veep

Impeachment ?

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Impeachment has been on many lips since election night. The specter of impeachment has only been raised and proceeded on three occasions. Congress is 0 and  2 with one default removing presidents in its entire history. No president has been successfully removed. Why? It is not a legal process, it is a political process.

The House impeaches and the Senate tries and acquits or removes the President.

What makes anybody think it’ll be so easy this time. There is no specific definition of the presidency or the scope of it. It’s changed throughout history

What is an impeachable offence? Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Although many have weighed in with their opinions, there is no definition of impeachable offence better than,” it is whatever Congress says it is”.

Likewise there is no definition of presidential. Any president’s behavior is by default, presidential. What is acceptable presidential behavior is again up to Congress and certainly influenced by public opinion.

It is questionable whether the transgressions of Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, constituted treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Johnson was impeached by the House for firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and his policies towards reconstruction of the South. Nixon for obstruction of justice, of an irrelevant break in. While contrary to law, it may not have measured up to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. Bill Clinton was impeached by the House for lying under oath about sexual conduct. Nixon resigned while Johnson and Clinton were impeached by the House and each acquited by one vote in the Senate.

It would seem to me that treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors should relate to the ability to govern and national security. Previous impeachment’s have only served to distract from the business of the American people. A waste of time over conduct which, save and except for the media’s focus, did not impair the president from carrying out his duties, but did impair Congress from doing theirs.

Trumps personal habits and behavior do not fall under my expectations of acceptable presidential behavior. Nonetheless it is so generally harmless, mostly entertaining in a perverse way, and not the main focus of concern. That’s not to say they are not of some concerns. He embarrasses America both at home and in the eyes of the world.

What really concerns me. What is more frightening and dangerous is that right before our very eyes he seems to be bent on unwinding and unraveling or at least viciously attacking, and reversing the social progress we have watched, felt, paid for, and deeply believe in. The GOP has the presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, and a majority of state governors and legislatures. The GOP Congress, for the moment, have restrained him with respect to foreign-policy decisions and costly domestic mistakes. Sometimes deliberately and sometimes by his and their own incompetence.

He has opened a Pandora’s box of the ugly underbelly, lowest common denominator of America. He has created uncertainty and fear in America and throughout the world.

He has disgraced America in the eyes of the world. The view of the international community is that American no longer leads the free world and has as its president an incompetent, embarrassing, disturbed, man-child.

Congress is going to have to face the issue at one time or another. Whether it’s the results of the Russia investigation, the damage he is doing to the reputation of America at home and abroad, or his mental state.

Congress is in their own disarray. In this they can be moved by popular opinion. Once they feel comfortable enough that they have the support of the American people who are fed up with Donald Trump then they will act.

The question is when? If they do it now, they’re afraid of the possible backlash the extent of which is hard to measure. If they don’t do it before the midterms and lose control of Congress, the Democrats will impeach both Trump and Pence, and put the new Democratic Speaker of the House in the White House.

The GOP have to grow a large pair of political balls and remove him from office before he does some damage they can’t mop up.

It’s all about the Veep

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Will he be impeached and if so when? One of the most important factors in the impeachment of a president is the Vice President.  If Spiro Agnew  had remained Vice President, Richard Nixon would have never faced impeachment.

If you impeach the President, whoever is to step into his shoes, will highlight different agendas for Republicans and Democrats.

For the Democrats the answer is easy.  They don’t want Pence.  He is a real conservative  who would be harder than Trump to attack, and more dangerous to the social issues that are dear to their heart .

Wait till after the midterms when they may well win the House and Senate. Given the results of the last election those Democrats who stayed home will be highly motivated.

Given the relationship between Trump and Pence, it is not hard to imagine that investigations will find the VP tainted with the sins of the Trump campaign and administration.

If the Democrats are successful in impeaching both Trump and Pence, then the Speaker of The House, in this scenario a Democrat, would become President.

The Republicans have their own set of problems.  They would prefer Pence.  Their problem is the President is popular amongst Republicans. To force him out would alienate a lot of voters they need. Can they wait till the mid terms? Risky.