David Dougherty’s recent commentary, “Impeaching Trump (again) is a bad idea” (Jan. 11), suggests that even the first impeachment was a bad idea. Mr. Dougherty concedes, “What [Trump] did rose to the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ requirement of the Constitution, and the Mueller Report contains stronger reasons to impeach….” Now, Mr. Dougherty suggests the same is true of the latest impeachment effort and states his objection to both impeachments is, “pragmatism based on simple arithmetic.” Because the Constitution requires that two-thirds of the senators vote to convict and it has always been clear Republican senators will block conviction, it’s a bad idea.
But Mr. Dougherty, whether he realizes it or not, continues in his op-ed to explain exactly why impeachment was and is appropriate. First, as Mr. Dougherty states, “If convicted, Mr. Trump could be barred from any future federal office and some lifetime perks.” Making a statement through impeachment, whether Republicans block it or not, gives testimony that there are those in this country who believe no one is above the law and that everyone should be accountable for their actions
Secondly, Mr. Dougherty states, “With his history of paranoia and narcissism, and his becoming increasingly bereft of sycophants, it’s hard to imagine what mischief Mr. Trump is capable of in the next few days.” Knowing our president may at any moment, because of his instability, become a clear and present danger to our country is reason enough to remove him.
Lastly, Mr. Dougherty states, “equally concerning are the ways in which the insurrectionists who participated in and backed the Capitol invasion will respond …. a second impeachment is likely to add fuel to the fire of revolution that’s been simmering, and flaring up, over the past four years.” Failure to draw the line earlier has caused the problem today.
The rule of law, the Constitution, the presidential oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and the fact that President Donald Trump has violated laws, committed numerous impeachable offenses and incited insurrection seem to have no place in Mr. Dougherty’s reasoning.
If no one is above the law, if the Constitution is more than a piece of paper, if a presidential oath of office has any meaning, then holding the president accountable for his actions should be the duty of every member of the House and Senate and should be supported by every citizen who actually believes in the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. If the Republican Party and Mr. Dougherty want to be on the wrong side of history, so be it. I want to stand with those who are making an effort to stop an insurrection that is jeopardizing our democracy.
Kenneth Buck, Woodstock
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