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Perspective: Thoughts On Impeachment

public domain
Opening day of the Nixon impeachment inquiry in 1974

Last week, a divided House of Representatives decided that the impeachment of Donald Trump should proceed and now the sharks are out and there’s blood in the water. Republican supporters, in concert with Mr. Trump, seem to be scrambling to find viable defenses for him, focusing primarily on process over substance even though the impeachment processes for Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were essentially the same. Nixon’s investigation lasted two years before public testimony even began. Besides, only a week ago a federal judge declared the House’s current actions squarely within the law.

Some worry that impeaching Mr. Trump could sever the country and cause generational damage, but I ask is it the impeachment itself doing this, or the rhetorical, partisan based acrobatics by Republicans in defense of Mr. Trump that’s more damaging?

We are supposed to be able to trust the information coming from our elected leaders and in crucial times for the nation, like an impeachment process, our elected leaders should be on one accord about the rules of the game, especially when there are precedents that show nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

By Republicans turning the process topsy-turvy, attacking the legal procedure, dismissing subpoenas, crying foul about the majority party getting to set the rules (the norm in all congressional committees), and casting the investigation as a witch hunt, they are in fact doing far more damage to our polity and national community.

The best antidote is for each of us to learn the rules ourselves and hold our leaders to the law as it is, for no matter what, what must always emerge victorious is not a personality, but the Constitution.

I am Joseph Flynn and that is my perspective.

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