A Simple Way for Republicans to Keep Impeachment from Exacerbating Conflict and Disunity

GOP leaders who raise this objection to impeachment can help solve the problem through the simple expedient of supporting impeachment themselves.


In recent days, some prominent Republicans have argued against impeachment on the ground that proceeding with it is likely to exacerbate national disunity and impede healing. For example, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has argued that impeachment is a bad idea because "it would divide our country more." Senator Lindsey Graham has made similar statements. The Wall Street Journal editorial page also contends that impeachment should be avoided for this reason, even though they recognize that Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Republican leaders who worry that impeachment will exacerbate disunity have a simple way to address this problem: They can support impeachment themselves! For example, Kevin McCarthy could make a strong statement urging his House caucus to vote for impeachment. Graham, an influential GOP senator, could urge the same course of action on his Senate colleagues. And so on. If impeachment enjoys broad support from Republican leaders, the process could actually promote national unity rather than diminish it.

Such steps might not reconcile Donald Trump's hardcore supporters. But a good many Republicans would likely follow the lead of party leaders, and impeachment could quickly come to enjoy broad (though not universal) bipartisan support. We could also thereby achieve a broad (though, again, not universal) consensus that Trump's actions were indefensible, and deserved severe sanction, including barring him from holding federal office in the future.

Already, Trump's approval rating has fallen significantly since the attack on the Capitol, and a  majority of Americans support removing him from office. GOP leaders could help broaden and deepen this agreement, and thereby help to achieve national unity and healing.

A number of prominent conservatives have already backed impeachment, including Peggy Noonan, Ed Whelan, and John Podhoretz, among others. Republican leaders concerned about unity and healing would do well to join them.

It is also worth noting that failure to impeach could itself contribute to disunity. If the GOP blocks impeachment, it would deepen justifiable suspicions that they don't really think Trump did anything seriously wrong, and oppose holding him accountable for his grave abuses of power. Many Democrats and independents would even suspect that Republicans condone Trump's actions, or at best only consider them to be minor wrongs. Sending a message like that is a poor way to promote unity.

None of this applies to people who oppose impeachment because they beleive it is unconstitutional, because they genuinely believe Trump committed no serious wrong, or some combination of both. Those types of arguments should be addressed on their own terms, and I have tried to so in other writings (e.g. here and here).

I also believe that some causes are worth the risk of exacerbating conflict and division. Imposing accountability for Trump's grave abuses of power—and deterring similar misconduct by future presidents—are among them. Unity and healing are far from the only  civic values, and by no means the most important.

But political leaders who oppose impeachment because of fears of exacerbating disunity should take a long look in the mirror, and consider whether they themselves can do something to fix that issue. They might well find that the cause of the problem—and the potential solution—are staring them in the face.

NEXT: The Senate May Hold an Impeachment Trial After President Trump Leaves Office

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  1. McConnell is now in favor of impeachment (and by that he means conviction). Game over.

    1. See, prejudging impeachments isn’t so bad after all.

    2. That was quite a press conference!

      Oh, wait, it was a third hand unverified story.

    3. McConnell is over if he does this. Kentucky has a Dem governor was distasteful, and they’ll have a Dem senator for the same reason.

      And if Ilya thinks that being sold out by RINOs will do anything other than further inflame things, he’s even more obtuse than I thought.

      This is called appeasement, and you do not appease bullies.
      Nor do you sell out your own side if you have any credibility and/or any ability to calm things down and reign in the violent fringe.

      1. A RINO is someone who doesn’t defend Trump across the board. The GOP is a cult, not a party now.

        1. Like the Whig Party, the GOP is imploding and will be reborn into an RINO-free Patriot Party.

          1. Again, with RINO being defined as ‘not full in with Trump.’

          2. Like the Whig Party, the GOP is imploding and will be reborn into an RINO-free Patriot Party.

            Donald Trump as the leader of the Patriot Party. That’s pretty funny!

        2. I see the point, but polarization is so extreme, and the Democratic hounding of Trump has been so rabid, that I loathe Democratic leadership and would go along with them on nothing. And I’m someone who can hardly bear to hear Trump speak, I find him so personally off putting.

          1. Exactly. While I think Trump is a clown who belongs in a circus, most Democrats belong in gas chambers.

            1. No. I despise the Democrats but references to gas chambers are unacceptable.

              1. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

                1. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

                  How does that apply here?

      2. I’m more than a bit amused to see “do not appease bullies” separated from the plea to “calm things down and reign in the violent fringe” by little more than a period.

      3. There should be no sides one is loyal to. One should be loyal to one’s interpretation of the Constitution and that of their constituents. If you are a politician based on loyalty, you are in it for the wrong reasons. And yes, I do know that disqualifies a lot of politicians currently in office.

      4. Senator McConnell was just reelected meaning he is good till 2026. He also old enough to not mind retiring. Thanks to Trump he is now the minority leader. So I don’t really see him have a lot to lose.

        1. Republicans gained seats in the House with Trump as President.

          They might have gained seats in the Senate, too, if not for McConnell.

      5. Do you Republicans (I assume you’re a Republican) *really* have no one better for President in 2024 (when he will be 78) or 2028 (when he will be 82) than *Donald Trump*?

    4. McConnell has not yet publicly announced it, but Liz Cheney just did. Obviously because she’s a Biden-loving partisan socialist Democrat, of course.

      1. Isn’t Liz the daughter of ‘criminal war-mongering mastermind behind McChimp Bush-Hitler’ who was vilified for 8 years by socialist Democrats in the same manner this current President is vilified?

