Day 11: Impeachment is nonpartisan

Lately I (and many others) have been publicly making the case for the impeachment of President Trump. But all too often we hear, “Why bother? Get rid of Trump and we’ll just have Pence.”

To that I say: you aren’t getting the point. At all.

As a progressive, I would definitely prefer not to have a Republican in the White House. But that’s not why I’m arguing for impeachment. The point of impeachment is not to get rid of Trump per se, and certainly not to overturn the current power of the Republican party.

The point is to defend the Constitution, and thus the short- and long-term health of our democracy.

Some also say that many, even most, of our past presidents have violated the Constitution in some way. To that, I say a) I doubt it, and b) even if it were true, it wouldn’t be relevant. On the list of logical fallacies, that one’s called, in the vernacular, “what-aboutism,” i.e. “what about this other similar instance that we ignored?” If past presidents commited high crimes and misdemeanors of a constitutional nature, then shame on Congress and shame on us for not caring enough to bring those crimes to light. But that would have no bearing on the matter at hand, which are the current POTUS’s high crimes and misdemeanors (emoluments clause violations, obstruction of justice, and others) we are not ignoring and which are still valid.

Also: give me an example of a president whose violations of our Constitution were as egregious and farflung. There isn’t one. Trump is setting dangerous precedents. He’s already done tremendous damage, in terms of expectations and standards shattered, that we’ll be dealing with for years, if not generations. Every day he’s in office makes the situation worse.

I won’t argue that Pence isn’t his own set of problems. But they’re a different set, and hopefully will be dealt with if and when the time arises.

Impeachment is a tool enshrined in the Constitution; it’s a vital failsafe mechanism. If we don’t use it now, it might as well not be there at all. The American people — and especially our children — need to see that Trump’s subversions of our democratic values and constitutional standards will not stand, and that our system of government is strong enough to mete out justice.

That’s why Republicans must recover their consciences and their patriotism and act for the good of the country, not just the mirage of short-term gain for their party. Democrats must not view the call for impeachment as payback, strategy, or any other kind of political maneuver. We must come together as Americans, remind ourselves what is right and then doggedly pursue it, and rescue our country from this clear and present danger.

I’m writing 100 days of resistance. Posts begin here.

Also published at HOLLY LeCRAW.