Impeachment not to be taken lightly

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Impeachment not to be taken lightly

Opinion Columnist Colin Horning says that the recent impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump should not be taken lightly.

Opinion Columnist Colin Horning says that the recent impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump should not be taken lightly.

TNS

Opinion Columnist Colin Horning says that the recent impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump should not be taken lightly.

TNS

TNS

Opinion Columnist Colin Horning says that the recent impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump should not be taken lightly.

COLIN HORNING, Opinion Columnist

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The topic of impeachment has been circling the news cycle over the last few weeks due to a phone call in which President Donald Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding relations between the two nations and the investigation of 2020 presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s work with a Ukrainian gas company. After much scrutiny and pressure on behalf of the Democrats and the political left, the White House eventually released a transcript of the conversation between the two leaders, only to reveal that there was no crime committed by the President of the United States.

However, the left continues to push the issue of impeachment, a Constitutional process that is certainly not to be taken lightly. But don’t just take my word for it: ask current House and Senate Democrats how they felt about the process during the 1998 impeachment hearings against then-President Bill Clinton. Current House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler called impeachment “an undoing of a national election” and that “they are telling us that our votes don’t count and the election must be set aside” back in 1998. Then-Congressman and current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that “history will show that we have lowered the bar on impeachment so much. We have broken the seal on this extreme penalty, so cavalierly, that it will be used as a routine tool to fight political battles.” And Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California claimed that Republicans at the time were “driven by such hatred and dislike of this president” as the only way to explain their motivations for wanting to impeach President Clinton.

All of these quotes are accurately descriptive of current House Democrats today. Rather than focusing on issues that are geared to improve the quality of life of American citizens (as should be the objective of government itself), the current House of Representatives are dead-set on simply removing President Trump (a democratically-elected president) from office because they have hostility and hatred against him.

This is a dangerous game to play for the Democrats (and some Republicans) in Congress. The 2018 midterm elections were no doubt good for the Democrats, as they had a net gain of 41 House seats and flipped the majority from red to blue. As is typical in a midterm election, the party currently holding the White House usually sees their majority in the House or Senate dwindle or go as a result of independent voters seeing negative results or due to motivation from the opposing party to regain power in some sort. Many of these House seats were flipped by in large part for these reasons: swing voters who put the Republicans in the House in previous elections felt that these same politicians were not doing the things they wanted them to do, so in turn the people voted them out. This will likely be the case for Democrats in the House if they keep relentlessly pushing for impeachment for essentially no reason. Should the Democrat majority actually move forward with impeachment and use their simple majority to vote to remove Trump, it will only backfire in the 2020 election.

Even if the House votes to impeach him, the Republican-majority Senate will definitely not, especially since the Senate requires a two-thirds vote to remove a sitting President following a formal trial. What this would do, however, is motivate Republican voters to storm to the polls in droves in 2020 in a retaliation against the Democrats. It would also likely alienate many swing voters who went Democrat in 2018, because many of these voters did not vote Democrat for the sole purpose of impeaching the President.

One can look as recently as 21 years ago to see this happen. Republicans back in 1998 thought that the impeachment of President Clinton would motivate their base in the midterms, only to find that Democrat turnout would be much higher, resulting in a loss of eleven Republican seats in the House, as well as no gains in the Senate. It would be the first time since 1934 that the non-presidential party would fail to gain any seats in either chamber of Congress in a midterm election, and the first time since 1822 that the non-presidential party failed to gain Congressional seats in the second term of the president.

If the Democrats feel that impeachment against a democratically-elected president is the best way to utilize their majority in the House of Representatives, then so be it. But as history shows, it will likely wind up backfiring against them in future elections.

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