What’s it gonna be then, eh?
How are we going to deal with the man who incited the mob’s attack on the U.S. Capitol? As I see it, these are our choices:
- Impeach him again, only this time, the Senate does its job and removes him.
- Use the 25th Amendment to remove him.
- Just wait two weeks, and he’ll be gone anyway. Plan to have a big party once Joe is sworn in.
Let’s look at each option a little more closely.
- Impeachment — Possibly the best thing I’ve read today was Bret Stephens’ column in The New York Times, headlined “Impeach and Convict. Right Now.” He makes a very compelling case, and his points about why we all should have expected what happened yesterday the moment Trump came down that escalator in 2015 are compelling. He argues that “To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk, leaves our reputation as a democracy in tatters and evades the inescapable truth that the assault on Congress was an act of violent sedition aided and abetted by a lawless, immoral and terrifying president.” True. My one disappointment in reading it is that he didn’t deal with the details: Just how would it get done that fast. It would take more time than between now and the 20th just for the Senate to go back and do what it should have done on the first impeachment — hear witnesses. I’d like to think it was possible, but is it?
- 25th Amendment — Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are pushing this option. Because when it comes to impeachment, you know, they’ve been there and done that. It makes perfect sense. It really shouldn’t take much time to get those signatures together, and in any other administration since the Amendment was adopted in 1967, it would have happened already. Ah, but that’s the thing you see. There has never been an administration like this before. Everyone in the Cabinet was chosen by Trump — often as a replacement to someone who was not sufficiently subservient to him. The vice president would have to lead the way. And while it was nice that Mike Pence didn’t join the riot yesterday, do you think he would step up and do this, and that enough “principal officers of the executive departments” would go along? That would indeed be something to see.
- Wait for the Inauguration — We’ve endured it for four years, and we’re only talking 13 days. No, there’s no guarantee that one or more of those 13 days won’t be like yesterday, only worse. There was never a guarantee that ANY day in the last four years wouldn’t have been like that. Most of us knew this. The rest learned it yesterday. Given the difficulties of the first two options, this one seems the most practical. There’s just one big argument against it in my book, but it’s a biggie: This is what Lindsey Graham wants us to do.
Personally, I’m torn. Even if it’s impossible, I’d like to see people do their absolute best to bring about his ouster through option 1 or 2. Either would be the right thing to do. We can’t just shrug off what has happened, and miss this opportunity to redeem our country from the shame of having Trump as our president. That’s wrong.
But… would even more damage be done to the country if we tried one of those options and failed, not because either was a bad idea, but because we ran out of time? How would the rest of the world, and history, see a failed attempt to remove someone who has done what he has done? Would anyone ever see those very necessary options as being worth trying — and if they’re not, what does it do to confidence in the Constitution?
So what should we do? I look forward to your arguments…