Impeaching Trump: What would the Founders say?

Impeachment, or as Trump calls it, “the I-word”, is on the minds of many of us these days. It is debatable whether impeachment would be successful at this juncture, hence the caution being exercised by Speaker Pelosi. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has done his homework and pondered the situation from the perspective of how the framers of the U.S. Constitution might have viewed it, and I think the results of his pondering are worth sharing. Thank you, Jeff, for this thoughtful work and for allowing me to share …

On The Fence Voters

In the course of any given day lately, I find myself grappling with the following question: What would the Founders do about it? Or, even better—what were they thinking and what were their arguments as they went about writing that sacred document we call the United States Constitution?

Actually, it’s a practice I’ve been doing for quite some time. I mean, between gun rights, abortion rights, immigration, and so many other issues, our Constitution is the basis for trying to figure out how to deal with these controversial issues. Often, we try to gauge what the intent of the Founders was. We can read their words in such publications like The Federalist Papers, and other discussions and arguments they were engaged in, that have been documented in letters, debates, and of course, The Constitutional Convention itself.

Currently, though, the impeachment process is front and center. Ever since the Democrats took…

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33 thoughts on “Impeaching Trump: What would the Founders say?

  1. Jill, this is a great summary. I have written to several GOP Senators noting my agreement with the courageous GOP Congressman Justin Amash’s comments that the President is guilty of obstruction. He continues to obstruct to this day.

    And, as more of the financial data unfolds, it will reveal a much deeper relationship with money laundering ties in Russia through Deutsche Bank and other means. There is a reason he does not want people to look.

    I feel this regal-minded, tempestuous and untruthful man is a clear and present danger to our democracy, our planet and even the Republican Party. I believe the GOP must lead the impeachment of this man.

    As an independent and former Republican, the question I have asked these Senators time and again, is this the man you want to spend your dear reputation on? Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Keith!!! I actually have a post started about Amash, but got sidetracked by Texas and then by Harriet Tubman 😉

      I agree with all your points, especially when you say the GOP should be leading the impeachment charge. But let me ask you a question … do you think that, no matter how much hard-core evidence is presented, the current Senate will vote to convict? I ask because I have this gnawing feeling that he was right when, in 2016, he stated that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and kill someone, but his base would still support him. I have to wonder if there are limits.

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      • Jill, sadly, he is right about his famous statement of keeping support after shooting someone. The only hope is for Republicans to feel the pressure to impeach is when the, excuse the expression, proverbial shit hits the fan. To be frank, we are passed that point, but the law suits are pending from the Mueller report, the lawsuits from the House are pending, the economy will stall some and there is Trump himself who will continue act and speak rashly and un-presidentially.

        Maybe they do, but if I were the GOP, I would have someone in the bullpen like Romney or Kasich. They will need to act to save our country, and I do not say this lightly. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, and it wouldn’t surprise me for the proverbial shit to hit the fan sooner than later, with him circumventing Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, declaring it an “emergency” because of Iran. The man’s going to start a war and he has no comprehension whatsoever of the dynamics in that area. I like Kasich a lot, and used to respect Romney, but I lost that respect when he made his comment back in 2012 about the 47% of the people who he didn’t feel were his problem. Of course, Trump doesn’t think the poor are his concern either, but … we need a president who understands it is his job to represent ALL the people, regardless of skin colour, religion or income level. And I know you don’t say that lightly and I share the sentiment.

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    • I fully agree. However, strategy and weighing the odds of a successful impeachment have to be considered, for an attempted impeachment that fails is likely to leave us worse off than we were to begin with. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. From the post:

    But Madison, Mason, and Randolph all spoke up to defend impeachment. “Shall any man be above justice?” Mason asked. Shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice?” Mason suggested that a presidential candidate might bribe the electors to gain the presidency. “Shall the man who has practiced corruption, and by that means procured his appointment in the first instance, be suffered to escape punishment by repeating his guilt?”

    And Madison argued that the Constitution needed a provision “for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the Chief Magistrate.” Waiting to vote him out of office in a general election wasn’t good enough. “He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation—embezzlement–or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am conflicted over this. Trump has clearly committed impeachable offences, but Pelosi needs to be sly as a fox. We know she has trumped him intellectually, but, as we have seen, intelligence does not hold much water with his minions and supporters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • But if she holds off in the expectation of beating him in the polls, his cries of Poor Me, the Victim, and Here’s proof they had nothing on me will likely sway a lot of people. An attempt at impeachment may not be successful but it will show those same people that there was plenty of proof against him, just a corrupt majority in the Senate who don’t want to give up power.
      Hugs

