Impeachment 2020: A Lifetime of Education

 

The curtains are about to come down. The audience is leaving the auditorium, shaking their heads either in dismay or victory, having seen the whole show. Even if they see the play again, they will never see anything quite like what was presented in this arena.

It has all been like a show. Yet, the impeachment inquiry and trial have been an education like I would never have imagined. It will take a while for me to fully digest what I have witnessed. But this is my first take . . .

The Constitution—Democrats’ and Republicans’ references to the Founders and the Constitution were drastically different. The House Managers often referred to both, but it was clear that they were using them not to bolster their case, but to manipulate the meaning of both. The President’s Defense Team on a number of occasions pointed out that Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were misquoted or misinterpreted by the House Managers. (The Democrats have frequently shown disdain for the Constitution, except when it is liberally interpreted to meet their agendas.) On the other hand, the President’s Team not only referred to the Constitution and the Founders, but expressed their alarm and their reasons for their concerns that the very foundations of our country were in jeopardy if the President were impeached. They showed reverence and appreciation for the brilliance of the Founders in creating the Constitution, in some occasions their drawing on English law, but in many cases drawing on their concerns with the English law to create a new framework that would suit our nascent country. The Founders were prescient in their identification of the laws of impeachment that could damage the process, and the laws that would allow House members and Senators to wrestle with those rules, but find a way to resolve their difficulties. To think that our Founders could create such a masterful and powerful document that can guide our nation for over 200 years leads us to an awesome realization: we live in a country that still holds to the rule of law.

Politics—people from both sides of the political divide have, for the most part, acknowledged that the impeachment process is a political one. The Founders emphasized the danger of partisan politics and political parties, and they were brilliant in their forethought and wisdom to try to limit the damage that could be done. Yet, they may not have been able to anticipate the willingness of one party to go to such ends as the Democrats have gone.

The investigation was biased beyond belief. Republicans, as much as possible were shut out of inviting witnesses and were hamstrung in interviewing them. The President’s counsel was not permitted to attend hearings. The President was not allowed to ask questions. No witnesses could be called on behalf of the President. And witnesses could not be represented by counsel.

Perhaps worse yet, the trial has been nothing short of embarrassing (or should be) to the Democrats and they are an embarrassment to this country. Throughout the trial, they lied, misrepresented information, left out critical information, and accused people with no evidence. They attacked the President’s Defense Team, ignored the brilliant factual presentations of the Team, and insisted on repeatedly relying on their own set of “facts.” They stated ideas with certainty, convinced that they could interpret the President’s intentions which were from their point of view corrupt, selfish, unpatriotic and damaging to our country and our national security. The House Managers could never justify the rush in their investigation to protect the country, but then stopped short before the Christmas break and didn’t present the Articles of Impeachment for over a month. They were not interested in meeting the requirements of articles that explained the bribery, extortion and high crimes and misdemeanors that were committed (because there were none), but thought they could slip these terms into their presentations when it suited them. Then they expected the Senate to take over their investigative role. There were many more things that I learned, but I’d like to spend the rest of this post describing what I learned about the overall process.

* * * *

The Impeachment Process

I learned more than I might ever have wanted to know about the impeachment process, and what it says about our government:

  • I believe that the integrity of the overall process has survived, in spite of the manipulations of lawmakers.
  • I learned that desperate lawmakers will do just about anything to meet their agenda, including lies, hyperbole, defamation, and distortions.
  • I now know, more than ever, that the Left disdains, rather than appreciates, the limits of the Constitution.
  • The Left does not care about, nor trust the citizens of the United States. The goal of the Left is to do whatever they need to do to convince the Left that they are acting on the citizens’ behalf.
  • The Democrats do not care about finding a way to work with the Republicans, but are only interested in dis-empowering and destroying them.
  • They don’t care about the future of this country, unless they are able to wield power with full control.

* * * *

A part of me nearly wishes that I hadn’t followed the process so carefully. In many ways it was disheartening, frustrating and implausible.

Yet, no matter what the final results are (this is written before the vote on witnesses and the final vote), the country has survived, and my heart is still beating. The process reminds me once again how incredible our country is, even with its chaotic and reprehensible governance.

