This morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democratic House of Representatives would draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. While the Democrats and their friends in the media are presenting this as the solemn conclusion to an objective hearing of the facts, the truth is that they have been trying to remove the president since the moment he was elected. From the Access Hollywood tapes that were leaked before the election, to the recounts, to the pressure put upon the electors, to the Steele dossier and the Russia hoax, and finally to the Ukraine phone call hullabaloo, the left has never accepted the results of the 2016 election and have been trying to pull off a coup ever since.
The bigger issue here, however, is how this process has hastened the decline and fall of our society. Whereas impeachment was intended to be a remedy for what the Constitution calls “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Democratic Party is now setting the precedent that impeachment is simply another political tool to be deployed against the opposing party. President Trump himself recognizes this, tweeting this morning:
On the other hand, the first presidential impeachment was entirely political as well. In the election of 1864, President Abraham Lincoln selected Democratic Senator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as his running mate in a national unity ticket. Back then, (and even as late as the 1980s) the office of Vice President was a position of prestige without any real responsibility. The assassination of President Lincoln in 1865 changed everything. Suddenly, a Southern Democrat was president just a few weeks into the aftermath of the Civil War. The Radical Republicans led by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania were stymied in their efforts to thoroughly crush the defeated Confederacy, and so sought to remove President Johnson by any means necessary. They passed a bogus and unconstitutional law that ostensibly prevented Johnson from managing his own cabinet. Johnson tested the law by dismissing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and impeachment was on. In 1868 the House advanced articles of impeachment but President Johnson was acquitted in the Senate by a single vote.
It is ironic that one of the accusations by the Democrats against President Trump is that he abused his office by firing the Ambassador to Ukraine – exactly the trap set by the Republicans against President Johnson in 1867. History repeats, first as tragedy, then as farce. This entire impeachment process has been nothing but farce, but it portends tragedy for the American Republic.