        Fast forward 20 years, Cheney is retired in Wyoming dictating Liz’s decisions while George W Bush is happily attending Michelle and Barack Obama’s inner-circle 1%er party.

        The state of perpetual metamorphosis is astonishing.

        1. Fast forward 20 years, Cheney is retired in Wyoming dictating Liz’s decisions…

          Perhaps all it took was informing Liz Cheney that Donald Trump specifically called out Liz Cheney’s name when Trump was pumping up his Jan. 6 wild mob…

  2. Too silly to comment on

    1. If Dems want to avoid disunity, the simplest way is to jointly impeach Trump and Obama in one action.

      (I finally thought of a counter-proposal silly enough to make a comment.)

      1. Throw in Woodrow Wilson and Warren Harding for good measure. One was a racist, the other a crook.

      2. I sense you do not understand your situation. Your negotiating position is weak.

        Get the votes, get out of the way, or get run over.

        1. Yes, your side is against violence and threats of violence.

          1. No violence.

            Just democracy, and the victory of better ideas.

            1. No violence?!?!?! Holy shit.

              We’re you in a coma all summer?

              1. I advocate no violence — not from the citizens righteously protesting police misconduct and systemic racism, not from the shambling malcontents whose bigotry and backwardness precipitated insurrection, and not from the better Americans — Democrats, mostly — who are going to continue to impose American progress despite the wishes, efforts, and whining of conservatives.

              2. Possibly. It might explain the _terrible_ odor.

            2. “or get run over”

              Must be a mostly peaceful tire tread.

              1. Trump is being impeached for less inflammatory language.

    2. I mean

      “Such steps might not reconcile Donald Trump’s hardcore supporters. But a good many Republicans would likely follow the lead of party leaders, and impeachment could quickly come to enjoy broad (though not universal) bipartisan support.”

      LOL does he really think this? Its just silly to think that “oh the leaders said it was bad so I will too.”

  3. “If impeachment enjoys broad support from Republican leaders, the process could actually promote national unity rather than diminish it.”

    Don’t bogart that joint, my dear Professor, I’d like a dose of unwarranted optimism too.

  4. (Rolls eyes).

    Seriously? “Support Impeachment”?

    You’ve gone around the bend. The only thing that would accomplish is throwing a lot of relatively moderate GOP Senators out of office and making things even more extreme with their replacements.

    Just let it die. Trump’s in office for another 8 days. He’s 74. He won’t run again (or won’t win, more accurately). Just let him leave quietly. Don’t impeach him. It just inflames tensions. Don’t do anything stupid. (Like extraditing him to Iraq.)

    1. Somin is right. And McConnell just announced he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses. If you roll your eyes, is it possible to unroll them?

      1. he announced no such thing

      2. Somin has his head where the sun don’t shine…

        1. Truer words were never spoken. Reading Somin’s posts is like reading (are they still around?).

      3. link? I’ve found nothing that says that.

        1. There may be readers here unfamiliar with how things are done in Washington. For them, let me add, McConnell just announced he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses.

          For you, Armchair, I will explain. If McConnell hadn’t announced it, you wouldn’t know about it.

          1. I may not be familiar with how things are done in Washington, but I’m familiar with the English language. He’ll have announced it when he announces it.

      4. Ok. If this impeachment stands then the outgoing socialist Democrat President Biden will be cannibalized by a more venomous social Democrat.

    2. Trump’s support is bleeding out fast. It is two years to the next election and getting rid of Trump quickly is the best option. In two years he will be forgotten.

  5. And that, my friends, is democratic centralism.

  6. This article is absolutely trolling, but it’s high-class trolling, and there’s no better trolling than that.

    1. Either that or evidence of an un-diagnossed brain injury.

      1. Now, now, you’re not privy to his medical records, don’t jump to conclusions. It could have been diagnosed…

    2. “If you want unity, all you have to do is surrender absolutely to everything we demand” is, unfortunately, straight from Somin’s usual line of argument re: immigration.

  7. Let’s add on one more thing.

    One of the unwritten rules of western Democracies is that “you don’t attack your political opponents after they’ve left office”.

    There’s a reason for this, besides just being a decent human. If you make a habit of attacking your political opponents further once they’ve lost (IE, “digging in the knife and making sure it hurts”), your political opponents become far more invested in “not” leaving office. It makes peaceful transfers of power less likely when the loser worries about what happens to them “after” they leave, and how the political opponent may use their new power to further hurt the loser. And so the loser of the election begins to ensure they “don’t” lose.

    But when you continue to propose begins to violate this unwritten rule. And so you stab the proverbial knife into Trump. And maybe his family. And then when Harris leaves, the next GOP president really goes after her. And maybe her family. Or maybe Harris gets worried about this, and ensures that she “won’t” lose.

    1. One explanation I heard about the politics of the middle east is that, excepting Israel, all of the leaders fully expect to die in office.

      They may die of natural causes or they may have help, but they have no expectation of a retirement. That’s why they can’t tolerate free speech or an opposition party the way we can — it’s your life that’s on the line and that raises the stakes a bit.

      We don’t want to have that.

      1. Tolerate free speech? We can’t tolerate basic facts in the United States

    2. “If you make a habit of attacking your political opponents further once they’ve lost ”

      Is this like insisting Hillary be prosecuted years after Trump beat her, leading chants of ‘lock her up’ four years later, that kind of thing? Were you clutching those pearls during all that? Of course not. This feigned concern over vengeance, division and enmity by Trump supporters now is palpable bad faith.

