America's political slide is set to continue

It’s hardly a secret that American politics is circling the drain, but it appears that we’re set to descend further into the gutter after the November mid-terms.

Democrats have made it clear that their first order of business, if they retake the House of Representatives, will be to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump. Today, the chief proponent of impeachment — Congressman Al Green, D-Houston — made it clear that he isn’t backing away from the idea. Appearing on C-Span, Green pointed out that he will likely re-introduce (for the third time) articles of impeachment if Democrats win a majority in November, even without the backing of Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi.

This comes several days after Green tweeted that as long as Trump is president, the idea of impeachment is on the table.

The question is why Green feels that impeachment is necessary. If there are constitutional grounds for impeachment, okay. But, to date, Green hasn’t really suggested that. Here’s what he has suggested, according to the running list on Grabien:

• For banning transgenders from serving in the military (Oct. 11)

• For saying NFL athletes should stand for the national anthem (Oct. 19)

• For being an “inciter” of “hatred,” for inciting “bigotry,” for promoting “xenophobia” and for being an “inciter” of “ethnocentrism” (Nov. 8)

• For saying some countries are “shitholes” (Jan. 14)

When it comes to Loony Reasons to Impeach the President, Rep. Green is surpassed only by Congresswoman Maxine Walters (D-Los Angeles), who has suggested the president be impeached for name-calling, for not being respectful, for the Access Hollywood tape that far predated his presidency, for his mocking of a disabled journalist that predated his presidency, and for being “unworthy” and “despicable.”

I’ll give Walters credit on the last point. Trump is a despicable person, and in my book that makes him unworthy of the presidency (though he’s not done a bad job from a policy standpoint).

But those aren’t reasons for impeachment.

There were plenty who argued that Republicans were wrong for impeaching Bill Clinton 19 years ago, and their points are obviously valid. But at least there were actual constitutional issues at play there. Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Prior to that, no one took impeachment threats seriously . . . unless impeachment was, you know, warranted — as was the case with Richard Nixon. Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez introduced articles of impeachment against Ronald Reagan after the Iran-Contra scandal, and against George H.W. Bush after the start of the Gulf War, but his efforts were mostly just laughed at.

Things have heated up in recent years. George W. Bush was the subject of frequent impeachment talks, though none of them went anywhere. Then, not to be outdone, Republicans turned the tables on Barack Obama. While Congressman Walter B. Jones got nowhere in 2012 with his impeachment effort related to the CIA’s drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the House Judiciary Committee took up more serious impeachment talks in December 2013, with members of the GOP claiming that he had not done his duty. Fortunately, there were level-headed Republicans in Congress to squelch the talks, but there were plenty of conservative voters who were constantly screeching “impeach! Impeach!”

Fast-forward to Trump’s election, and Democrats were clamoring for impeachment within weeks. Articles of impeachment have already been introduced twice, and it now appears that a not-insignificant number of Democrats are chomping at the bit to try again after the November mid-terms.

It’s insanity, without an apparent end. You cannot impeach a president simply because you do not like them or their policy ideas. The notion that we’re bogging down our nation’s business with talks of impeachment is foolish, and a waste of the taxpayer dollars that are lining the banks accounts of these men and women in Congress.

But apparently this is the new norm in American politics: if a Republican is in office, the Democrats are supposed to bang the drums of impeachment; if a Democrat is in office, it’s the Republicans’ turn.

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