Many Democrats are giddy about the fact that the House of Representatives are about to ‘impeach’ Donald Trump. What they don’t understand is that impeachment does not equate to removal from office.
Thirteen times in our history a resolution to authorize the start of an impeachment process has made it to the floor of the House of Representatives. The list of Presidents includes John Tyler, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama and assuming the vote occurs, Donald Trump.
And only twice – Andrew Johnson in 1867 and Bill Clinton in 1997 – did the Senate vote. Clinton was not convicted and Johnson was, but not removed from office.
A House vote to refer articles of impeachment the Senate for trial does not mean that the President will (a) be convicted and (b) removed from office. To gain a conviction, two thirds of the 100 Senators, i.e. 66 must vote to convict. If there is a tie, then the vice president gets to cast the tie breaking vote.
Unless someone dies, there are 53 Republican Senators. To win a conviction AND remove President Trump from office, the Democrats need all their senators to vote to convict plus convince 19 Republicans to do the same. The odds of that happening are somewhere between slim and none.
Our Founding Fathers made the impeachment process difficult because they feared political power. They lived at a time when King George III could imprison you, take your property and, if so desired, order you executed. Even though they were residents of an English colony, they did not have the same rights as those living in England. Our fight for independence was based on securing individual freedom and limiting the power of central government.
Our Founding Fathers were also worried about those who seek power above all else. In the Constitution, the responsibility to enforce the laws of the land and conduct foreign policy is resides in the executive branch. The purse strings were given to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Review of laws and conformance to the Constitution was allocated to the Supreme Court.
Why? Because they feared scenarios that are being played out today. The current impeachment process is just another step in the Democratic Party’s attempt to overturn an election. The first was the failed Russian collusion theory.
So, instead of governing, the Democrats decided on the strategy of resistance. No matter how this impeachment inquiry plays out, two things are certain. One, it will fail in the Senate. And two, the Democratic leadership will have nothing to show for four years of resistance.
In the meantime, they will have to take on a sitting president who and his party can point to record low unemployment and record high employment amongst minorities; a booming economy; foreign policy successes and much more. All this in the face of incessant attacks by the Democratic Party and their allies in the media
What do the Democrats have to show for four years of resistance? Nothing.
Have they helped solve some of the country’s pressing problems? Nope.
The real verdict will not be the impeachment vote in the Senate but the results of the 2020 election.