      1. She could have been impeached.

      2. Tell us, then: what was Clinton charged with, during the years of the Trump administration?

          1. I love that word “reported”, as it can be such a useful passive-voice euphemism for “anonymous source”. Just who in Washington is worried about attribution at this 11:59:00th hour?

          2. I too am completely convinced by yet another in a long line of unsubstantiated claims.

      3. And Hillary was never prosecuted.

        1. “And Hillary was never prosecuted.”

          Do you think that was because:
          1) Trump decided to observe in private the same norms you’re espousing now, while leading “Lock Her Up!” chants in public,
          2) There was no actual basis beyond demagoguery and red meat for the Trump base, and the DOJ pushed back?

          Take your time.

          1. I think it’s some combination of,
            1) Thinking he had bigger fish to fry.
            2) Thinking he could buy peace with the Democrats.
            3) There were enough Obama holdovers in the DOJ that it would refuse to comply with such an order.

          2. Everybody knows Hillary violated the statute and that Comey’s big statement was nonsensical.

            Norms are important though, and norms dictate that such laws are for little people only, and never used against the politically connected and powerful, especially when they’re Democrats.

    3. ” the next GOP president ”

      They can worry about 2045 in 2045.

  8. The Rs backed Trump because the though he would help them win, and he did. They have a lock on the Supreme Court, and got some R policies implemented. But the tide has turned, Trump as alienated all of his rational supporters, and those who are left are just not taken seriously at all. Trump is bringing them down. The best thing the Rs can do is dump Trump now by impeaching and convicting him.

    1. “The best thing the Rs can do is dump Trump now by impeaching and convicting him.”

      If you advise it, concern troll, its certainly not the best thing.

    2. No, what Trump’s popularity has shown is that the GOP is increasingly not about tax cuts or getting rid of government waste, it’s about being an asshole. They like that about Trump, he reminds them of themselves and ‘gets away’ with the kind of things their workplace, school, or whatever increasingly calls them on.

      1. Goddamn you’re such a hardcore partisan.

        So the Republican dominance at the state level is all about being an asshole? 75 million people voted for Trump because they love assholes?

        What a fucking ridiculous thing to say with a straight face.

        1. No, there were 75 million votes that they couldn’t shred in time…

          I suspect it was more along the lines of 80-85 million.

        2. If most of those state level GOPers stood against Trump the GOP base would hate them as RINOs.

        3. Which states? The backwater, parasitic, can’t-keep-up communities are Republican. The modern, successful, educated, reasoning, accomplished communities are Democratic.

          It’s the same with educational institutions — the good ones are liberal-libertarian mainstream institutions, the lousy ones are conservative-controlled, nonsense-teaching jokes. And cultural institutions. And the media. And . . . just about the entire country.

          1. Jerry Falwell, Jr continues to be a source of amusement, so long as you don’t have to watch the videos. It seems that several institutions have revoked honorary degrees given to Trump. Falwell the lesser says that if he were still in charge of Liberty University he’d grant Trump another honorary degree. If Falwell hadn’t been caught loaning his wife to the pool boy he might be in a position to do that instead of the position he’s in.

    3. GOP will probably win house and senate in 2022 based on redistributing and historic patterns for midterms.

      1. Joe Manchin has already announced that he’s cool with making DC and PR into states.

        Do that, and the odds of the Republicans regaining the Senate get pretty dim.

        1. DC and Puerto Rico _should_ be states. Both are larger by population than multiple states; Puerto Rico, in fact, has more people in it than Iowa or Nevada. But statehood for either won’t happen without nuking the filibuster, and Manchin has made very clear that he’s not going to allow it.

          1. Let’s see how Republicans conduct themselves before predicting Sen. Manchin’s precise prospects. He might reject the filibuster for some purposes — with respect to plenary power, such as admission of states, for example — and not others.

            1. Realistically, there is no such thing as partially nuking the filibuster; getting rid of it only for the thing you’re currently looking to pass with a 50+1 majority just means that the other side will get rid of it the moment _they_ want to pass something else with a 50+1 majority. If the filibuster goes, it goes.

              1. The 51- and 52-vote confirmations of Circuit Courts of Appeal judges, and the close votes for Supreme Court justices, of recent years indicate that the filibuster not only may be but indeed has been partially eliminated.

                1. Actually, that’s precisely my point. When Reid eliminated the filibuster, it was only for District Court and Circuit Court judges; McConnell immediately extended that principle to Supreme Court justices as soon as he wanted to confirm one.

                  1. The fact that Reid and other figures in the Democratic party were stating in October of 2016 that the filibuster would be eliminated for other things, too, if Republicans dared to actually use it, might have some relevance here.

          2. Yes, but 90% of each of their populations shouldn’t be allowed to vote. We should have reasonable, common sense voting restrictions, and such restrictions would disenfranchise most of DC and PR.

          3. DC and Puerto Rico _should_ be states

            No, DC should be given back to Maryland, and Puerto Rico doesn’t want to be a state.

            1. I suspect they aren’t going to be given a choice.

          4. No, D.C. should be part of Maryland. But if you insist that D.C. be a state, you then let’s also make New York City and Chicago into states. But you don’t want that, do you, becausevthat would give the Republicans a fighting chance to win senators from Illinois and New York State.

            Puerto Rico should be independent.

        2. You could, I dunno, try to appeal to those in DC and PR and win their votes (it wasn’t that long ago PR had a GOP governor).

          1. This crap again? The GOP has worked tirelessly to try to “win over” black and mestizo votes. News flash. People with genetically low IQs and high illegitimacy rates who rely on government for their support will never support a party of individual liberty and small government.

