By Michael P. Riccards
The impeachment clause in the Constitution is in the document for rare and stark misconduct and treason. When the Jeffersonians started to use that clause to clean out the Federalist judiciary, the legislative branch finally balked. The Johnson impeachment trial is not viewed well by history. And the Clinton trial ended up making him more popular.
Even before his election by the Electoral College, Trump was disliked by large influential parts of the media. I did not vote for him, but I cannot notice that he has not gotten a pro Trump article in the New York Times editorial pages. Then the editor asks the president why he despises the media so.
The Mueller report shows that Trump did not engage in electoral activity with the Russians, the focus of the inquiry. So let it be and just watch the Russians and the Chinese in the future — here and elsewhere. But let us be honest and note how many foreign elections have been influenced by American money, personal and power. Even Franklin Roosevelt stupidly said once that he wrote the Nicaraguan Constitution in the Wilson Administration. (That was not true.)
Now a group of new liberal and socialist Democrats wants to begin impeachment proceedings knowing full well that the Senate will not even entertain it. Impeachment is a political action, not a judicial one.
It makes little sense to impeach the president. The really destructive aspect of the administration is control of the agencies and regulatory bodies. Those can only be changed by good old American elections. Impeachment would only bring another right wing ideologist into the White House, one even more rigid than Trump. What the country needs is a good housekeeping of those agencies and departments with new young intelligent blood. Impeachment just cuts the head of the snake.
Also, whether the House liberals like it or not, this is not a socialist. To argue it should be socialist, as some academics and politicians are doing, is to lose the little middle class we have. We need to remember the New Deal with its reformation and reform programs. The Jacobins should quiet down, support Pelosi’s moderation and get their behinds out to cut into Trump’s white male working class vote.
Michael P. Riccards is president of the American Public Policy Institute and the author of 30 books including his two-volume history of the presidency, The Ferocious Engine of Democracy, and the forthcoming “Woodrow Wilson as Commander-in-Chief.”