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Why Impeachment is a Mistake

I recently read a New York Times op-ed piece by David Leonhardt in which he argued that Democrats have dithered too long since the release of the Mueller Report and perhaps have lost their opportunity to impeach President Trump. Although I never supported the idea of impeachment in the first place, I agree that, if it was going to happen, it should have immediately followed the information in the Mueller Report, some of which gave some support for the idea that Trump obstructed justice enough to warrant impeachment. Mueller’s subsequent statements have suggested that he felt he was prohibited from charging the president with a crime, but felt that there was enough evidence of obstruction to warrant others, presumably congress, taking action. 

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have been against impeachment hearings because they believe that it will appear partisan and ultimately fail when the charges reach the Senate. They prefer hearings that will reveal more information about the president’s obstructive actions and then let that information influence voters in the next election. Adam Schiff agrees with them and so do I.

In terms of the problems facing our country and, particularly those that can be laid at the feet of the current administration, obstructing an investigation into potential collusion with Russia (which wasn’t found anyway), is low on the list reasons to change administrations in the next election. Failure to act on climate change, harmful deregulation of fossil fuel and auto industry environmental standards, brinkmanship with Iran and withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, arms sales and even arms manufacturing agreements with Saudi Arabia, interference in Venezuelan affairs, various pernicious decisions by the Department of Education (e.g. deregulating for-profit colleges), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (e.g. failure to enforce fair housing regulations), and the Department of Health and Human Services (e.g. ban on using fetal tissue in research) and, of course, an inhumane immigration policy, are all more important issues affecting Americans than deciding if the president was obstructing justice by firing James Comey.

Not only does the majority of the country not want to go through the agony and antagonism of an impeachment process, they are ready to move on to other things and are tired of inter-party backstabbing and fighting that prevents any constructive legislation being passed in Washington. Democrats who pursue impeachment will be seen as prolonging this kind of ugly no-win battle between the two political parties rather than attending to the real business of legislating. And it will all be futile anyway, as a Republican-controlled Senate will never convict the president.

It’s time for the Democrats to move on and start providing a positive agenda that demonstrates how they would lead if they were in power in the White House. Most Democratic presidential candidates are doing this, and remaining quiet about impeachment. They know that it's a no-win issue.  I hope the rest of the Democratic Party also sees impeachment as a dead issue and stops wasting the public’s time with it. 

I’d like to see the liberal media and progressive activists do the same. Those who claim that congress has a moral obligation to impeach the president and that congressmen who don’t do so are neglecting their duty have things backward. It is immoral to know that the consequences of following a plan of behavior such as impeachment is likely to jeopardize the outcome of the next election, but deciding that satisfying one’s self-righteous indignation is more important. It is dereliction of duty for a congressman who is elected to represent all of his or her constituents to waste time and resources pursuing a futile partisan objective, which is supported mostly by his or her most partisan followers, while ignoring the development of legislation and policies that can actually help our country deal with its most dire problems.


Reader Comments (1)

All of the topics you list as more important than impeachment for 2020 voters are only important to people who will already vote Democrat regardless of the candidate. The vast majority of independent voters will determine their vote by the state of the economy. So it looks like the 2020 vote already favors President Trump. Also, with regard to the climate change issue....all climate change is 100% natural. As humans are natural creatures of the earth, so is any product or by-product of human activity equally natural. Anything man-made is just as natural as a beehive, bird’s nest or beaver dam.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMark Wheller

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