            1. a party of individual liberty and small government.

              Let me know when you find one of those in Washington.

              1. If we had reasonable and common sense restrictions on voting, we would.

          2. Reflect on what Democrats say when we say you could always try to appeal to people who don’t live in cities.

            It’s basically impossible for Republicans to appeal to people in DC or a giant third world welfare state without becoming Democrats, and what would be the point of winning if they did that?

            1. Correct. Even if you assume that the Dems are right that the Republicans lost Georgia because of the $2,000, why would it stop there? The next time, the Dems would be offering $10,000. The Republicans can never “out vote-buy” the Democrats.

        3. And we could make Taiwan into four states in 2023.

  9. “it would deepen justifiable suspicions that they don’t really think Trump did anything seriously wrong, and oppose holding him accountable for his grave abuses of power.”

    That’s the thing, they don’t see anything wrong with all that. They were fine with his Ukraine phone call, fine with his Georgia call, fine with his meddling with the special prosecutor, fine with his embarrassingly silly election denial charges, and fine with his incitement. A majority of GOP Reps actually voted to object on certification *after* the riot went down. Look at the comments here by the GOPers, none even start with ‘Trump shouldn’t have…’ or ‘It was bad that Trump…’ It’s all defense on every point. This is a cult, not a party.

    1. Yeah, just like you’re fine with Hillary keeping top secret data on her wide open server.

      Look, you’ve got to get it into your head that we don’t think he incited anything!

      But if you really think he did, don’t settle for a slap on the wrist, bring criminal charges. You can put him in jail that way!

      Of course, you realize he did nothing that meets the legal definition of incitement…

      1. Impeachable offenses are not limited to what’s in the criminal code.

        “Yeah, just like you’re fine with Hillary keeping top secret data on her wide open server.”

        Given this conclusion I assume you’ve never had a logic class…

        1. Right, I’m aware that you can impeach over a bad comb over.

          But you keep vacillating here. On the one hand you keep demanding the outrage a real crime would call for. On the other hand you keep demanding the vanishingly low standard of proof the metaphorical equivalent of a bad comb over permits.

          Make up your mind. If you’re going with the bad comb over standard of impeachment, we’re entitled to point and laugh when you claim Trump incited insurrection.

          If you’re going for the truly outrageous crime, we’re entitled to have you prove it in a court.

          One or the other, pick.

          1. There’s no vacillation, many things that might not be formal crimes are still very awful things if someone in such a position of power and influence do them.

            1. Crimes are what we have formally agreed are very awful things. You want us to treat this as though it were agreed to be a very awful thing, but you want the standard of proof to be, “Well, people who share my politics think it’s awful…”

        2. But the House’s present article is in the US Code.

  10. Other than his mis-step with the border wall project, Steve Bannon seems to be the one person who is well on the way to having his wish. He is reported (though I believe he claims not to recall the interview) as comparing himself with Lenin, saying that his goal was to tear down government to rebuild it, and the first step was to destroy the Republican party to reforge it into a weapon to destroy the left.

  11. The nation desperately needs two things:

    1. Healing, and a move to the political center from both ends.

    2. Definitive, lasting marginalization of the Trump fringe.

    The nation’s leading expert on practical politics, one of the very best since LBJ, is Mitch McConnell. He just announced that he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses. He can’t be very far from No. 2, and he may be edging toward No. 1. If it happens, it will be the best political news the nation has had in a very long time—and an extraordinarily abrupt transition from a bleak outlook to a far better one. McConnell probably understands all of that perfectly.

    1. “He just announced that he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses.”

      Again, no he did not. Its a report from “associates”.

    2. Trump IS the center. That’s part of his power, there are as many Americans to the right of him as to the left.

      McConnell just barely managed to get re-elected, and would have lost but for help from Trump. He’s got six years but a lot of his RINO buddies don’t and we’re mad enough to go scorched earth already, I assure you that things would get really ugly were the RINOs to stab him in the back.

      1. “Trump IS the center. ”


      2. McConnell just barely managed to get re-elected, and would have lost but for help from Trump.

        How fucking stupid are you? Mitch McConnell won reelection by 20 points, and Donald Trump couldn’t help get a dogcatcher elected. He’s far less popular than the GOP.

  12. The problem here is that republican officials in the House and Senate simply aren’t leaders, and their opinions don’t matter, on this issue.

    Trumps supporters are an independent force. Republican leaders who break from them simply get added to the list of traitors whosvopinion is not merely worthless but despicable.

    I agree Republican leaders should try to get out of the Faustian bargain they have made with Trump, if not for the good of the country, than to avoid their own destruction. But I think we need to be realistic that doing so is not likely to convince anyone in the Trump zealot camp, and it is not likely to bring healing to the divisions that camp has caused.

  13. …and the jews continue the drumbeat.

    All this is nothing. When Joe is stroked out, Kaaamy takes over, comes for the guns, then these lame brain jews will understand what America is all about.

  14. Purpose of impeachment is presumably to preclude him running in 2024. Conviction by the senate is by no means assured, so let’s say they fail to do so and Trump does indeed run again. Yet another failed coup attempt** would only aid him in his quest. IMHO a four year hiatus will likely cool his supporters’ fervor, in which case the issue would be moot. But if enough voters are willing to return him as POTUS to where the contest is even close, it might be wise to just let it go. Of course if that is the case, we are in deep shite.