God bless the Constitution and the Founders. Let’s hope the country survives another 200 years.

What have you learned about the impeachment process?

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    hope to have learned that “the system works.”

    What I’ve learned to date is how arbitrary it can be to bring impeachment proceedings.  We concede that it’s “political,” but really it’s much the same as passing a bill in the House–one of the  most political of acts.

    It would take a lot for me to support impeachment of a Democratic President, and I hope Republicans don’t go there in the future to play tit-for-tat.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I hope to have learned that “the system works.”

    What I’ve learned to date is how arbitrary it can be to bring impeachment proceedings. We concede that it’s “political,” but really it’s much the same as passing a bill in the House–one of the most political of acts.

    It would take a lot for me to support impeachment of a Democratic President, and I hope Republicans don’t go there in the future to play tit-for-tat.

    I share your view. This has been so obscene, so horrendous, that I would not support impeaching a Democrat President unless he tried to rob the US Mint! . . .well, maybe for less than that, but it would have to be extremely serious. Thanks @hoyacon.

    • #2
  3. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I hope to have learned that “the system works.”

    What I’ve learned to date is how arbitrary it can be to bring impeachment proceedings. We concede that it’s “political,” but really it’s much the same as passing a bill in the House–one of the most political of acts.

    It would take a lot for me to support impeachment of a Democratic President, and I hope Republicans don’t go there in the future to play tit-for-tat.

    The ratings and the public’s general lack of interest is an indication that what House Democrats did here, by deciding impeachment was simply another political tool they could use after the Mueller Report failed to deliver the goods, was to essentially turn impeachment into the reverse version of “Every Child Gets A Trophy“, in that what made the act so special was its infrequency of use — once in the country’s first 185 years, but now three times in the 47 years after that, and with the latest one seeming to have its charges against the president morph into something else every 7-10 days or so.

    With the lack of specific focus on what Trump actually did that warranted impeachment, the Democrats put forward a weak story line into a situation where for the first time ever, the impeachment trial was being controlled by the same party as the president (Republicans ran things in 1868 and 1998-99, and the Dems had full control of Congress in 1973-74). So weak charges, no drama about actual two-thirds conviction, and with the voters having a chance to decide how they feel about Trump in November anyway. No shock the whole thing would get the tepid response it has, even from partisan Democrats, who trusted their politicians and the media on the Mueller Report and got burned emotionally (leading to the Wile E. Coyote-like plunge in CNN and MSNBC’s ratings). They may want Trump gone, but even they aren’t going to fully invest in a lost cause.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    With the lack of specific focus on what Trump actually did that warranted impeachment, the Democrats put forward a weak story line into a situation where for the first time ever, the impeachment trial was being controlled by the same party as the president (Republicans ran things in 1868 and 1998-99, and the Dems had full control of Congress in 1973-74). So weak charges, no drama about actual two-thirds conviction, and with the voters having a chance to decide how they feel about Trump in November anyway.

    I’m with you, @jon1979. It was doomed in every way from the start. Even if the President is acquitted, are there any winners here?

    • #4
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn:

    God bless the Constitution and the Founders. Let’s hope the country survives another 200 years.

    Yes and yes.

    What have you learned about the impeachment process?

    There is a lot of corruption between people in government and NGOs.  I had thought that NGOs were charities doing good in the world.  Now I suspect many of them as being a front for kickbacks.

    • #5
  6. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Witness how Chief Justice Roberts handled Senator Rand Paul’s question about a recent report giving details of someone observing Sean Misko and Eric Ciaramella talking about a need to take out President Trump. I saw something about that reported siting, I don’t remember where, but it was I believe a meeting conducted early in Trump’s term when the National Security Council had its 400 or so employees loaded with Obama holdovers. Paul’s question was trying to get at the origins of the plot to use some event that could be enhanced and elaborated to a point where an impeachment proceeding could be started. Ciaramella has been identified in numerous accounts as the whistleblower. He is a CIA analyst with some specialty that would apply to Ukraine who was detailed to the NSC and reportedly did significant duty supporting VP Joe Biden in his White House assignment to administer foreign and military aid to Ukraine. Misko is now working for Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee. Mary McCord, a former senior official in the National Security Division of the DoJ is also reportedly working now for Schiff’s committee. She was at the NSD when all that stuff with the Steele Dossier and the FISA court was going on, IIRC. Now I saw somewhere someone has said that Mary McCord’s spouse works for Chief Justice Roberts. And it goes on and on.