      Liked by 3 people

      • One can come at this from a number of different angles, but one thing that I read today … and if makes sense … is that quite possibly Trump is hoping for the House to file the articles of impeachment, for it plays right into his hand, politically. Note that in his tirade the other day, he repeatedly said, “They are out to get me” … ‘they’ being the Democrats. Remember, his ardent, loyal supporters are not necessarily the most informed, best educated in the pack, and perhaps they would see this as proof that he was right all along. It might well be playing right into his hand. Sigh.
        Cwtch

        Liked by 1 person

    • Larry, consider the potential costs of Democrats not holding Trump accountable for his blatant disregard for the nation’s constitutionally-based rule of law and his maniacal pursuit of unlimited power:

      If Trump gets away with this, would he feel empowered to undermine or circumvent the 2020 election? Wouldn’t the Democratic Party be widely perceived as weak and ineffective to a populace hungry for strong leadership?

      How would Americans feel if their country’s foundational principle asserting that no one is above the law was destroyed in one fell swoop? Would they see democracy as finally dead? Would they see any more need to vote? Would they consider the laws that govern them as arbitrary and violable?

      How would the free world perceive the U.S.? Would it feel abandoned and vulnerable? Would it feel compelled to turn to their own domestic authoritarians as a hedge against threats from foreign authoritarians?

      Liked by 3 people

      • The free world would, and does, perceive the United States of America to be weak, and grown so dependent on the rule of law that they are willing to sit by actionless as they wait to be saved by a ghost of George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln. There does not appear to be such a ghost in the offing, and the American people will wait like sheep to get slaughtered by anyone who wields the power to do so. Donald J. Trump is such a person, as are his running mates, advisors, and followers, as well as the top 1% of money-hoarders in the nation. Not that anyone wants to see you fighting amongst yourselves, but we would like to see an actual sign of defiance that the forebearers of your nations would have been proud of. You have forgotten how to be revolutionaries at a time you very much need to be revolutionary. Do not be attackers, but be defenders of the ideas your nation was built on.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You make a valid point. We do sit around waiting for the Constitution to stop the madness, or the Supreme Court, or Congress. And some are even waiting for God to fix everything. And you are also right that we have forgotten how to be revolutionaries. We are, instead, like the German people in the 1930s who kept believing (?) or hoping that “this, too, shall pass”. And pass it did, after the brutal murders of some 6 million people. Will we sit and wait for that to happen to us? Probably, for we do not know where to start. Sigh.

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          • Start by stopping. Stop going to your daily jobs. Stop buying things that support a capitalist economy. Remember the Boston Tea Party? Go into the most expensive stores, throw everything on the floor and stomp it into oblivion. Make your anger visible. Stop shopping at convenience stores. Most of what they sell is designed to kill you. Or to put you into a hospital you cannot afford to be in! Look around you. What appalls you. Don’t just feel bad, destroy it. Think of things to do to show you are fed up and won’t take it anymore… Do something!
            You know what will happen if you do nothing…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Some of your recommendations seem like good ideas. Most can’t stop going to their jobs, though, because we all have to pay our bills and eat. I have put a moratorium on purchases for the last several months, not even willing to buy a new vacuum to replace mine that has so may bare spots in the cord that I get a bit of a shock every time I use it. And I really love your idea of going into a fancy store and smashing things on the floor! I’d end up in jail, and probably have to plead temporary insanity, but I’d blame it on Trump. I quit shopping at convenience stores decades ago. And yes, I know what will happen if we do nothing … I can read the writing on the wall.

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              • About your cord, have you not wrapped it in electrical tape over the bare spots? No use committing suicide by vacuum cleaner cord…
                As for wrecking store inventory, never do it by yourself, and never do it one store at a time. Granted, you need helpers, but they should be easy to find. Tell them it’s striking a blow at Trump, and you’ll have lots of volunteers.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Actually yes, I started wrapping electrical tape over the frayed spots, but eventually it was too much for the automatic cord rewinding thingy-m-doodle, so I haven’t wrapped any more spots. If I’m careful, I don’t get shocked, but even when I do, it’s just a little bit of a jolt. Probably good for the heart anyway 🙃. Oh, I didn’t realize you meant multiple stores all at the same time! I was picturing me going into a store and throwing stuff on the floor, stomping it while singing madly at the top of my lungs in my warbled, tone-deaf voice, and then asking where I could sit while waiting for the cops to show up.

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    • You are right, and I, too, have mixed opinions … I vacillate several times a day, in fact. A failed impeachment could actually be an asset, politically, for Trump and we don’t want that. But, to do nothing may well be lethal. Sigh. I just don’t know. I suppose it will play out over the course of the next year or so, but I sure wish I had a playbook. Actually, I wish his chef would slip strychnine into his mashed potatoes, but that’s not likely.

      Liked by 3 people

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