Drinan asked his colleagues in Congress, "Can we impeach a president for concealing a burglary but not for concealing a massive bombing?" Their answer was that they could, although Nixon resigned before the House could vote on its articles of impeachment.
I'm reminded of Robert Drinan now, because once again we're threatening to impeach a president, this time for a third-rate attempt to extort minor political gain from the government of a vulnerable country (without even the decency of a cover-up). But we're ignoring Trump's highest crime, worse even than the ones mentioned above.
He has promised to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, the 2015 international agreement that was meant to begin a serious international response to the climate crisis now heating the planet. Meanwhile, he's created an administration that is working in every way imaginable to ensure that yet more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. He is, in other words, a threat not just to the American people, or to the rule of law, but to the whole human species.
And for that he richly deserves to be impeached and convicted.
Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes. Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua .
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer's new dystopian novel (the second in the Splinterlands series) Frostlands, Beverly Gologorsky's novel Every Body Has a Story, and Tom Engelhardt's A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy's In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower's The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II.
Copyright 2019 Rebecca Gordon
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