    ** playing Devil’s advocate, not the way I would actually categorize it.

    1. I think from the Democrats’ interests, it’s a terribly idea, because it guarantees that the candidate they’ll be able to rightfully say is too old, and will have spent 8 years smearing in the public eye and investigating, will suddenly be replaced by a younger guy you have to start from scratch at attacking.

      But you’ve spent over 4 years fomenting white hot Trump hatred, and now you can’t dismount the tiger. If you let him go, your own base will be wondering why, if everything you told them was true, you let him be. You told them he was Literally Hitler (R), and you’ve got to treat him like that or be judged.

      The only answers to why you’d let him go are, “You lied!” and “You’re as bad as he is!”. It’s a lose-lose choice.

      1. Concern troll etc. etc.

        1. I would honestly prefer that Democrats hop off the tiger’s back and be eaten. But giving your enemies good advice in the knowledge they won’t take it can be fun.

  15. Just what we need. Advice from an enemy.

    1. You can tell he’s an enemy because, despite his life long work pushing conservative ideas, Ilya is against Trump here, and since the cult, I mean party, believes now first and foremost in Trump over everything he is necessarily an enemy of the cult, I mean party.

      1. Somin is a libertarian, not a conservative.

        Unlimited immigration is not a “conservative idea”.

        1. It’s not really a libertarian idea, either, as I recall the libertarian party I joined in the 70’s. Sure, we wanted open borders: AFTER the US was a nightwatchman state with all welfare programs zeroed out.

          We knew quite well that to open the borders before that would turn the US into a welfare magnet, and kill any chance of the rest of the libertarian program ever succeeding.

          1. “Sure, we wanted open borders: AFTER the US was a nightwatchman state with all welfare programs zeroed out.”

            Can you cite any LP platform that had this condition stated to its favoring open borders?

            1. 1980 platform:

              “17. Immigration
              We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic-Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing required government documents. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration mus not be restricted for reasons of race, religious or political creed, or sexual preference.

              We therefore call for the elimination of all restriction on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for those people who have entered the country illegally. We oppose government welfare payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons. We welcome Indochinese and other refugees to our shores, and condemn the efforts of U.S. government officials to induce Indochinese governments to create a new “Berlin wall” that would keep them captive.”

              Why mention welfare in the immigration plank? Because you can’t have open borders if you’re a welfare state!

              1. Not gonna convince this new batch of liberaltarians who are fine with any party that isn’t the GOP, because icky old white dudes.

              2. So the answer is: no, you can’t cite any LP platform that had this condition stated to its favoring open borders.

                1. I had to leave my collection of 1970’s-1990’s literature behind in a move, and the Wayback Machine doesn’t reach back to the 70’s anyway. But, again, why else do you think the platform’s first mention of abolishing the welfare state was in the immigration plank?

                  1. The platform you quoted does say that aliens shouldn’t get welfare payments. It does not say that they shouldn’t be admitted until their welfare eligibility (or anyone else’s) is eliminated. Maybe there was a different platform that did say that. But you haven’t quoted it.

        2. Ilya has worked hard to advance many conservative ideas. But hey, if you want to divorce libertarians from your party, have at it.

          1. What “conservative” ideas? Besides taxes and business regulation, he’s a liberal. Do you see him opposing the celebration of two men who like to sodomize each other? Do you see him opposing abortion? Do you see him fighting for gun rights?

        3. Centrally planned labor markets are not a conservative idea.

  16. How about dual impeachments. One for Trump and one for Harris. In June she was quite a proponent of the ‘peaceful protests’

    “Everyone beware. They’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after election day … They’re not gonna let up, and they should not.”

    How is this different?

    1. Harris did not engage in anything that similar to what Trump did.

      1. No, you’re right, the damage from last year’s riots was infinitely worse.

        1. Your commenting on a result, I commented on Harris’ actions.

          1. Trump’s actions was giving some speeches.

      2. Her speech was followed by widespread violence resulting in massive damages and dozens dead.
        This included attacks on the White House, by the way.

        If Trump is guilty of “incitement” then Harris’s more explicit words of support – not to mention providing money to those violent criminals – must be even worse.

        1. Yeah, I remember all the ‘Harris’ flags they brought.

          1. That’s not much of a defense!

            1. Pretty sure it shows how bad your causal comparison is.

      3. Only to the extent that Trump never worked to bail out rioters.

        Harris has pushed harmful, long-debunked conspiracies (“Hands up. Don’t shoot.”) that led to violence during protests. She said “Nothing that we have achieved… has come without a fight” and “People around our country of every age, of every color, of every gender stood shoulder to shoulder fighting” — the kind of language that people clearly interpreted as incitement from Trump. Congress should impeach her pre-emptively.

    2. Different because Orange Man Bad

      1. Different because those who breached the Capitol were trying to thwart a core premise of democracy — the peaceful transfer of power following an election. Looting is not comparable to sedition.

        1. Looting is also going to be largely opportunistic, not the intended result.

          1. Largely opportunistic. Yeah, right.

            Caravans Of Looters Led Police On 4-Night ‘Stealing Spree’ During George Floyd Protests Across Bay Area

            It was systematic and organized in many cases.

            1. Do you know what opportunistic means? Did you bother to read the article? They were taking advantage of the fact that law enforcement was distracted by completely unrelated groups.

  17. Wow. That’s brilliant!

    If everybody just votes for Democrats, all elections can be unanimous!

    If everybody just does whatever Democrats want, there will be no conflict or disharmony!

    Why, this one simple trick will lead to a paradise of unity and world peace!

    Seek help. It’s probably to late for therapy, I suspect pharmaceuticals will be required to restore your sanity.

