I have to admit something that makes me highly uncomfortable: The impeachment saga involving Donald John Trump is giving me fits.
I do not know on which side of the fence to plant myself. To proceed full bore toward impeachment. Or to put impeachment on the back shelf and wait for the 2020 election to play itself out.
Trump deserves to be impeached. Of that I am certain. He asked a foreign head of state for help in his re-election effort; he sought that help while seeking to do damage to Joe Biden, a potential 2020 election opponent. Moreover, he seems to have withheld a military aid package in exchange for the help he sought from the Ukrainian president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has switched gears. She once resisted impeachment. She now has called for an “inquiry” into whether Trump should face impeachment.
Oh, the dilemma.
Does the speaker now want to risk the consequences of impeaching Trump in the House only to have the Senate acquit him?
Impeachment is a highly political process. Its aim is to remove someone from office. If one doesn’t get the boot after being impeached, then the process is deemed a failure.
Then there is this complication of embarking on an impeachment trek in the middle of an election year. How in the world does this play out?
Two presidents have been impeached already. The first one, Andrew Johnson, had inherited the office upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. There was no provision for selecting a vice president in 1868. Johnson escaped conviction by a single vote after a Senate trial. The House impeached Bill Clinton in 1998. He already had won re-election to a second term, so there was no election awaiting him. He, too, was acquitted by the Senate.
Trump is running for re-election under this storm cloud of doubt and despair.
Thus, my stomach is turning. My head is spinning.
I support impeachment at one level because Donald Trump has violated his oath of office. Then again, my more cautious side compels me to believe it might be wiser to defeat this con artist/flim-flammer/fraud at the ballot box in November 2020. If he loses, then pursue criminal charges against him after he leaves office. If he wins, dust off the impeachment portfolio of evidence and go full bore yet again.
I hate this story and the agony it is causing. I only can imagine what it must be doing to the principals.