The Idiocracy and Impeachment
Charles Pierce is an idiot, and so is Esquire magazine, which just published an article from him entitled, “Impeachment Is the Republicans’ Latest Boogeyman for the 2018 Elections.”
The lead sentence in this article is: “I can’t name a single Democratic candidate who is running specifically on this issue.” In that case, Mr. Pierce has apparently not been paying attention to the Senate race in Texas, where Congressman Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate slated to oppose incumbent Ted Cruz, has told The Texas Tribune that he favored impeaching Trump way back in August of 2017. Just to make sure that no one missed it, he repeated the statement again today as reported on TheHill.com.
If Mr. Pierce had bothered to Google the idea of candidates speaking up about impeaching Trump as part of their campaign platform, he would have found a December, 2017 article in Politico, in which California Democratic Congressman Jarred Huffman was reported as favoring Trump’s impeachment. Huffman is of course running for re-election as a Democrat.
Other Democrats who have uttered the word impeachment have included Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a Democratic incumbent, California congresswoman Maxine Waters, who is running for re-election, and representatives Pramila Jayapa, of Washington State, and Al Green, of Texas. That’s six right there.
I don’t actually know who Mr. Pierce is, but he is certainly not what I would consider a reliable source, since he obviously isn’t. In the space of ten minutes, I identified six incumbent who are openly supporting the impeachment of Donald Trump, and that doesn’t include Democrat-in-all-but-name Angus King, who is running for re-election to the Senate from Maine.
On the other hand, there’s also another voice in the wilderness, Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough tweeted out on February 11th, that the Democratic party should take campaign funding away from any Democratic candidate who mentions the word “impeachment,” according to another article in The Hill. Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, has obviously forgotten two key facts: the Democratic National Committee is notoriously stingy about providing financial support for congressional candidates and most of those candidates have their own, quite substantial campaign war chests to draw from.
Nevertheless, we have to ask what’s going on here? Why is Scarborough warning Democrats not to talk about impeachment? The tweet doesn’t say. I tried to reach him for comment but he doesn’t take my calls any more. Come to think of it, he never did. I can understand why the former Republican, who helped Trump to win, would not want to see his friendly enemy impeached (since Trump is now his very best punching bag), but why are so many Democrats so shy about uttering the word impeachment?
The short answer is that they fear a widespread and public movement to run for congressional seats on an impeachment platform would have the opposite effect of hardening Republican support for candidates pledged to Trump, which is the old Republican “circle the wagons” technique, otherwise known as Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shall not speak ill of thy fellow Republicans,” a maxim he sometimes forgot himself.
That is, however, too facile an answer, too obvious. The more substantial answer is that (a) the Democrats have only a very faint chance of gaining control of the House and (b) absolutely no chance of gaining the two-thirds majority in the Senate that is required to convict an impeached president and therefore face the prospect of inevitably disappointing an electorate that is seething for immediate action.
We all know this by now: The House can impeach a president with a simple majority vote, but it requires two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict.
Here’s the problem: it is mathematically impossible for the Democrats to gain a two-thirds majority in the Senate this November. Even if they hold onto every one of their seats that is coming up in the next election (which they probably won’t, with Missouri and Florida both up for grabs) and capture every one of the Republican seats that are up for renewal, the Democrats would still fall short of the two-thirds majority in the Senate. There are 35 seats up for grabs, including special elections in Minnesota and Mississippi. Nine of those seats belong to Republicans. If the Democrats won all 35 races, that would represent a net increase of those same nine seats. Add those nine seats to the 49 seat currently held by Democrats and Democratic allies Bernie Sanders and Angus King, and you get 58 seats. They need 67 seats to convict Trump.
In other words, there is no way that the Democrats can deliver on a promise to impeach Trump without the convivence of nine more Republicans, each of whom would be committing political — and perhaps actual — suicide if they were to vote to impeach Trump.
It gets even worse. Even if the Democrats win statistical control of both houses of Congress, there is no way that they could override Trump’s vetoes since that requires a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress and there is no precedent for such a landslide in the House, and it isn’t even possible in the Senate this year.
This leaves us in legislative deadlock, and it also leaves us unable to overturn Trump’s executive orders, leaving us vulnerable to government by fiat, which is what has been happening.
But, wait. There’s more.
While we are all focused on this bullshit, the Republican party is quietly closing in on their real goal: a constitutional convention. Knowing that they will never have the two-thirds majorities required to propose individual Constitutional amendments through the legislative process, Republicans have their hearts set upon calling a Constitutional Convention, which requires a simple majority vote in both houses of 38 state legislatures.
The Republican party currently controls both houses in 28 to 34 state legislatures. (Estimates vary from source to source) This year, they are pushing to gain control of the legislatures in another eight states. They could succeed in all eight.
Once they cross that threshold, the Republicans will be in a position to COMPLETELY REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION AS THEY SEE FIT.
This has been their long-term agenda for more 40 years. They have been telling their constituencies not to worry, because the convention can only consider the amendments they are empowered to consider. This is a blatant lie. There are no limits on the powers of a Constitutional convention.
So, while the Democratic party obsesses over impeachment, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders and why Hillary lost, the Republicans are quietly mounting a revolution that will forever change the American landscape…and most of us are not going to like living there.
What was that you said? The Supreme Court will protect us? By the time this scenario comes to fruition, Trump will have named at least one and possibly two Justices to the Court, but that doesn’t matter because the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over a Constitutional Convention.
This has happened before. The states convened a constitutional convention in 1787 to fix some of the problems with the Articles of Confederation. Two years later, the Convention presented the nation with an entirely new Constitution, having completely exceeded their authority and creating a whole new system of government from whole cloth. The states ratified it, and that’s the Constitution we are living under today.
The problem is that the men who wrote the 1789 constitution were men of intelligence, foresight, forbearance and — let’s face it — a kind of genius for compromise that simply doesn’t exist in America today, where we are being governed by the village idiots and their moronic offspring.
There are several different constitutional convention organizing efforts going on within the Republican party. One them, the Balanced Budget Amendment, already has 28 states signed on, which means that both houses of the state legislature have endorsed the call for a constitutional convention. The resolutions they voted upon do not limit the convention to considering a balanced budget. Here are those states:
This year, the Balanced Budget amendment people are targeting eight states:
As you can see, SIX of these eight states already have Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature. In Maine, the three third party legislators may very well vote for the convention, which means the Republicans only have to pick up ONE Democratic seat in the state House of Representatives to gain control of the state. In Washington State, which is supposed to be a Democratic stronghold, all they need is two seats in the House to claim victory.
This gives them 36 out of the 38 states they need. That’s cutting it very close. Other estimates put them at 38 states after November. One more thing: once a state has voted for the constitutional convention, that vote remains valid until it is rescinded by another joint resolution. Joint resolutions do not require gubernatorial approval.
If you don’t like this scenario, if you think the Constitution we have now is sacrosanct, act accordingly. Vote for every Democrat you can in your local legislative races. Work for those people. Get out the vote. Do this not because the Democrats are better than the Republicans,but simply because they aren’t Republicans and they simply can’t do as much harm as the Republicans will….