27 January 2021

NOTE FROM NORM: The Charade of an Impeachment

The partisan impeachment trial of private citizen Donald Trump in the United States may be the coarsest act of political payback in modern times.

With one of the most outspoken opponents of then-President Donald Trump, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, presiding over the proposed impeachment trial, any pretense of objectivity and fairness has been abandoned by Senate Democrats.

That the United States Supreme Court’s Chief Justice will not preside over the proceedings should send an unambiguous signal that this is not a legal process.

It’s a show trial to appease the extreme left of the Democratic Party.

Let’s be clear about what this impeachment is about: Democrats want to extract one last pound of flesh from a former President, now a private citizen, and it is nothing more, and nothing less, than a partisan dogpile.

Donald Trump has been defeated at the polls.  He has been publicly shamed for falsely claiming his victory was stolen from him and has been denounced by former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after he “provoked” a mob to attack Congress and the United States Capitol.

The House has now impeached him twice.  The first time was a partisan charade concocted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to mollify her party’s far-left flank.

The second time was an act of partisan passion, with tinges of bipartisanship colored by the shock of the attacks on Congress and the United States Capitol.

But, that was when Donald Trump was President.

Donald Trump is no longer President.

While Democrats will argue that there is a Constitutional argument for impeaching a former President of the United States, they cannot say that there is a Constitutional precedent for doing so.

Because no such precedent exists.

And, if Democrats are successful in setting this one, it will not end with Donald Trump.

Future former Democratic and Republican Presidents will face the sword of Damocles every time they leave office if there are enough disaffected partisans in Congress who want to pay them back for whatever grievance they have.

It will never end.

The act of impeachment should be reserved for the most egregious and shocking acts of a sitting President while he or she is in office.

Not as a partisan “gotcha,” which will create a never-ending cycle of political violence against our democracy.

Private citizen Donald Trump faces a litany of challenges now that he no longer occupies political office.

The truth is, in purely political terms, impeaching private citizen Trump will not go the way Democrats think.

If the goal is to remove whatever power and influence they think the former President has; it will not be achieved by holding a Senate hearing to impeach someone from office who no longer holds that office.

On the contrary, it will showcase that this is nothing but a show trial intended to humiliate him for their political base’s benefit and entertainment.

President Biden rightly called for unity in his inaugural address.

Unity doesn’t mean that all of us have to get on board with his policies and politics because we won’t, nor should our opposition to them signify disunity.

But, unity will not be achieved  for this President and the nation he now leads by continuing to exacerbate the wounds we have suffered as a result of the former President’s words and actions after his defeat at the polls.

Nor will it be achieved by trying to embarrass further a man who received the votes of nearly over 74 million Americans.

The 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump deserve the same respect as the 81 million Americans who voted for Joe Biden.

Their choice for President did not succeed.

They should not have to accept that their additional loss is to see their candidate not just punished at the polls but in the United States Senate’s chambers for partisan gain.

I will not excuse former President Trump for his words or his deeds in the days and weeks after it became clear that neither he nor his attorneys or supporters could produce credible evidence to support their claims of fraud on such a massive scale it would have tipped the outcome of the Presidential election.

His legacy will forever have the stain of the attacks on Congress and the United States Capitol.

History will ultimately judge President Donald Trump on his accomplishments and actions while in office.

The United States Senate will not hold a cudgel more potent than that of history in the judgment of Donald Trump.

But, history will judge the United States Senate and Democrats, as well, if they choose to move forward with this partisan charade.

So, too, will more than 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump to be their President.

For President Joe Biden to succeed, he needs more than the 81 million Americans who voted for him to agree to unify.

He needs the 74 million Americans who did not vote for him to take him at his word when he says it’s time to unify.

The most powerful way to prove that is to call for an end to a partisan impeachment of a private citizen in the United States Senate.