Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Impeachment: who is making the most of it?

February 8th, 2021, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Recently I heard an excellent sermon regarding God’s permissive will, i.e. His allowing evil in the world for the greater good which can be accomplished. It struck me that, although much further down the discernment ladder, the evil associated with impeachment, the half-truths, character assassination and unjust or fabricated accusations, beg for a mindset of ‘making the most of it’ at many levels.

So, without debating any of the issues associated with the current situation unfolding in Washington DC, one might consider how the framework of expectations could influence the precedent in future cases. Though half serious and half ironic, some potential outcomes of future cases might hinge on the very precedent created in the current case.

Who is eligible to be impeached under the US Constitution?

It is quite clear that only The President of the United States can be impeached from that office. “The President,” not “a president.” Therefore, impeaching past or future presidents is not permitted. Since the present situation targets a prior president, if allowed to be pursued in the current case it opens up the opportunity (or risk) to impeach other prior presidents. Among a sampling of the opportunities which might be considered for impeachment of past-but-still-living presidents are the following examples:

  1. Impeach Barack Obama for the Benghazi disaster, for his failing as commander-in-chief to send aid and mitigate the disaster, and wanton loss of life plus the cash pile to Iran.
  2. Impeach George W. Bush for the Gulf War, for alleging what has not been verified in finding weapons of mass destruction, and for claiming an end to the conflict prematurely.
  3. Impeach Bill Clinton, not for the Monica Lewinsky affair which was already tried, but for repeal of the bank-protective Glass-Steagall Act, leading to burst bubbles, bankruptcies, bailouts and destruction of market value.
  4. Impeach Jimmy Carter for failure to recognize the risk to the American Embassy in Tehran of a diplomatic standoff, leading to imprisonment at the embassy of 52 American diplomats and citizens as hostages for 444 days without rescue. The hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, within minutes of Reagan’s being sworn into office.

The U.S. Constitution does not cover impeachment of a past president; but, if that were to change this week, it opens up the precedent and potential for impeaching the other four living presidents. Such impeachment has the opportunity to begin as soon as the Congressional elections in 2022, or sooner for Bush. The above particular situations are limited mostly to one event per term for each of the four living presidents as an example, but one can imagine separate impeachments for separate matters, and the use of 5 or 10 separate impeachments to control a president from having any productivity when the Executive Branch and Congress are in different political hands.

Impeaching dead Presidents?

While the current impeachment attempt is against the living, it is only a short jump to opening up the impeachment process to include dead presidents, in a country rife with cancel culture, creating new precedents, and making it up as they go. What seemed absurd less than a year ago is current right now. When it isn’t about justice but about rewriting history, punishing before judgment, instilling fear of reprisal, it’s all possible. No point in illustrating how it might be used; we’ll probably see it soon enough.

Impeaching yet-to-be inaugurated Presidents?

No longer seems as strange as it once did. There are always campaign promises to build up an impeachment issue, and the spying we saw last time around might get institutionalized, might it not? It will turn out to be whether or not the Constitution is followed, or changed by the brute force of ignoring it. It will be about whether America is, or isn’t.


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