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Michael Ramirez Essay: Playing Politics


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IMPEACHMENT

Michael Ramirez, December 17, 2023

Remember when impeachment was a serious Constitutional action designed to be undertaken to remove a President from office for serious offenses? Apparently, it has become just another political tool to be utilized by the majority in Congress for politicking.

I remember hearing constitutional scholars say that impeachment was a political process and Congress could impeach anyone for anything, as long as they could muster the votes to do it, but no one ever thought that it should be so frivolously initiated.

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So, if you’re keeping a tally, there was only one presidential impeachment in the first 222 years of our nation’s history. There have been three in the last 23 years. Incredibly, President Obama was the first president since Jimmy Carter not to have a single impeachment referred to the House Judiciary Committee during his term.

Impeachments were designed to be extraordinary events. Removing a President is usually done at the ballot box. Lately, even that is being contested. 

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I don’t think our Founding Fathers envisioned starting something as serious as an impeachment inquiry to find evidence to start an impeachment inquiry. They assumed that even in the House, there would be enough intelligent elected representatives to carefully weigh the serious implications of an impeachment… before they started an impeachment.

Congress has the power to endlessly conduct hearings before going down the more serious road of an official impeachment inquiry. As I recall, someone on the campaign trail was screaming that conducting an endless series of investigations without concrete proof is called weaponizing government against your political opponents. One would hope that the evidence produced from those hearings and investigations would catalyze the more serious impeachment inquiry. 

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America may no longer have a king, but it is now stuck with a House full of fools and court jesters. 

Conventional wisdom is that impeachments have hurt the election chances of the party in control. I’m not sure about that. What I am certain of is that impeachment in the absence of credible evidence will have a negative impact on elections, especially if it is perceived as just a political smokescreen for the presidential race.  

An impeachment should not be trivial or frequent. It should be taken seriously. If not, then the institution of Congress will no longer be taken seriously.  Did I just say that with a straight face?

Remember when Congress could be taken seriously? 

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Comments behind the Paywall :( But I suspect they will be very...Spicy.

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