Posted Jan 21, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

It has been a virtual certainty from day one that the Republican-led Senate would not vote to remove President Trump. And many political pundits would agree that the House’s vote to impeach Trump, led by the Democrats, will only make him stronger. Why, then, proceed with such a suicidal political mission?

I’m sure there are some principled politicians in the House who genuinely believe that Trump is a danger to America and that he has committed crimes worthy of impeachment. In that case, they would be conscience-bound to vote for impeachment, even if they knew that Trump would not be removed and even if they knew their vote would only empower him all the more.

But I seriously doubt that many other Congressmen operate with such pure, non-partisan motives. For most of them, every vote is calculated. Will this help my reelection chances? Will this empower our party? Will this serve our larger goals?

Lest anyone be so idealistic as to doubt the highly partisan nature of our political system, just look at the latest polling data on the FiveThirtyEight website.

As of January 20, 86.3 percent of Democrats support impeaching the president in contrast with just 12.6% of Republicans. Hardly an even split.

And while Trump’s current approval rating is 44 percent, according to Gallup, “Forty-six percent of Americans say they would like their senators to vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, while 51% want their senators to vote against conviction so Trump will remain as president.”

So, efforts to remove the president from office are less popular than the president himself.

Why is it, then, that the Democrats have been so hell-bent on impeaching Trump, even before his inauguration? Why did they jump at the opportunity of exploiting the Ukraine call based on partial, second-hand evidence (at best)?

On December 4, 2019, the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times announced: “Letters to the Editor: Democrats wanted Trump impeached from the start because he deserved it.”

In contrast, on December 18, 2019, the Opinion section of Fox News carried an article by Matt Wolking titled, “Impeachment is based on Democrats’ hatred of Trump and anger at his election.”

Is it that simple? Has the Democrats’ intense hatred of the president impaired their judgment?

On February 11, 1999, one day before President Clinton was acquitted, Senator Charles Schumer outlined his reasons for opposing the impeachment process, focusing on the painful toll it had taken on the nation.

As the New York Post reported, Schumer’s words from 20 years ago are coming back to bite him today.

He wrote, “If you had asked me one year ago if people like this with such obvious political motives could use our courts, play the media and tantalize the legislative branch to achieve their ends of bringing down the President, I would have said ‘not a chance — that doesn’t happen in America.’”

He also said this: “It seems we have lost the ability to forcefully advocate for our position without trying to criminalize or at least dishonor our adversaries — often over matters having nothing to do with the public trust. And it is hurting the country; it is marginalizing and polarizing the Congress.”

And while Schumer closed his passionate letter with a call for unity between the parties, he also wrote this: “It has shaken me that we stand at the brink of removing a President — not because of a popular groundswell to remove him and not because of the magnitude of the wrongs he’s committed — but because conditions in late 20th century America has made it possible for a small group of people who hate Bill Clinton and hate his policies to very cleverly and very doggedly exploit the institutions of freedom that we hold dear and almost succeed in undoing him.”

Note that operative word: hate.

That seems to be the operative word today.

President Trump’s political opponents hate him with such passion that, even if their impeachment efforts are suicidal from a political perspective, they can do no other. At the least, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi said on the Bill Maher show, addressing Trump, “You are impeached forever.”

Again, I’m sure there are elected officials who truly feel they are acting rightly and that Trump is a disgrace to the White House and a danger to America. And, as always, I’m neither minimizing nor whitewashing the president’s failures and faults.

But when it comes to the “why” behind the impeachment process, it reminds me of the fable of the scorpion and the frog.

As the story goes, “A scorpion, which cannot swim, asks a frog to carry it across a river on the frog's back. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung by the scorpion, but the scorpion argues that if it did that, they would both drown. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung the frog despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: ‘I couldn't help it. It's in my nature.’”

Enough said.

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Nevermind posted a comment · Feb 03, 2020
Ahhh on nature of the Scorpion and if happening to an second frog reminds me of the original fall of Adam and Eve to the signatures timing in one of y(our) gospels of Jesus' last words it is finished...of when law should prevail for the stupid-stupid-stupid frogs due to lack of their understanding keep it up math wise on extinction,there's zero
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Nevermind posted a comment · Feb 03, 2020
Ahhh on nature of the Scorpion and if happening to an second frog reminds me of the original fall of Adam and Eve to the signatures timing in one of y(our) gospels of Jesus' last words it is finished...of when law should prevail for the stupid-stupid-stupid frogs due to lack of their understanding keep it up math wise on extinction,there's zero
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johnbag603 posted a comment · Jan 24, 2020
I have heard the testimony and none of it is evidence of wrong doing by the President. The only fact put forth was that President Trump did not want any quid pro quo. I am an attorney well versed in the Constitution and what has happened is that the Dems have committed treason against the Constitution and every citizen in this country. They voted for two articles of impeachment without any evidence of wrong doing. It was a conspiracy with former Obama officials and traitors in the White House along with Congressional Dems to reverse the 2016 elections. The Swamp is large and it will several years to weaken it.
Rozdean posted a comment · Jan 24, 2020
I wouldn't want to be against Israel nor our President. If God be for them who would dare to be against them. I can tell there aren't may Bible students out there. Through your stones. They sure do hurt when they come back at cha.
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words2yz posted a comment · Jan 24, 2020
Just who are the 44% who still approve of Trump ?? They can't be evangelicals. Trump doesn't have a Christian bone in his nature !!!
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Jan 23, 2020
Fable, Schmable. This president is a criminal. Period.
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Kenneth Greifer posted a comment · Jan 21, 2020
Carl Staton, You said that the Senate should not have witnesses testify because the House did not allow witnesses for the defense to testify. I think at first the House was doing their investigation, so it wasn't a trial where you have people cross-examine witnesses or where you bring in witnesses for each side. The House is like the police or prosecutor who investigates looking for a crime, but the Senate is the place for the trial if a president is charged with doing something wrong. Then you bring in witnesses for each side and evidence and lawyers cross-examine witnesses, etc. Trump refused to allow anyone from the executive branch to testify or to even give any documents to the House. If he felt innocent, he could have happily sent all of his top people to testify in his defense, but he didn't. He fought every subpoena for witnesses and documents. Actually, I believe that the House invited Trump to send lawyers to participate and question witnesses at some point, but he said no. He refused to participate and he refused to cooperate with the House totally.
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Carl Staton posted a comment · Jan 21, 2020
I don't disagree with your article but I do disagree with a portion of your commentary on Tuesday's (Jan 21st) Line of Fire broadcast. You seemed to indicate that Republicans are equally as partisan as the Democrats. I strongly disagree. I am an Independent and I remember when it comes to substance Pres. Obama had done much more impeachable offenses than Pres. Trump has and there was not a great swell of hatred by Republican lawmakers and their constituents as it is now with Democrat lawmakers and their constituents. Where were the nationwide marches? Where was the mass bias by the media? Where were the constant threat of physical violence by the Hollywood elites? One impeachable offense that I had gotten me caught up in Obama's net was how he weaponized the IRS. I was a member of the Susan B. Anthony List and I was audited 3 times in less than a year and half along with many others who belonged to conservative groups. Yes, both sides are equally partisan. But, no, both sides don't generate the same degree and measure of hatred which is evidence in their words and actions. Who attacked the Congressional baseball game? And, no, I don't believe their should be witnesses in the Senate Impeachment hearings because it was necessary for the House to have allowed witnesses for the defense BEFORE they sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate.