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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/11/19

There are many reasons not to impeach Trump. The House should do it anyway

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From The Guardian

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It's important to uphold the constitution through impeachment even if it goes nowhere, even if it's unpopular with many voters, even if it's politically risky

Is Donald Trump likely to be impeached?
Is Donald Trump likely to be impeached?
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It's a constitutional crisis all right. So what happens now? An impeachment inquiry in the House won't send Trump packing before election day 2020 because Senate Republicans won't convict him of impeachment.

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So the practical political question is whether a House impeachment inquiry helps send him packing after election day.

That seems unlikely.

Probably no more than a relative handful of Americans are still unsure of how they'll vote on 3 November 2020. An impeachment is unlikely to reveal so many more revolting details about Trump that these voters are swayed to vote against him, and their votes won't make much of a difference anyway.

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Besides, the inquiry probably won't reveal much that's not already known because House subpoenas will get tangled up in the courts for the remainder of Trump's term (even though courts give more deference to subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry).

Worse yet is the chance that an impeachment inquiry plays into Trump's hands by convincing some wavering voters that Democrats and the "deep state" are out to get Trump, thereby giving him more votes than he'd otherwise get.

Does this mean House Democrats should avoid taking the political risk of impeaching Trump? Not at all.

Another question needs to be considered -- not just the practical political effect on the 2020 election, but something more important over the long run.

It is whether an action designed to enforce our constitution is important for its own sake, even if it goes nowhere, even if it's unpopular with many voters, even if it's politically risky.

Every child in America is supposed to learn about the constitution's basic principles of separation of powers, and checks and balances.

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But, these days, every child and every adult in America is learning from Donald Trump that these principles are bunk.

By issuing a blanket refusal to respond to any congressional subpoena, Trump is saying Congress has no constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch. He's telling America that Congress is a subordinate branch of government rather than a co-equal branch. Forget separation of powers.

By spending money on his "wall" that Congress explicitly refused to authorize, Trump is saying that Congress no longer has any constitutional authority over spending. Goodbye, checks and balances.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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Lance Ciepiela

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Apparently, one of the main "reasons not to impeach Trump", according to Pelosi, they, the Super Democrat Majority in the House, don't have "bi-partisan support" (same reason Pelosi/Conyers gave for not impeaching Bush and Cheney) from the minority Republicans in the House - something totally "irrelevant" for impeaching the president if the Democrats stood up in support for "the rule of law", the Constitution and the American people ("over 10 million signatures") with their "simple majority vote = "YEA". #ImpeachableOffenses.

Submitted on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 1:43:23 AM

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Kenneth Lee

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When asked about impeachment proceedings against *Resident Trump, Pelosi responded with "he's not worth it". What I wrote at the time was "are the American people and the Constitution worth it?" My answer is still "YES".

Submitted on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 7:59:49 PM

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Richard Girard

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I agree with John Nichols in his book The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders Cure for Royalism, The Democrats lost the 1988 Presidential Election because failed to impeach Geo. H.W. Bush and others responsible for Iran-Contra. The Republicans felt they could obstruct Obama--even though they didn't hold a majority--because of the failure to impeach Dubya and Cheney over the Iraq War. You cannot show weakness to the neo-Fascists in charge of the GOP, they will use it against you.

I would suggest we start by impeachimg Attorney General William Barr, for his blatant lies in front of Congress.Then, go after Trump.

Submitted on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 8:10:25 PM

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