After about eight hours of insufferable debate on December 18th, with barbs hurled back and forth turning quickly into a broken record, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The final votes on the two articles were largely along party lines. Article 1 (Abuse of Power) received 230 votes in favor and 197 votes against. Article 2 (Obstruction of Congress) received 229 votes in favor and 198 against. All Republicans voted against both impeachment articles. The only defections were on the Democrat side. Two Democrats voted against Article 1, with one Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard, voting present. Three Democrats voted against Article 2, with Tulsi Gabbard again voting present. Representative Justin Amash, Independent of Michigan, voted yes on both articles.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened Wednesday’s debate on the floor of the House by declaring that lawmakers are “custodians of the Constitution.” She and several of her female Democrat colleagues wore black attire in the House chamber to signify what they described as a “somber day.” That was all for show, of course. But the black color Speaker Pelosi and her cohorts wore for Wednesday’s proceedings was appropriate for an entirely different reason – to mourn the damage the House Democrats themselves have inflicted on the Constitution by their irresponsible votes. They have earned a black mark for taking a wrecking ball to the Constitution’s impeachment provisions.
The media are describing December 18th as a “historic” day. They point out that President Trump is now only the third president to be impeached in U.S. history and the first president to be impeached while seeking re-election. Yet, what truly makes this day “historic” is the extremely low bar this impeachment has set for the impeachment of future presidents. For the first time in history, the majority party controlling the House of Representatives has weaponized impeachment to interfere with the people’s right to choose, in less than one year’s time, who they want as their president. From this point forward, it will be much easier for the party controlling the House to justify voiding the election of a president from the opposing party, with impeachment serving as just another partisan tool in their toolbox.
In a letter to Nancy Pelosi, President Trump noted the gravity of the historic precedent set by the House Democrats. “One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again,” he wrote.
The Founding Fathers envisioned impeachment as an extraordinary constitutional remedy to be used only as a last resort to check a lawless president who violates the public trust. Alexander Hamilton warned in Federalist Papers 65 that “the greatest danger” in the House impeachment process is “that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” Mr. Hamilton worried about the “animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other.” He observed that “the most conspicuous characters” guiding that impeachment process in the House will be “too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction.”
Fortunately, the Founding Fathers installed a firewall – trial in the U.S. Senate. It should save us from the House Democrats’ Kafkaesque proceedings.
Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat herd have proven Alexander Hamilton’s point about the risks inherent in the House impeachment process. They allowed their “animosities” against President Trump to take over, leading them to trivialize the impeachment process.
As Republican Representative Chris Stewart said during Wednesday’s debate, “This day is about one thing and one thing only. They hate this president. They hate those of us who voted for him. They think we are stupid. They think we made a mistake.”
Illustrative of how consumed House Democrats have become by their hatred for President Trump, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries shamelessly compared the impeachment of President Trump to past fights against slavery and Jim Crow. Rep. Al Green, who was one of the first House Democrats to call for President Trump’s impeachment, declared that President Trump should be impeached “for the sake of the many who are suffering.” He delivered this balderdash while using a picture of a crying migrant girl as a prop.
Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu viewed impeachment as President Trump’s own special version of a permanent record that “will follow him around for the rest of his life and history books will record it.”
All that the Trump haters can hope for, however, is a symbolic asterisk on his presidency, placed there by rabid partisans. This will be dwarfed by the historic accomplishments of the Trump administration.
According to the latest Gallup poll, President Trump’s job approval rating has “increased six percentage points since the House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry against him in the fall.” It is now at 45 percent, which is at the higher end of the range of the president’s approval ratings during his first term in office. At the same time, public support for President Trump’s impeachment continues to decline. “Currently, 46% support impeachment and removal, down six percentage points from the first reading after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry,” Gallup reported. “Meanwhile, 51% oppose impeachment and removal — up five percentage points over the same period.”
With the House impeachment vote over and done with, the action will move over to the U.S. Senate once the House actually sends the impeachment articles they approved to the Senate. House Democrats will no longer be in control of the narrative. As the Founding Fathers intended, the Senate should serve as a brake on the animosity-filled House Democrat majority. The Senate is expected to spare the nation of any further distractions from the people’s real business and acquit President Trump of the House’s groundless, crimeless charges.