As we sit in the fresh aftermath of the impeachment of President Donald Trump–only the third president in the history of the United States to receive such an honor–Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is digging all the way in with his party-over-country rhetoric, recently saying:
“I am not an impartial juror. This is a political process, there’s not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”
McConnell knows exactly what he’s doing; after all, he’s a snake committed to destroying every norm in our system as long as it means continued Republican dominance. But let the rest of us be clear here: impeachment is not a political process. Or rather, it’s not political in any meaningful way.
Impeachment is an explicit power of the House of Representatives as outlined in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution (funny, you’d think this “pro-Constitution” crowd would know that!) As Adam Schiff (D-CA) reminds us: “It was a constitutional remedy meant for a President […] who put his personal interests over that of the nation.” The Founders escaped a king and didn’t want to put up another. So they empowered the representatives–the elected voice of the people (“people”, with all the usual caveats of the time)–to prevent that from happening. “High crimes and misdemeanors” are not a joke; it is a serious accusation that should be handled as objectively as possible.
Yes, impeachment is triggered by politicians. It and the ensuing trial are carried out by politicians. And politicians do, well, politics, so in that sense I suppose it’s political. But that’s a truism. Impeachment should not be political in the sense that it’s partisan; where the Republicans are somehow justified in defending their guy because “The Democrats started it.” That’s not being objective nor is it treating this process with the gravity it deserves.
Of course, McConnell is fully aware. This rhetoric is but another round of his smoke and mirrors, a la “We won’t hold hearings for Merrick Garland because it’s an election year.” Once again he’s taking a hammer to our system for personal and party gain, but weakening impeachment–the legislative check on executive overreach–is certainly a new low.
The upcoming month is going to be very interesting.
Other quick hits:
- The New York Yankees announced their 9 year, $324MM ace in Gerrit Cole in the Bronx today. What can I say? He did everything right (he even brought THE SIGN) and instantly won the hearts of all Yankees Faithful. 99 days until Opening Day!
- HBO’s Watchmen series ended excellently on Sunday. And today, the other Watchmen series–DC’s Doomsday Clock–released its final issue. Time to party like it’s 1985?
- Early Rise of Skywalker returns are…not good! But we’ll tackle that beast later.