With every passing week, the Washington locomotive named “Impeachment” continues to gain steam, speedily charging ahead. Left far behind at the station is any semblance of nonpartisan justice.
The Democrats who are at the helm of the rapidly moving train are keeping their eyes firmly on their intended destination — passing articles of impeachment against the president. The precise details of when and what are still to be determined, but one thing they have made crystal clear — their goal is to do all they can to remove their political nemesis from office.
As these words are being written, the scope of the charges against the president remains unknown, and the legal arguments to support them have yet to be fine-tuned. The president’s political enemies, engaged in one of the most bitter partisan battles in years, know exactly what they are out to accomplish. The question is only how best to get there.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Sunday that they will likely bring articles of impeachment before the committee within days.
Trying to explain what the mad rush was all about, Rep. Jerrold Nadler claimed that the haste was justified because of an imminent danger.
“There’s a sense of urgency because he will do anything — judging from his past conduct — that he can to get interference and to rig the next election,” the New York Democrat insisted.
What he and other Democrats are declining to address is the million-dollar question:
Presuming that, as expected, the Democratic caucus will stay united and vote to impeach, what will happen next?
Not only does the U.S. Constitution give the power to actually remove a president only to the Senate — removal requires no less than a two-thirds vote. With 53 out of the hundred Senators being Republican, one does not have to be a mathematician to know that the chances of actually removing Trump from office are virtually nil.
Yet unless the Democrats make a dramatic U-turn, the Senate will start an impeachment trial next month. Ironically, those who may end up losing out the most will be the Democratic senators who are also presidential wannabes. Instead of campaigning in Iowa, they can theoretically be forced by the Republican majority leader to stay in Washington for weeks while the impeachment trial goes on.
When the trial eventually concludes and the president is acquitted, the impeachment train will come to a screeching halt. The Democrats already know that once this ends, they will have nothing to show for their efforts.
The impeachment clause in the Constitution was included to prevent an egregious abuse of power; it was never intended as a way to score meaningless political points.
Instead of squandering significant time, energy and taxpayer money, members of Congress ought to focus on reaching compromises and passing bipartisan legislation that will improve the lives of all Americans.
But first they have to stop this runaway train.