  18. As usual, the regulars here go to any length to explain why Trump should be totally immune from any consequences for his actions.

    And, without being told, we know that they would take the exact same positions if it were a Democratic party president in office. Not.

    1. Double standards go both ways. Its the cheapest argument to make.

      If the parties were reversed, the libs here would be no better.

      1. Proud liar Bob lies that everyone lies as much as he does.

    2. No, quite the contrary: I seriously urge you to bring criminal charges against Trump if you think he’s guilty of these things, and can prove it. Let’s have it out in a real courtroom, where time in the greybar hotel is on the line. Not this slap on the wrist of disqualifying him for an office he’ll probably not run for.

      You’re accusing him of crimes, let’s have it out in court.

      1. The consequences for presidential actions include the potential for impeachment. That he might also be subject to criminal penalties (I’m skeptical, personally, that they’d be provable BRD) does not mean he can’t also be impeached and barred from future office. The remedies are orthogonal to each other, not identical.

        1. I’m perfectly aware that you can impeach for things you wouldn’t bring criminal charges for.

          But you keep appealing to the seriousness of something that’s actually a crime, and then switching back to impeachment being purely political.

          Well, if it’s political, it’s political, and we’re not excusing a crime. And if it’s a crime, prove it.

          Stop trying to have it both ways.

          1. Stop demanding that we conform to your illogical requirments that the criminal code is relevant to the political process of impeachment. It’s. Not. The. Relevant. Standard.

            I, and many others here, are perfectly aware that Trump’s conduct is at least arguably protected speech. I think in a trial he’d be able to throw up enough chaff about “foreseeability” and “presidential powers” and “free speech” that it’s unlikely his riot-inducing speech could result in a guilty verdict for, oh, seditious conspiracy. So what?

            I am *simultaneously* fine with impeaching him for trying to destroy American democracy by appealing to the worst conspiracy victimization instincts of the know-nothings, a sad group with an unfortunately long pedigree in American politics. Oh, and also the combover/weasel he insists on wearing atop his head.

            I respectfully decline to wrassle in the mud with you on your arbitrary and inapplicable terms.

            1. Well, then stop demanding that we treat this seriously, if it’s just a political show trial with no presumption of innocence or any other inconvenient due process.

    3. As someone in the middle it’s dizzying watching both sides flip positions as the situations change. Hypocrisy is massive on both sides.

      Just one easy example – all summer the cops were the enemy of us all (“ACAB!!”). Now they’re tripping over each other trying to get to the podium to see which one thinks cops are the most swell.

      1. bevis, we must be watching different TV. I’m seeing the start of a pretty determined effort to figure out which cops did their duty, and which cops didn’t.

        More generally, so many right-wing comments here seem premised on the notion that the attack on the Capitol was a political peccadillo, not very threatening, and without much significance. I think you guys are watching the wrong channels. Some of our nation’s most esteemed news organizations sometimes stint the needs of their viewers.

        Do yourselves the favor of knowing what you are talking about. Watch CNN instead, for a few hours. I know it’s lamestream media, but it can help you. Turn the sound off if you want, so you don’t get indoctrinated.

        Just watch video footage from the Capitol attack. Do that, and I doubt you’ll be back any time soon to minimize what happened.

        1. I think it was significant, I just think the case that Trump is in any meaningfully way responsible is a joke. The people who did it are responsible.

          Or is the Senate ready to expel Sanders for the crime of inciting that attack on the House baseball team?

  19. Those who vote for impeachment are agents of the Chinese Communist Party. Names go on a list.

    1. Yeah because convicting Trump after he has left office is soooooo beneficial to the Chinese.

      1. Actually it is. They’d love to have the US totally paralyzed by internal conflict.

        1. And of course Trump is responsible for so little internal conflict…

          1. If Democrats wanted to demonstrate real unity, they should work with Trump. That’s how the argument goes, right?

        2. Either way, they love how we’re voluntarily devaluing our currency and “stimulating” their manufacturers.

    2. It’s purely coincidental, though. They’d be for it even if they weren’t in hock to Xi.

  20. Reports from across the spectrum that Liz Cheney, noted liberal daughter of a liberal former VP, will vote for impeachment. Oh wait, GOP leadership in the House. My bad.

  21. Walmart and the Chamber of Commerce are wearing “Defund Cruz And Hawley” hats.

    Time for a Blackman-Volokh contribution indicating that the ‘no contributions for those who undermine democracy’ tsunami is not merely unwise and unfair but also quite possible unlawful?

  22. Shorter Ilya: Get down on your knees.


  23. Republicans might be able to take the high ground if the reject impeachment in favor of censure. There are good arguments for why censure isn’t sufficient, and Pelosi is adamant on impeachment. But, there are also good arguments for why censure is sufficient. What isn’t acceptable is the argument that Trump’s actions don’t deserve at least censure. And on that point, we could have unity.

    1. I do not believe that he warrants even that, but considering the 4 years of “huuuuge,” it is a compromise I could live with.

      Hillary lost — Trump has now lost.

      Moveon (dot org even.)

      1. I do not believe that he warrants even that,

        Then you’re not a serious person.

        He warranted censure long before 1/6.

        1. Are you going to include in that censure several Democrats that have been outrageous themselves these last 4 years including the Vice President-Elect who at least gave encouragement to summer rioters?

          If not you are not a serious person.

