George F. Will: Impeachment is a cost we can ill afford to pay
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George F. Will: Impeachment is a cost we can ill afford to pay

October 9, 2019

-I believe and have so written that the damage Mr. Trump has done by the things he has said and the way he has said them and the kind of discourse he has normalized does more lasting damage and more serious damage than Richard Nixon’s surreptitious felonies did. ♪♪ Just getting the articles of impeachment to the Senate would require Republican Senators — and there are 53 of them — to stand up and say, one way or another, what they think is important. They are motivated, I’m sure, not by affection for Mr. Trump — there’s none of that — but they are motivated by fear of the Republican base, which is thoroughly enthralled by the president. If Mr. Trump were to say Minneapolis is in Idaho and the sun revolves around the earth, I think the vast majority of Senate Republicans would tug their forelocks, salute, and say, “We agree, sir.” So the first thing that would happen is the articles of impeachment being brought to a vote would require Republicans to clarify themselves. They have so far sought hard to not have clarity. This would bring it. Second, a lot of Congress’ muscles have atrophied from disuse. It can conduct its oversight duties using the considerable power to compel testimony. That is also an issue right now. And it’s quite conceivable that by the time this is done, the president’s refusal to comply with Congress in its legitimate oversight function by resisting subpoenas and other matters will become itself an article of impeachment. Any time the Democrats spend talking about impeachment, they’re not talking about healthcare, prescription drug prices, jobs, growth, the environment, et cetera. We in the Washington bubble assume that the American people are as preoccupied with these things as we are. We do not recognize just how weird we are who live in Washington and pay obsessive attention to all the ripples on the pond of our politics. Most Americans don’t. Most Americans shouldn’t. Most Americans are raising children and washing the car and fixing the screen door and getting on with life. So it seems to me it’s a distraction. The time and the energy that would be devoted to an ultimately futile impeachment process — futility defined as not removing a president — is, it seems to me, a cost that we can ill afford to pay. What do we do with a man like this, who acknowledges no restraints, institutional or, in some ways, more important, restraints of good manners in our civic discourse? Well, the first thing you do is remember the cure for a bad election — and we had one in 2016 — is a better election. And one is coming. The Constitution is quite pernickety about this. We have to have an election in 2020.

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  1. If you want Republicans in the Senate to voice their stand, let an impeachment inquiry/impeachment force them to do so. And letting a criminal, con-man and more live in the White House until the next election is like letting your daughter be assaulted because you know the criminal is going to be locked up for something else next week. One reason most Americans don’t pay attention to politics is because most politicians are spineless, greedy buggers out for themselves and their own power – just like our current President.

  2. Thank you for your opinions. I respect your thoughts on this matter. I think in all justice you could ALSO charge the other party with the COSTS of not attending to other important issues.

  3. These passages explain that, despite all the political rhetoric emanating from the White House, the Capitol building and elements of the media, if the House impeached and the Senate convicted Donald Trump, the only result of that Congressional action would be his removal from the Presidency.

    The President, Vice President and civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    — Article II, section 4, U.S. Constitution

    “Judgment in cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office … but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to law.”

    — Article I, section 9, U.S. Constitution

    There is no language in the Constitution providing the President with any immunity from prosecution by the appropriate criminal authorities: he is subject to the ordinary criminal processes of “Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to law.” Furthermore, there is not one syllable directly putting the President beyond the reach of the criminal law even if Congress does not impeach.

    The argument that the President is immune from the criminal laws is just that — an argument.

  4. We need to better define who is allowed to be president. They should have at least some knowledge of how the government works, right? And care? Care to learn or know anything outside of their immediate wants or needs? And I would say not be a criminal or a sociopath, but I am sure that these things were already known and then ignored about the current clown.

  5. At this point the Republican party doesn’t think that Congress has the right to act as a check or a balance on Trump. They accept Trumps violations of the Constitution as long as it benefits their parties power. In two generations (or less) they could turn the USA into a tyranny / autocracy. Impeachment might be necessary when political parties stop playing by the rules.

  6. If you think Republican Base will believe Trump even if he says that the Sun revolves around the Earth … then why did that happen? Why does half the country, the conservatives, feel so disenfranchised that they see TRUMP of all people as their saviour? Unless the left acknowledges the mistakes they have made and stop eroding the middle class to attain a utopia through Socialism … Trump will not be defeated.

  7. How can we have a better election if the chump in charge plans to jack it for his person gain?

    And he is clearly attempting to. Again.

  8. Tug their forelocks??? Is he serious?
    The Democratic party is stalling progress. Yes…the rest of the country is not wanting the removal of our President. Yes another election is coming… hopefully we will still have an electoral college for a fair vote. Just like the last election. Won fairly.

  9. Talking about lasting damage..
    The other way of seeing that, is permanent discussions about all and everything.
    Just the way as it should be.

    Censorship is political suicide

  10. We CANNOT afford to NOT impeach this POS trump. He needs to pay, pay dearly, especially for the children he and miller has killed due to their racist policies. Need to pay with their lives.

