First, a little Q&A:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Monday that Democrats, in pursuing impeachment against Trump, were being “sore winners” and said there were not enough Republicans who would vote to convict him.“Why are we doing this?” he added.
A: For the same reason we customarily arrest lawbreakers in this country, and then try and also punish them for breaking the laws that they broke.
Because we’re a nation of laws. Because we believe in obeying the laws we spend so much time and effort to pass. Because if we don’t, then our laws mean nothing, and nobody has to obey any laws, rendering laws quaint and optional, or at least optional for corrupt people who are powerful enough to get away with disregarding them.
Okay, you ask, but is "impeaching" a president really the same as punishing someone for "lawbreaking"?
You're right, it's not exactly the same, but we do impeach for committing "high crimes and misdemeanors", so let's just say, as the old saying goes, it's "close enough for government work."
And if going big and launching an attack on your own country is not enough to remove you from office, we probably need to devise some other way of dissuading presidents from doing that sort of thing.
And the good news, we already have!
Since he'll already be out of town when the Senate convicts him, we can just vote to prohibit his holding any federal position in the future, which is the part that really matters anyway. If we can't even achieve that, then what's the point of calling ourselves "self-governing"?
In short, if presidents can just break the law, knowing that if they fail, they can always just argue that we should let bygones be bygones, future presidents will be incentivized to do the same, without consequences.
And THAT'S why we're doing this — and thanks for asking, Ron!
One could also ask of those who will vote against conviction, “Why are we NOT doing this?”
And the answer, for them, could easily be, “Because we, as Republicans, can get away with NOT doing this?”
Because, let’s face it, whether an illegal act is impeachable or not is a matter of opinion. Yes, it’s pretty indisputable that Trump did do what he is accused of doing, but whether there’s anything wrong with a president doing that is a matter of personal opinion, and if I decide there’s nothing wrong with doing it, nobody can deny me my opinion.
And just as I might decide to see nothing impeachable about a president extorting an international ally to do him political favors, even putting that country at risk of being overrun by a mutual enemy, nobody can tell me that I need to believe that that same chief executive sending a lynch mob — made up of personal followers of his — to intimidate the legislative branch into illegally counting votes to keep him in office, then who’s to tell me I can’t?
After all, voting my opinion about somebody's unlawful behavior doesn’t break any law in itself! In fact, the last I heard, jury nullification is legal in this country!
Or to look at the big picture, which is more important to preserve here, the continued existence of the Constitution and the country it defines, or the continued existence of the Republican party? Those senators who choose to acquit the president in this case will be choosing the latter. After all, why even have a democracy if it continually allows the wrong people to get into power?
Did Biden and the Democrats win by use of fraudulent voting practices?
But in fact, that misses the point. Whether they did or they didn’t, we can’t continue to allow our country to be handed over to the socialists and antifa and police-defunders and black-lives-matter crowd! Which is another way of asking, What’s the point of having a democracy if the opposition party sometimes gets its way?
After all, as I’ve heard it said somewhere by people who sound like they know what they’re talking about, the United States of America was not created by the founders to be a democracy; we were supposed to be a Republic!
(Whatever the hell that means.)
But the point here is, my country, imperfect as it is, is expendable, while my party is not.
To put that another way, we can always scrap the country and start a new one, but this time, we can make sure it’s founded on the right principles, which...
** ensure it be a Christian nation (or maybe it needs to be a “Judaic” Christian one, since otherwise that “Second Coming of Christ” thing won’t work?),
** managed by the people of the race of the original founders,
** with certain select citizens imbued with the God-given right to bear whatever arms they themselves feel comfortable with,
** (but with nobody keeping an actual list of who bears what arms,)
** and with other obviously inalienable basic principles to be named at a later date as we become aware of them,
** and all elections that come out the wrong way to be immediately overruled as fraudulent, with neither fuss nor bother,
** and all winners of rigged elections to be replaced by those of the people’s real choice.
Although I suppose there’s a chance Trump’s Republican defenders in the Senate — who also defend the "January 6th Thugs", it might be presumed — haven’t carried their reasoning out that far.
In fact, I’d be curious to hear what the current state of their thinking is, if any.