          1. Whatabout whatabout whatabout.

    2. What are the arguments that censure would do anything to Trump?

      1. The argument for censure isn’t based on the impact on Trump. It’s based on the impact on the people. Namely, it would convince many that Biden won a free and fair election and Trump’s behavior was wrong (of course, there is a significant minority that never will be convinced, but it will persuade a large chunk). The counter argument is a sanction with more teeth is needed as a deterrent.

        1. You really think it will convince anyone?

          1. Yes, if there was a near-unanimous censure stating the election was free and fair, Trump tried to steal the election, and his words incited a riot.

            1. You’re delusional.

      2. 1. He already lost, for a man with his ego, that is a spanking that will last a lifetime.

        2. Censure is a boot on the butt out the door, sending him away on the horse he rode in on.

        (This for me is not really about Trump — I wanted Rand Paul to win — it IS about the crap that Democrats also put us through. As [insert adjective] you think Trump is, many of us see y’all just the same way. 4 years of a temper tantrum is enough.)

        1. Yeah he’ll learn his lesson this time.

          It was dumb as hell when Susan Collins thought so the first time around, and it’s only gotten dumber.

    3. Censure is nothing more the a light slap on the wrist. It has little meaning.

  24. If we all tell the same lies, do they become true?
    Scapegoating for fun and profit!

    Why would any libertarian want to destroy the republican party at a time when the democratic party is marching towards authoritarianism? Hey, I have a thought, if we all become authoritarians, then there will be unity and peace!

    Better red than dead, redux.

    1. Why would any libertarian want that? I think because their vision goes red any time they see Orange Man.

      1. Well, some libertarians might be tired of conservative judges who scale back abortion rights, give the police a free hand to run roughshod over people’s civil liberties and take a narrow view of the protections in the Bill of Rights. I guess it all depends on which set of issues you care most about.

        1. Which protections in the Bill of Rights? Freedoms of speech, press, and religion? The right to bear arms? “Progressives” seem to be cancelling those rights roughly in order of appearance.

          Which politicians more or less openly endorsed months of open violence before they realized it polled horribly, and then were forgiven by a complicit press? Which faction has pushed for ahistorical, racially divisive or even hateful, propaganda in schools and media? Which political movement is endorsed by the rape fantasists in this comment section?

          Thanks, but I’ll take Trump’s accomplishments on criminal justice reform and Middle East peace over race riots and ensuring Iran can build nukes.

          1. If Democrats actually did any of the things you just accused them of, you might have a point; your wild fantasies about what Democrats support are sorely lacking in reality.

            But even if you were right, Democrat judges tend to be better on personal liberty than Republican judges, and a libertarian who decides that’s more important would not be making an irrational decision.

            1. In my experience, Democrat judges are better on the civil liberties that the judiciary invented, and Republican judges are better on the civil liberties that you can actually read about in the Constitution.

              My own reasoning, which led me to the GOP when the LP became a hopeless joke, was that the GOP was at least unenthusiastic about censorship and gun control, and if you can’t talk your way out of tyranny or shoot your way out of it, you’re totally screwed.

              1. To the extent that you’re a libertarian, one would think you would be supportive of an expansive reading of all civil liberties.

                Democrat judges are pretty good on censorship, and split on gun control. And to the extent that Democrats do support gun control, the specific types of gun control they support are analogous to the time, place and manner restrictions permitted for free speech. No right is absolute, so the quibble is over where to draw the line.

                1. A Democratic expansion would be OK, even if that expansion went in area that I disagree with — I am used to losing elections.

                  Judicial fiat in NOT that — it is tyranny.

                  1. That depends. If the judiciary is telling the other two branches that the can’t invade the liberty of citizens I would not call that tyranny

                    1. If these liberties are negative rights then you’d have a point, but forcing others to pay for your birth control or bake your cake or allowing for the murder of innocent children in womb DOES invade the liberty of citizens — I do call that tyranny.

                    2. The birth control and bake shop cases involved judges enforcing statutes as they’d been written so I don’t see that you have a claim for judicial activism. The legislature wrote those laws and the judiciary merely enforced them.

                      And we just disagree that fetuses are children or that abortion is murder.

                    3. They are NOT enforcing them as written, they are re-writing them based upon what they think they should say.

                      Again, if lawmakers amend these laws via legislation it means I merely lost a vote, if unelected judges impose their will by judicial fiat then the “democracy!” Democrats are going on about right now has been violated.

                      Do you at least understand my concern?

                    4. I understand your concern; I just don’t think that’s what happened here. The bakery case involved a statute that explicitly made it illegal for places of public accommodation (which a bakery is) to treat gay people different than it does straight people. The birth control case involved a statute requiring employers to provide birth control coverage to its employers. So I think your argument in both cases is with the legislature.

                    5. We will disagree, but thank you for at least understanding.

                    6. “The birth control case involved a statute requiring employers to provide birth control coverage to its employers.”

                      No, not really. You can search the ACA in vain for any mention of birth control, and the contraceptive mandate would probably have sunk the bill if it had actually been included in the text.

                      What was actually mandated was coverage for “preventative care”; The administration later decided that birth control was to be required preventative care, but that was a discretionary regulatory decision, not just reading the statute.

                2. Yeah, I’m kind of tired of that “no right is absolute” crap.

                  The Supreme court ruled that Heller didn’t have to keep his gun in pieces in a box in a safe, that he could take it out occasionally and put it back together. And the whole Democratic party went insane with rage, and demanded the ruling be overturned.

                  THAT is what Democrats mean by “time, place, and manner restrictions”: Keep it in pieces in a box in a safe, as long as you were lucky enough to be grandfathered in.

    2. Why would any libertarian want to destroy the republican party at a time when the democratic party is marching towards authoritarianism?