    But here’s the thing. Nothing seems to pierce the shield. Do we think enough Americans are seeing this and understanding what the message means? I think we, those of us who know we are paying attention, have seen enough actual events to distinguish the good guys from the liars, even with the corrupted media. But what about the rest of the country? Can we turn this around?

    • #6
  7. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Our country hasn’t won anything. This process divided us more than the 2020 election ever can.

    • #7
  8. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    that I would not support impeaching a Democrat President unless he tried to rob the US Mint!

    How about running guns to the drug cartels in Mexico, siccing the IRS on political opponents, arranging the jailing of an innocent movie-maker in response to a terror attack on an American consulate, removing missile defenses from our NATO allies in Eastern Europe, promising cooperation in reducing American commitments to European defense after his re-election to the president of Russia (who promises to inform Vla-di-mir), condoning his SOS accepting bribes from teh Russkies for 25% of our uranium production, flouting the Congress and Courts by creating immigration policy by executive order and condoning the FBI, CIA and DOJ investigating and harassing the opposite party’s candidate to replace him?

    Is any or all of that impeachable?

    • #8
  9. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    The leftists are a band of pied-pipers, leading their rats to the river.  If they win, this nation is truly lost. 

    If Trump wins, we have a chance because there are enough true citizens to turn it around.

    Of course, the leftists say the same thing but reverse the roles. 

    Where is King Solomon when we need him?

     

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    It was a spectacle in the worst sense of the word. Sadly I don’t know whether anything was solved, only terrible horrible things avoided that never should have been possible to come about. Only if the Dems lose the House, Trump has a landslide, and the Republicans strengthen their majority in the Senate can there be any recompense for this tragedy.  And even then Republicans would find a way to screw that up. (Sigh)  

    • #10
  11. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    With the lack of specific focus on what Trump actually did that warranted impeachment, the Democrats put forward a weak story line into a situation where for the first time ever, the impeachment trial was being controlled by the same party as the president (Republicans ran things in 1868 and 1998-99, and the Dems had full control of Congress in 1973-74). So weak charges, no drama about actual two-thirds conviction, and with the voters having a chance to decide how they feel about Trump in November anyway.

    I’m with you, @jon1979. It was doomed in every way from the start. Even if the President is acquitted, are there any winners here?

    No, and we’re just going to keep hearing about this all the way through November, unless something else gets hyped up to take its place (or internal polling by the Democrats show continued discussion of it is losing more swing voters than it’s gaining, since the upcoming spin will be that justice was denied because the Republicans didn’t call any witnesses, even though the outcome would have been the same. If that spin turns off moderates, only them will it be dropped).

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    God bless the Constitution and the Founders. Let’s hope the country survives another 200 years.

    Yes and yes.

    What have you learned about the impeachment process?

    There is a lot of corruption between people in government and NGOs. I had thought that NGOs were charities doing good in the world. Now I suspect many of them as being a front for kickbacks.

    I was disappointed to learn that too. We have to be wary of everyone and their intentions, @dong.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    But here’s the thing. Nothing seems to pierce the shield. Do we think enough Americans are seeing this and understanding what the message means? I think we, those of us who know we are paying attention, have seen enough actual events to distinguish the good guys from the liars, even with the corrupted media. But what about the rest of the country? Can we turn this around?

    As  I watched a lot of the Q&A (I did it for all of you), I wondered if those on the Left could see the prosecutions deficiencies and misrepresentations. When you look for confirmation of your own beliefs, not much else might matter. But there are a lot of independents out there. Maybe they will see their way to the truth, @bobthompson.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    that I would not support impeaching a Democrat President unless he tried to rob the US Mint!

