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Impeachment 2.0 started yesterday. While it appears voters in key states would prefer that Congress move on to deal with pressing issues, Democrats aren’t listening. The left has been talking about impeaching President Trump since before he was elected. In May of 2019, Representative Al Green (D-Texas) told America why it was important: “I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.”
This was echoed again yesterday by Representative James Clyburn. In his speech on the House floor, he said:
If we do not hold him [President Trump] accountable and remove him from power a future attempt could very well be successful. This president must be impeached and convicted, and he must be prevented from ever attempting to seize power again.
President Trump is 74 years old. While he appears vigorous and healthy, the idea that he is seriously considering a presidential run at age 78 is a stretch. Rather, this seems to serve more as a warning to any outsider candidate who may run in the future. The full weight of our institutions, the corporate media, and countless levers in the culture, including Big Tech, will be leveraged against you.
Victor Davis Hanson appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night after the vote to impeach passed the House. He made several important points. First, he called out the hypocrisy of Democrats in using incitement as a charge. He noted the rhetoric of some Democrat leaders in the recent past:
Nancy Pelosi tearing up the State of the Union address on national television
Chuck Schumer outside the Supreme Court, while it was in session, telling Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh they would not know what hit them and would pay a price for their decision in a case
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris promoting the Minnesota bail fund to help release people arrested for violent behavior during the summer riots
President-elect Joe Biden saying he would like to take Trump behind the gym and beat him up
This is just a small sampling of the countless calls for and depictions of violence against the president and his supporters from Democrats, members of the media, and cultural figures. A brief and startling montage depicts several more.
Hanson’s caution against accusing others of what you have done will go unheeded, since Democrats have the media to cover them. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) quoted the inflammatory comments of several Democrats in his floor speech to make this point. The media selectively edited his comments and accused Gohmert of making threats, when in reality, he was quoting Speaker Pelosi.
Hanson noted the degradation of important institutions and that protect the president during times of partisan rancor.
What was the purpose of impeachment? According to the Founders and when you read the Federalist Papers, it was supposed to be a rare rebuke of a president who committed a high crime or misdemeanor. We didn’t do it in the 20th century, we only did it in the 2nd term.
He noted the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the threatened impeachment of Richard Nixon. He said it was the only tool available following their election to a second term. He added that this was actually the third attempt to impeach President Trump. The first one was introduced on December 6, 2017, and was voted down, 364-58. Hanson asserted that this pattern of repeated attempts is exactly what the Founders didn’t want.
The other institutions Hanson feels have been compromised are the Special Counsel and the 25th Amendment. The Mueller team degraded the Special Counsel. After two years and millions spent, the DNI disclosures confirmed that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies were aware from the outset that the allegations in the Mueller investigation originated in the Clinton campaign. The constant invocation of the 25th Amendment is also a problem. It was meant to be a process used when the president is gravely ill or incapacitated. It has been suggested for something as commonplace as President Trump taking widely used steroids to treat COVID-19.
He also articulated the implications of this erosion of institutions that have previously been used sparingly, if at all:
Now Joe Biden is going to be president, Tucker. And as sure as we’re speaking here, there will probably be a correction as there always is in a midterm election. Are the Republicans going to come in and say, you know, Joe Biden, he said something the other day. He’s not cognitively aware. Let’s use the 25th Amendment. Or, you know what? Joe Biden did not enforce immigration law. He’s sworn to execute the laws of the United States. Let’s impeach him. Or you know what? We better get a Special Counsel to look at the Ukraine matter again. So that’s what they’ve done.
Hanson is prescient. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has already said she would be bringing forward impeachment articles for Joe Biden on January 21st. Until Democrats are willing to operate under a single set of standards that apply to members of both parties, Republicans almost have no choice.
Hanson believes Democrats are doing this to advance their political agenda, which includes some of the most comprehensive efforts to change the way we govern the country. There is already a bill on the floor to add Washington, D.C., as a state and proposals to eliminate the Electoral College. Party leaders have foreshadowed the possibility of expanding the Supreme Court.
That’s what it is about. They are disarming or preempting a fight by disarming their opposition.
This is also why you hear outrageous accusations about Republican members being involved in the riot at the Capitol and the attempt to paint 74 million Trump voters as complicit in or supportive of the violence that day. It is stunning that ten Republican members can’t see this attempt to demoralize and divide the party. It is even more alarming that Mitch McConnell is so wobbly as not to call out how absurd it is to hold a Senate hearing to remove a president that has already left office.
This is no longer about President Trump personally. It about millions of voters who expect our leaders to protect us from the attacks on our freedom to speak, engage in commerce, and move freely. As Hanson noted, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. At least we know whom to challenge at the ballot box in two years.