The “I-word” might be gaining some traction among rank-and-file Americans who profess worry — even fear — of Donald J. Trump.
Democratic Party officials are issuing a wise word of caution. Avoid the rush toward an impeachment of the president of the United States.
I happen to agree with the Democratic Party elders/wise folks.
Impeachment is a serious matter. It’s only occurred twice in the 228-year history of the Republic. The 17th president, Andrew Johnson, came within a single vote in the Senate of being tossed out; the 42nd president, Bill Clinton, was acquitted by healthier margins on all three counts heard during his Senate trial. A third president, Richard Nixon, was on the verge of being impeached before he resigned in disgrace in 1974.
Trump has stirred plenty of enmity during his single month in office. To suggest that he ought to be impeached is at best far too premature an act to even consider; at worst, well, it might be a fool’s errand.
As Politico reports: “’We need to assemble all of the facts, and right now there are a lot of questions about the president’s personal, financial and political ties with the Russian government before the election, but also whether there were any assurances made,’ said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. ‘Before you can use the ‘I’ word, you really need to collect all the facts.’
“’The ‘I’ word we should be focused on,’ added Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle, ‘is ‘investigations.'”
I happen to share the concerns of many of my fellow Americans about the questions that are looming large over the Trump administration. So soon after the president’s inauguration, Americans would be wise to give the guy some time to clear out some of the wreckage he has brought upon himself and his administration.
I want to offer a slightly conciliatory word here. Trump became president with zero experience in government. He hadn’t spent a single moment of his life in public service until he placed his hand on the Bible and took the oath of office of the presidency.
It might be too much to ask that a zillionaire businessman/TV celebrity could know all the nuance and complexity of forming a government as massive as the one he now commands.
He has made some remarkable missteps in just a few weeks on the job. He has said some amazingly stupid things and made some ridiculous gestures. Are any of them impeachable? No.
But he’s got this personal enrichment matter he must clear up. That “emoluments clause” that bars presidents from profiting from relationships with foreign governments is pretty clear. The president hasn’t done nearly enough to clear himself of that mess.
He had better get busy.
The fired-up grass roots Americans who are hell bent on impeaching the president had best listen to the political elders who know about these matters.
Their advice? Cool it.