Get to Work
In the August 3, 2018 version of my column in this newspaper, I wrote about impeachment. At that time, Pelosi said that impeachment would require bipartisan support. Well, here we are, two years later. And Trump has been impeached in a straight party line vote, without a single Republican vote. Not one. So much for Pelosi’s bipartisan requirement.
The late great Yogi Berra had a wonderful saying, “this is déjà vu all over again.” That’s how I felt when the Trump impeachment began in Congress. You see, this is the third presidential impeachment during my adult life. I followed each one closely.
First there was President Nixon. After winning the 1972 election with the biggest landslide in American history, he resigned the office of the presidency on August 9, 1974. More than 30 Republicans, his own party, voted to conduct the impeachment inquiry. I remember my liberal college roommate proudly telling how he snuck a camera into a House Committee hearing room and snapped a photo under the outstretched arm of a security guard. When Nixon lost the support of his own party, it was time to go, no matter how humiliating.
The chairman of the Republican National Committee then was George H. W. Bush. Yes, the future president was the top GOP official at the time. He wrote a very short note to the president and personally delivered it to the White House. He said the president should resign for the good of the country, which is exactly what Nixon did. That note has been displayed in the Bush Library in College Station, a genuine artifact from a sad period in American history.
Second, there was the Clinton impeachment. There was no disagreement about the facts of the case. Clinton lied repeatedly to a grand jury. Dozens of Democrats voted to conduct the impeachment inquiry. The only question was if “high crimes and misdemeanors” had been committed. Exactly half of the Senate, 50 senators, voted yes. But the constitution requires a 2/3 majority, so Clinton remained in office through his second term.
Along came Obama. He was caught on tape telling the Russian president that he (Obama) “would have more flexibility” in negotiations after the election. This, along with pallets of cash shipped to Iran and other serious misdeeds enraged much of middle America, myself included. At a parade in Fredericksburg, a float displayed a banner: “Dump Obama!”.
During that time, I had a private conversation with a US congressman. I asked, “why doesn’t Congress impeach Obama for his crimes?” He explained that if the GOP pursued impeachment, they figured it would tie up Congress for at least a year, and would certainly result in an acquittal in the Senate, where Democrats had more than enough votes to acquit. He very bluntly said that the GOP leadership felt there were more important things to be done for good of the country, so they didn’t intend to waste time on impeachment.
Which brings me to the third presidential impeachment of my adult life, president Trump. Obviously, the Democrat leadership has a different opinion of what is good for the country. So, without a single criminal charge, they passed the impeachment articles with 100% Democrat votes. For the good of the country? Hardly.
American voters expect Congress to work on real problems, not sham witch hunts of their political rivals. How about for the good of the country, the Democrat House get to work on government waste and overspending? There’s an idea. They need to face up to the fact that federal government spending will increase 8% next year, while taxes will increase 4%. All of this on top of an economy that is growing at 2%. You don’t need an economics PhD to see a disaster ahead.
Yet, we have Democrats who propose grandiose schemes to separate more Americans from their hard earned money. Not a word about government waste and spending, but lots of talk about increasing taxes.
The Democrat House needs to get to work on spending & waste. Need some examples? Start with the Veterans Administration. Or with border protection. Or with interstate highway construction like I-10. Or the postal service. The list goes on and on.
We the people will have something to say about this impeachment hoax at the polls in 2020. Our message: for the good of the country, get to work!
Scott S. Kramer is Chairman of the Republican Party of Kendall County.