Democrats and their media glove puppets, along with many others on the American left, have a habit of invoking America’s founding documents when it suits them. On Thursday, Dec. 5, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did so once more in an entirely disingenuous attempt to justify her call for articles of impeachment to be drawn up against President Donald Trump.
In her preamble, Pelosi quoted the opening statement of the Declaration of Independence, saying: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another … ” This was curiously inappropriate since that statement specifically refers to one group of people separating themselves from another group. It may be a good argument for secession but not for attempting to remove from office a president with whom the speaker disagrees.
Guardians of the Constitution?
This type of fuzzy history is normal for leftists, though. After all, they spend most of their time criticizing, trivializing, and demonizing the founding documents and the men who wrote them. A quick internet search for examples of criticisms of the Founding Fathers produces an extensive list of examples. Here are but a few:
The New York Times, June 5, 2005 – “Forget the Founding Fathers.” The article begins: “The founding fathers were paranoid hypocrites and ungrateful malcontents. What is their cherished Declaration of Independence but empty political posturing?” There are no history majors at The Times, it appears.
Time, October 18, 2018 – “Best-Selling Historian Joseph J. Ellis Explains What the Founding Fathers Got Wrong.” The New Yorker, December 9, 2013 – “Our Broken Constitution.”
In fact, for years – for decades, more accurately – American leftists have been denouncing the Founding Fathers as a bunch of old, white, racist slave-owners and the Constitution as a flawed and outdated piece of parchment. They have argued against the rights protected by both the First and Second Amendments. They have expressed their disdain for the very idea of the constitutional republic. That any Democrat or Democratic Party supporter has the gall to invoke the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the words of the Founding Fathers to support any position is both baffling and insulting.
Throughout the impeachment inquiries, Democrats have ad nauseam invoked the Constitution as if they are the ultimate and most faithful guardians of that sacred document. Raise the question of freedom of religion, though, or freedom of speech or the right to keep and bear arms – all guaranteed by the Constitution – and those same Democrats immediately disregard their purported passion for the nation’s founding principles.
Implications for 2020
That obscene hypocrisy aside, the real focus is on what the impeachment of President Trump means for 2020. Significantly – and assuming the House of Representatives votes to impeach the president, which is likely but by no means certain – this will be the first time in American history that a duly-elected president will run for re-election, having been impeached.
Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson became president. Johnson was Lincoln’s second-term vice president but he was also a Democrat, having run with the Republican Lincoln on a national unity ticket. Johnson was impeached in 1868 but narrowly survived the Senate trial when seven Republicans voted with the Democrats to acquit. Interestingly, one of those Republicans, James Grimes of Iowa, later said: “I cannot agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an Unacceptable President.”
President Richard Nixon – who would almost certainly have been impeached had he not resigned from office – was already into his second term when the Watergate scandal brought him down. Likewise, President Bill Clinton faced impeachment during his second term. Like Johnson, he was impeached and then acquitted in the Senate.
Democrats, therefore, are on dangerous ground: Many Americans will find it hard to discount the suspicion that, by impeaching Trump, the opposition party is attempting to deprive the president of the opportunity to run for a second term – which, in reality, is exactly what it is doing.
An additional complication is that a lot of people who pay little attention to politics equate impeachment with removal from office. For example, it is not hard – even today – to find people who do not think Bill Clinton was impeached. So, if the House impeaches Trump and Democrats attempt, during the 2020 election campaign, to use impeachment against him, some Americans will be asking the question: Why are Democrats claiming Trump was impeached when he is still the president and still running for re-election?
The radical, Trump-hating faction of the Democratic Party base will at least be satisfied that the president was impeached and will, no doubt, be incensed that the Senate acquitted him – which is as near to certain as any prediction of future events can be.
The majority of independents, though, are likely to draw the conclusion that the entire impeachment effort was purely political, even if they are inclined to believe that Trump’s conduct warranted it. Meanwhile, conservatives – for the most part – will be inflamed that the Democrats attempted to deny them the right to vote for Trump in 2020 and turnout for the president on election day, then, may well be greatly boosted by his impeachment.
Whichever way one slices and dices it, there appears to be no positive outcome for Democrats. No amount of wrapping their motives in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence is likely to change that.
Read more from Graham J Noble.