There is a rare breed of Americans that deserves great admiration: those who are not Trump supporters, yet condemn this farcical impeachment circus the Democrats are trotting out on Capitol Hill. Also in that group are those who 21 years ago thought Bill Clinton’s impeachment was a sham, yet had no affection for that president.
Too many decent Americans are fooling themselves: they are so obsessed about the day when Donald Trump is no longer president arriving now rather than in January of 2025 or even 2021, that they have abandoned principles of law and justice just to see that end goal accomplished.
Let’s begin with the substance (and I use that term loosely) of the claim: “Trump withheld military aid to a vital ally on the condition that the ally conduct an investigation into Trump’s 2020 political opponent, in an effort to affect the election result in Trump’s favor.”
The country in question is Ukraine, the political rival Joe Biden, and the deadline to release the aid September 30. Here’s that pesky reality that the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) sufferers refuse to acknowledge: Trump released the aid to Ukraine on September 11, a full 19 days before the deadline. Whatever Trump threatened before the deadline is entirely irrelevant. Consider this example, to illustrate: Tenant and Neighbor are both tenants in Landlord’s building. Tenant and Neighbor used to be friends but recently had a big disagreement, and now they no longer speak to one another. Next month’s rent is due on January 1, but on December 3, Tenant tells Landlord: “I’m not going to pay you any more rent unless you evict Neighbor!” Tenant repeats that threat all throughout December, even making even two threats on Christmas Day! Yet on December 31, before going out to celebrate the new year, Tenant pays Landlord. Therefore, Tenant has not breached his lease. He paid his rent on time. That he had threatened not to pay it while it was not yet due is irrelevant.
Similarly, Trump did not “withhold” aid to Ukraine – he had until September 30 to release it, according to the law. He did. End of story.
Yet, there is even more evidence that exonerates the president: the investigation he sought into Biden and his son Hunter was related to corruption allegations when Biden was vice president of the United States. That a sitting president would delay the release of military aid until a corruption investigation took place, especially when it potentially involves a then-sitting vice president, is entirely appropriate. That Biden is a political rival of Trump’s in 2020 is beside the point. Returning to our Landlord-Tenant example, we already established that Tenant did nothing illegal. But suppose that Tenant suspected Neighbor of, say, dealing drugs in the building’s lobby. In that case, his reasons for wanting Neighbor evicted would be completely legitimate, even if his primary motive was no longer wishing to live in the same building as Neighbor because of their personal dispute.
Another honesty test that exposes TDS is: if all those clamoring for Trump’s head on a platter were asked five years ago – before Trump entered presidential politics – to take one month and carefully think of the top 1000 reasons they thought would be valid to impeach a president, “using a foreign country to investigate a political rival” would not have even entered their minds. Here are some they probably would have thought of instead: 1. Directly stealing public funds and diverting them to personal offshore bank accounts.
- Planting false incriminating evidence on his (/her et seq.) political rivals and throwing them in jail.
- Selling nuclear secrets to North Korea in exchange for cash under the table.
- Paying law enforcement officials not to investigate his administration.
- Ordering the killings of his political opponents.
- Committing rape.
- Using his power and influence to operate a human or drug trafficking enterprise.
- Throwing newspaper editors who disagreed with him in jail (President [John] Adams did that, by the way, and was never impeached).
- Declaring war on other nations and then personally keeping their cash, oil, etc.
- Granting a benefit onto another nation for the purpose of undermining the United States.
Next, let’s consider some things most Americans – me included – would find truly horrible if their president believed them, but which are not impeachable offenses: 1. The president wishes that America returns to slavery, because African-Americans are inferior to whites are not capable of being free.
- Women should lose the ability to vote, because women simply do not have the mental capacity to make such decisions.
- There should be no minimum age for sexual consent.
- American citizens of certain national origins and religions should be kept in detention centers and monitored by the government.
- Bribery should be legal; elected officials should be allowed to apply the law to favor the highest bidder.
The Constitution’s authors inserted impeachment into that document for truly rare instances, which they probably thought never would arise. Not for early removal of a president because he ignores elite establishmentarians and political correctness, and doesn’t measure up to his critics’ standards of decorum.