The cynicism and myths of impeachment

  • 23 April 2019
  • NormanL

House Democrats are apparently "wrestling" with the idea of holding impeachment hearings on the president. Younger members who believe they were elected to toss Mr Trump from office are eager to use the Mueller report to impeach him. Older Democrats, including those who recall from the Clinton years how politically dangerous impeachment can be, are much less willing to join them.

We suggest impeachment would be a cheap and cynical move, even for the notoriously cheap and cynical DC Swamp. But so long as we're on the subject, it's worth recalling a valuable report from the Cato Institute's Gene Healy on the "purpose, history, and scope of the Constitution’s impeachment provisions." Here's a sample:

Impeachment, Hamilton explained in Federalist 65, is designed to reach “those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” The remedy’s scope should therefore be understood in light of its ultimate aim: protection of “the society itself,” in Hamilton’s words; “defending the community,” in Madison’s. The end impeachment serves is protection of the body politic; the means it provides are accordingly extensive enough to serve that end. As the 1974 Nixon Inquiry Report put it, impeachment is a remedy designed to “reach a broad variety of conduct by officers that is both serious and incompatible with the duties of the office.”

There's much more at the link.

But if you're pressed for time, click here to see Healy's short video on the five myths of impeachment. 

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