    How about running guns to the drug cartels in Mexico, siccing the IRS on political opponents, arranging the jailing of an innocent movie-maker in response to a terror attack on an American consulate, removing missile defenses from our NATO allies in Eastern Europe, promising cooperation in reducing American commitments to European defense after his re-election to the president of Russia (who promises to inform Vla-di-mir), condoning his SOS accepting bribes from teh Russkies for 25% of our uranium production, flouting the Congress and Courts by creating immigration policy by executive order and condoning the FBI, CIA and DOJ investigating and harassing the opposite party’s candidate to replace him?

    Is any or all of that impeachable?

    Right. I guess it depends on whom you ask. Too bad, that.

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    It was a spectacle in the worst sense of the word. Sadly I don’t know whether anything was solved, only terrible horrible things avoided that never should have been possible to come about. Only if the Dems lose the House, Trump has a landslide, and the Republicans strengthen their majority in the Senate can there be any recompense for this tragedy. And even then Republicans would find a way to screw that up. (Sigh)

    Double sigh.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: A part of me nearly wishes that I hadn’t followed the process so carefully. In many ways it was disheartening, frustrating and implausible.

    After seeing what the Democrats tried to do, I was scared to death.  These people must be kept as far away from power as humanly possible.  I wouldn’t vote for a Democrat running for dog catcher on the off chance he was aiming for a higher office in the future . . .

    • #16
  17. Cal Lawton Member
    Cal Lawton
    @CalLawton

    I’ve learned the national press has completely devolved into a perverted,  grotesque, intellectually malformed, emotionally puerile, collection of wretches.

     

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Cal Lawton (View Comment):

    I’ve learned the national press has completely devolved into a perverted, grotesque, intellectually malformed, emotionally puerile, collection of wretches.

     

    Gosh, @callawton, I wish you’d tell us how you really feel!  ;-)  Many of us fully agree with you. Thanks.

    • #18
  19. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Susan Quinn: Perhaps worse yet, the trial has been nothing short of embarrassing (or should be) to the Democrats

    It’s hard to be embarrassed when you’re shameless.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Perhaps worse yet, the trial has been nothing short of embarrassing (or should be) to the Democrats

    It’s hard to be embarrassed when you’re shameless.

    Of course. What was I thinking . . .

    • #20
  21. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    With the lack of specific focus on what Trump actually did that warranted impeachment, the Democrats put forward a weak story line into a situation where for the first time ever, the impeachment trial was being controlled by the same party as the president (Republicans ran things in 1868 and 1998-99, and the Dems had full control of Congress in 1973-74). So weak charges, no drama about actual two-thirds conviction, and with the voters having a chance to decide how they feel about Trump in November anyway.

    I’m with you, @jon1979. It was doomed in every way from the start. Even if the President is acquitted, are there any winners here?

    That will be determined by the election in November.  Remember, in 1972 which this feels like, Nixon got 60% of the votes but won 49 states.

    • #21
  22. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Cal Lawton (View Comment):

    I’ve learned the national press has completely devolved into a perverted, grotesque, intellectually malformed, emotionally puerile, collection of wretches.

     

    I think the national press is running the Democrats, not the other way round.  I wonder at motives.  I suspect that this is a self fulfilling thing as those who want to get on TV see who is on there and decide to join the club.  I look at someone like Nicole Wallace.  She was a member fo the McCain campaign but had a large role in the destruction of Sarah Palin. She set up that interview with Katie Couric  when Palin had had not one session in which to practice her technique,. That smacked of malice. Why ?  She is now on MSNBC.  She came out of the Bush operations. Makes me wonder.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolle_Wallace

    • #22
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    It’s a mistake to think that the Democrats in Congress are looking for the truth. What they are doing is “speaking to Buncombe.”

    Bunk” in the narrowest sense.  Ginning up their base.

    The Democrats see that the NYT massively increased its share prices and revenues when it went all in on Russiagate. They see the continuing integration of their messaging and the MSM. They see their attacks on the First and Second Amendments making headway despite District of Community v Heller. Virginia, for example.

    The Democrats see radicals who will advance progressive plans taking District Attorney and Attorney General positions across the country; that makes the Federal court system a vital battleground.

    The Democrats see that smart, solid people on the Right keep giving them the benefit of the doubt. I heard John Batchelor talking with Andrew McCarthy about the Senate trial, heard McCarthy praise John Bolton’s integrity.

