Alan Zendell, January 12, 2021
If Vice President Pence and the Cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, a second impeachment by the House of Representatives is a virtual certainty. The political momentum to prematurely end his term is like a locomotive going downhill without brakes. Even so, it’s worth looking at the pros and cons.
Representative Jim Jordan (R, OH) put on his professional persona today to make a reasonable sounding argument that another impeachment would prevent healing and divide the country further. That might be convincing if it weren’t hypocritical in the extreme. Jordan has been one of Trump’s principal enablers, as responsible as anyone for creating the divisions he now pretends to lament. Jordan supported Trump’s lies and baseless conspiracy theories right to the end. After the Capital was cleared of terrorists on January 6th, and the House went back to certifying the Electoral Vote victory for Joe Biden, after all the mayhem and the death of five people including a U. S. Capitol Police Officer, with the nation reeling from the President’s incendiary rhetoric that sparked the insurrection, Jordan still voted to challenge the election.
A more compelling argument against impeachment comes from Democrats who are concerned about distracting the incoming Biden administration from hitting the ground running. The urgent need for a vaccine distribution plan, re-legislation of Obamacare to assure that Americans have access to health care, and reversal of the most damaging of Trump’s Executive Actions all require immediate action. The argument is also made that another impeachment will significantly reduce the chance of bipartisan action.
Both arguments pale before the risk to national security of Trump staying in power and the moral necessity to hold him accountable for the worst crime ever committed by an American president. Yet, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt warned that a second impeachment would only result in more violence. Really, Roy? With right wing groups threatening violence and vowing to die rather than allow Biden and the Democrats to govern, it’s hard to imagine how that situation could be worse. Blunt and others with his mind set have cynically brought the country to the brink of armed insurrection for no purpose other than to hold on to power. It was politics at its irresponsible worst, and now that it’s all hit the fan, they’re trying to convince Americans that it’s someone else’s fault.
There are two clear truths here. One is that the next ten days could explode into violence that leaves hundreds, possibly thousands dead. And the carnage will be seen all over the world, live as it’s happening. We’ll survive, because the terrorists who call themselves patriots have no chance of winning. The question is whether we can recover from defeating them. The respect for our country internationally will never be the same again, and the scars of such an outcome might take as long to heal as the aftermath of the Civil War.
There are three important reasons to move forward with impeachment. One is that Trump could put a stop to all this by simply telling his supporters to cease and desist. He doesn’t have to admit to his lies or his role in the assault on the Capitol. He simply has to tell them to stay home and respect the Constitution. He has had as many opportunities to do that as there are hours since the insurrection occurred. This morning, when he finally spoke to the media, it was to claim that he had no responsibility for what the terrorist mob did, and his inciting of the mob, abetted by Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and his son, Don Junior, were appropriate expressions of free speech.
The mobs subsist on a diet of Trump Kool-Aid. Only he can speak to them about drawing down, but he won’t. Instead, he continues to throw roadblocks in the path of the Biden administration. Today, he dumped the government’s complete inventory of COVID vaccines on the states, with no plan for getting people vaccinated, knowing that many do not have the capacity to safely store it. That was after he added Cuba to list of states that support terrorism, something he could have done at any time in that last four years.
The second reason we need to proceed with impeachment is that if convicted, Trump will never be able to run for federal office again. But the most compelling reason to impeach him now is it will force every Republican in Congress to cast a vote. Everyone will see who was culpable in this mess, and who is still unwilling to turn the page on Trumpism. As information emerges that at least three Republican members of Congress aided the terrorists and fed them critical information, we all need to know whom we can trust to lead us in the future.