      Trump already destroyed the Republican Party. All that’s left is a Trumpkin Party.

      Libertarians want there to be a legitimate, sane, decent, opposition to the Democrats, so that we can root for divided government until the libertarian utopia is ushered in. We can’t have that until the Trumpkin Party is wiped from the face of the earth.

      1. Some libertarians want an opposition party that actually does not do a whole lot of opposing. Seems their utopian ideals are damn near the spitting image of Nancy Pelosi’s America, where champagne sipping elites regulate the economic decisions of the commoners while flooding the country with cheap labor.

        Yeah for utopia!

        1. “I don’t want elites to make economic decisions for others; I just want them to plan and control the labor market.”

  25. If Trump actually cared about anyone other than himself he would leave office tomorrow, after first urging his supporters to stand down. That would be a huge step in the direction of national healing. No matter how unfairly he may think he’s been treated, there is no denying that every minute he stays in office is making things worse.

  26. The Republicans would not have been nearly so mad if Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian Extraordinaire, had not handed the Senate to Biden on top of suspicions of election fraud. We have noticed that conversation has shifted from there is no election fraud to there is no widespread election fraud. You see election fraud is OK if it is not widespread.

    1. It’s inevitable in any election of any scale.

      1. Would you please explain that to David, then?

    2. There was no election fraud.

      1. NO election fraud — not even a little bit?

        1. Well, there were those two voters in Pennsylvania who cast votes for Trump on behalf of their dead mothers. I believe those are the only two fraudulent votes that anyone has identified.

  27. > people who oppose impeachment because they beleive it is unconstitutional
    Approximately no one sincerely believes this.

  28. There is a way to impeach Trump without dividing the country more. That would be to impeach Trump and then for the Justice Department to prosecute him and those advisors that helped him over the last four years. Now as for the advisors I don’t know what kind of punishment they would be justice for them but for Trump impeached for sedition and then being booted out of his office and then the Justice Department trying Trump for treason which would result in a conviction convict. Treason also carries the death penalty. In this case an automatic appeal to the US Supreme court which would uphold the conviction and the death penalty for his crimes. After the execution, say in about six months Trump would be forgotten by then news and soon the population would forget the whole mess also. The only people that may not forget it would be diehard Trumpers which could be caused to lose everything that they have when they would no longer be able to get jobs or operate a business nor support themselves they to would die out. With in a few years even these Trumpers would be forgotten.

  29. Illya would have us quietly march into ovens to maintain peace. Instead, how about if you want to dispel “rumors” of election fraud, you might actually conduct an investigation (rather than a 15 second question of the perpetrators who, of course, said not guilty). Or are you suggesting from now on we don’t need investigations and trials. We’ll just ask the perpetrators if they committed a crime and take their word for it. Nothing to see here.

    Or, how about actually having consequences for those persons involved in the voting incidents/irregularities that did occur. How about incarceration and loss of their right to vote (seems fair since they disenfranchised a lawful voter).

    Everyone’s calling for the Capitol ppl exposed and prosecuted. Why not identify and prosecute BLM rioters. Just saying.

    1. One can’t dispel rumors of election fraud, because the people spreading those rumors are either liars or mentally ill, or both. And neither type of person stops lying just because one proves them wrong.

  30. Others have pointed out that the professor is gravely mistaken. But they have failed to point out why he is most mistaken:

    Telling some large % of the country they have NO institutional support in the least is not going to get them to sit down or go away, it legit means that further violence is their only option. They would retroactively be justifying the Capitol hill storming and justifying all future political violence by that faction.

    Essentially the professor’s advice to Republicans is to tweet out the PBS guy’s video where he says, “We go for all the Republican voters, and Homeland Security will take their children away,” with the word “This”

  31. This is a smart move. Trump support is falling fast. Get rid of him quickly and well before the next election. He has great support in the Republican party, but he lost independent support in the last election. And the Republican money is moving away quickly. It will be hard to win in 2022 if big donors sit on the side lines, because Trump is still in the Party.

    While Trump has great support in the Republican Party it is hard to say how deep that support runs and so how quickly supporter will move on. I am guessing it will be quickly for most. Trump could strip some off a small group for a third party, but that only for a short while.

  32. Let me see if I understand the argument:

    “Republican leaders who worry that impeachment will exacerbate disunity have a simple way to address this problem: They can support impeachment themselves!”

    But then…

    “I also believe that some causes are worth the risk of exacerbating conflict and division. Imposing accountability for Trump’s grave abuses of power—and deterring similar misconduct by future presidents—are among them.”

    Meaning you’re admitting that this would not “unify the country”–but impeachment is more important than unification, so long as that disunity comes from the right places:

    “Such steps might not reconcile Donald Trump’s hardcore supporters.”


    This idea strikes me as essentially a veiled threat to capitulate to the demands of the Left, regardless of the constitutionality of the actions demanded, rather than as an argument to take a step back and analyze the situation, both from a philosophical perspective and from a political one.

    And I can’t help that a number of Democrats support impeachment precisely to take the attention away from an incoming Biden Administration (which this certainly would do).

    But this “you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t, so do what we want”–that doesn’t strike me as a very good argument.

  33. Ilya, I fear you are falling into the mire of only being able to see one’s side of the issue, as has become depressingly widespread. Your proposal would conveniently be a complete boon for Democrat legislators, who would be cheered by their base. For Republicans, it would be a political death knell. But for you, this is a no brainer. You either don’t see this or, unfortunately like so many in media these days, are happy to dissemble about it.

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