  11. I appreciate your opinion and respect your right to express it. That said, the type of criminal behavior and discourse from this Whitehouse is incredibly disturbing and directly effects oversight of a president. Trump is making a mockery of Congress. He is not a king! He wants to be a dictator though.
    We cannot afford to entertain this madman any longer.
    This will not be tolerated in our society! If we don't stand up for our democracy today, it won't be there tomorrow..
    Impeach trump now!

  12. IMPEACHMENT was necessary, you have some valid points but this administration from day before one swearing in was on a different agenda, it has disrupted the screen door fixing, car washing family moments from inception stealing our taxpayers money, doing absolutely nothing for the average American but stir up hate, and line his/ there pockets with greed, and has given Putin full power over USA and Ukraine. The beast has to be stopped before more harm comes too the average Americans washing their cars.

  13. Kind of ignoring the fact that he's eroding our democracy and currently trying to extort and cheat his way into a 2nd term. Impeachment is the only way to secure the future of the Constitution.

  14. The problem is in the constitution.
    It protects religion without regard for its own protection from the religious..

  15. George, Trump is nothing without the voters. It's the voters that are propping up Trump. So let's get rid of Trump's voters, millions of them.

    It's not going to work and the people will move away from the democratic party because of all the time and money they've wasted for an extremely partisan issue after being nothing but obstructionists since Trump became president. And then they act surprised when he obstructs and doesn't cooperate with their impeachment inquiry WITH NO VOTE…. How embarrassing for the left.

  17. So, stop the impeachment process entirely, wait for 2020,…talk about healthcare et al…do the nations business while
    Donald Fraud Trump continues down the path to tearing the constitution to pieces, lines up his next 4 years, denies all of his criminal wrong doings, will not be challenged and makes himself above the law. I thought America stood up for itself a bit more than that, was made to deny the obstruction, and utter incompetence of Trump and this crew, or anyone who betrayed the ideals of democracy..Just a thought on what America was, and has become under a fraudster, failure and con doubt it's just more wasted words..on he rolls

  18. Just what makes Mr. Will so sure Trump will even accept an electoral defeat? Trump has no respect for any law, and his rabid followers will swallow anything he says, no matter how insane. If Trump leaves office next year, he will be prosecuted by the DoJ and SDNY, and almost certainly go to prison. Trump's past behavior strongly suggests that if Trump loses, he will declare the election invalid and simply refuse to leave office. Then what, Mr. Will?

  19. For 45 years Americans stood up to the Russians and financially brought them to their knees, ex KGB agent Putin never forgot or forgave and eventually installed Trump into the Whitehouse, every action by Trump benefits Russia, Democracy is under attack the free people of the U.S.A. need to rise and take action now.

  20. The tRumpLICasNs lost George Will for Gods sake. Not exactly a left-wing granola guy. That is how disgusting the loyalists have become.

  21. We will never get Trump out of the white house. I think he plans to be president for life, and that's a horrific thing.

  22. The upper echelon of the GOP are being made fools of by what amounts to be a hobbyist politician and a pathological crackpot. Those ladies and gentlemen of the Republican Party ought to be worried about their own legacies…for it will be remembered that it was THEY who enabled this man when his wrong-doing was obvious.

  23. Трамп может победить в торговой войне, возможно для этого ему нужен второй срок.

    Китай готов пойти на увеличение закупок соя-бобов в США на 10 млн тонн в год – до 30 млн тонн, пишет газета Financial Times со ссылкой на осведомленные источники.

    Дополнительные закупки в таком объеме эквивалентны сумме порядка $3,25 млрд.

    Пекин стремится заключить с Вашингтоном промежуточное соглашение, которое предотвратит вступление в силу очередного раунда повышения пошлин на китайские товары в США 15 октября, отмечают источники газеты.

  24. Wrong, George. This can't be ignored for political reasons. Letting Trump skate by here will just encourage a future president if there is not accountability. Impeachment is a scarlet letter, a form of "branding" that Trump will understand. Hopefully, he will end up in jail as well. Sorry if you and fellow Corruptlicans now will have TWO dirty presidents, Trump and Nixon, to apologize for forever!
    BTW, nothing is getting done because of fellow Corruptlican Moscow Mitch McConnell.

  25. What did George Will and his well mannered ilk ever do for the American people? Nothing, that's why they're irrelevant.

  26. "..a ripple on the pond of our politics." Man, I've often disagreed with you but have seldom heard you speak such foolishness. If you read in the comments you'll see ample evidence that even the dullest among us is paying attention to this.

  27. Republicans have one chance to regain the integrity of being a truly democratic institution in the United States. The GOP must stop acting like goons working for a Mob Godfather. Donald Trump is a bully, liar, fraud, cheat and would-be dictator….he is not just un-American, he is anti-American. The criminal and foolish son of an urban slum lord and grandson of a pimp in Alaska is unfit, dangerous, and has no place in our government.

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