    I couldn’t help thinking how many times I’ve heard McCarthy describe some person or institution the same way, only to say, months later, “I never thought that XXX would do YYYY.”

     

    • #23
  24. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Cal Lawton (View Comment):

    I’ve learned the national press has completely devolved into a perverted, grotesque, intellectually malformed, emotionally puerile, collection of wretches.

     

    I think the national press is running the Democrats, not the other way round. I wonder at motives. I suspect that this is a self fulfilling thing as those who want to get on TV see who is on there and decide to join the club. I look at someone like Nicole Wallace. She was a member fo the McCain campaign but had a large role in the destruction of Sarah Palin. She set up that interview with Katie Couric when Palin had had not one session in which to practice her technique,. That smacked of malice. Why ? She is now on MSNBC. She came out of the Bush operations. Makes me wonder.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolle_Wallace

    The press is actually more cocooned in the bicoastal progressive bubble than the Democratic Party is — they have to at least go out and campaign in Red states, or in Blue areas of Red states and can’t ignore the rest of the country, especially after their failure to even think they could lose some Midwestern states to Trump in 2016 cost Hillary the election.

    The media types, and the political consultants like  Wallace or Rick Wilson don’t have to pander to those people, because their new social media-era business model isn’t to appeal to everyone — it’s to provide niche programming to gain the loyalty of progressives, at a time where there are so many other options for people to watch or read. So they stay in the bubble and cater to people who want to be assured that they’re beliefs are in the majority, without ever having to get outside their bubble (and the times when events conspire to force them outside of their geographic safe zones, they look at it with the same distaste they do stepping off an urban sidewalk in the winter and into a big pool of slush).

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    The Democrats see that the NYT massively increased its share prices and revenues when it went all in on Russiagate. They see the continuing integration of their messaging and the MSM. They see their attacks on the First and Second Amendments making headway despite District of Community v Heller. Virginia, for example.

    I still hope that although the radical Left is very loud, they may not really represent the bulk of Democrats. No group is moving wholesale over to the Right, but I think some blacks, independents and even moderate Democrats must be having second thoughts about the radicals. I don’t know where that leaves the MSM; time will tell. We may have some helpful indicators from the results of 2020.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    The media types, and the political consultants like Wallace or Rick Wilson don’t have to pander to those people, because their new social media-era business model isn’t to appeal to everyone — it’s to provide niche programming to gain the loyalty of progressives, at a time where there are so many other options for people to watch or read. So they stay in the bubble and cater to people who want to be assured that they’re beliefs are in the majority, without ever having to get outside their bubble (and the times when events conspire to force them outside of their geographic safe zones, they look at it with the same distaste they do stepping off an urban sidewalk in the winter and into a big pool of slush).

    This complements what I’ve said in comment #25. Or my comment complements yours!

    • #26
  27. Didymus Corridor Member
    Didymus Corridor
    @TomHall

    I learned yet another reason for regretting the accumulation of authority in the President and the Executive Branch, including the agencies: the stakes for the office are high enough to make this kind of impeachment tempting to the legislative party daring enough to try it. 

    • #27
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Cal Lawton (View Comment):

    I’ve learned the national press has completely devolved into a perverted, grotesque, intellectually malformed, emotionally puerile, collection of wretches.

     

    Why are you holding back?  Hehe . . .

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Perhaps worse yet, the trial has been nothing short of embarrassing (or should be) to the Democrats

    It’s hard to be embarrassed when you’re shameless.

    Or desperate . . .

    • #29
  30. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Lamar Alexander a “NO ” on Witnesses, so is Lisa Murkowski, so is Rob Portman, so is Ben Sasse. That only leaves Susan Collins and that oh so pious man of integrity, Mitt Romney as yes on Witnesses. It appears the best the Dems and Never Trumpers can do on  requiring more Witnesses in the Senate  Impeachment  is 51 to 49 against.  That means it’s over. At last. 

    Lisa Murkowski statement:

    “I worked for a fair, honest, and transparent process, modeled after the Clinton trial, to provide ample time for both sides to present their cases, ask thoughtful questions, and determine whether we need more.

    “The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed. I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena.

    “Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.

    “It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.

    “We are sadly at a low point of division in this country.”

     

     

    • #30

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