, Starr helped Clinton by engaging in a political witch hunt much like what is happening now with the entire Russia investigation. The Constitution as written has worked very well for over 200 + yrs and we do not need to start changing it to fit "modern society" because if we do all the protections it contains will be lost.

  • Red Twilight||

    Given that impeachment is a political process, I agree. We need more political power in Congress.

  • gphx||

    'Americans should impeach presidents more often'.

    Next Reason will be saying cops should arrest and courts should imprison people more often.
    What's the difference?

    I guess none as long as it only impacts someone an author doesn't like.
    Actual facts and crimes are unnecessary.