As President Donald J. Trump was impeached Wednesday for a second time within two years, it appears political games continued to be played in Washington, making the whole process absurd.
I agree that there’s no question the president committed an impeachable offense when he riled up supporters and encouraged what became a deadly riot at our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6. And if he had more than just a few days left in office, I could see where impeachment would be necessary.
But what does impeachment accomplish now?
Trump is literally in the process of moving out of the White House as President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in less than five days.
I’m afraid it’s all about political games and the “big picture.”
Through this impeachment and conviction process, Democrats will have a chance to not only put another stain on the Trump presidential legacy, but they can also bar him from ever running for an elected office again.
Still think I’m wrong about it being a political game? How about this: Why did House Majority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., give Vice President Mike Pence the opportunity to invoke the 25th Amendment to deem Trump unfit for office and have him removed?
Why didn’t the House just start the impeachment process sooner and potentially see a Senate trial be held before Biden takes office?
Because Democrats can use Pence’s refusal against him, should he try to make a run for the White House in four years.
I can just hear the attack ads now: “Pence chose to keep a ‘dangerous’ and ‘unfit’ Trump in office, refusing to invoke the 25th Amendment as requested by Congress. Pence can’t be trusted.”
But it isn’t just Democrats I see playing games. Republicans are obviously playing, too.
Before the House vote, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s camp leaked to reporters that the senator favored the president’s impeachment — a far cry from his stance just more than one year ago. According to reports from CNN, “McConnell thinks the Republican Party needs a clean break to move ahead.” But almost immediately after the impeachment vote, McConnell said a trial won’t happen until after Jan. 19. By then, Democrats will likely have control of the Senate, so it sounds like there’s one of two things happening here: either he, too, is playing games or he’s basically trying to keep any proverbial blood off his hands.
And just when you thought Republicans were out of moves, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said she plans to file articles of impeachment against Biden on his first day in office.
What a joke.
It’s clear that Congress’ prerogative over the last four years has been to get Trump out of office at all costs.
Well, Congress, the American people did it for you Nov. 3. Biden will take office Jan. 20 and Trump will be long gone from Washington.
So why can’t you, Congress, just put the games away? Why can’t you focus on truly important things like, oh, I don’t know, a COVID-19 relief bill that does more than put a lousy $600 in the pocket of Americans? I mean, did that package truly help anyone besides the dozens of foreign nations that received millions of dollars? A measly $600 can’t even pay half of the average American’s housing expenses for one month; forget about food and health care costs. All it did was increase our country’s already insurmountable debt by giving another Christmas bonus to the more than 90% of Americans who are employed and not giving enough to the ones who need it most.
Imagine if Congress’ efforts we’ve seen to impeach Trump were mirrored in more important matters that directly impact the American people; what kind of progress could we truly make in this country — in a time when so many are hurting?
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is watching the U.S. and likely laughing to tears.
Our nation’s leaders, including Biden, have talked endlessly of the need for unity and healing. Impeaching Trump doesn’t do anything to help that, and in reality, I think it could make things worse.
As the Capitol incident continues being investigated, the FBI has sent out multiple warnings of potential riotous protests by people claiming to be Trump supporters that could occur between now and Biden’s inauguration in different parts of the country. This impeachment could, unfortunately, be like throwing gasoline onto what I’d call an already raging fire, and that, as we all know, is not to be played with.
Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The Covington News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.