Republicans Should Tread Lightly On Impeachment

You may have heard about the Christianity Today editorial written that has ruffled a few feathers. I thought it was a well-written piece that doesn’t come across as harsh, but it doesn’t pull any punches. In short, the editorial board supports the removal of President Donald Trump by either impeachment or by the public during the 2020 election cycle.

I don’t know the President’s heart. He professes to be a Christian even though the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy piece, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) seem to be a bit light from what we can tell from his public persona.

That editorial has certainly caused a backlash from some evangelical leaders. Rev. Franklin Graham rebuked the editorial and said that his late father knew, believed in, and voted for President Trump. Dr. James Dobson also bucked the editorial with a seemingly absurd comment in a personal statement:

The editors didn’t tell us who should take his place in the aftermath.

By the way, after Christianity Today has helped vacate the Oval Office, I hope they will tell us if their candidate to replace Mr. Trump will fight for religious liberty and the Bill of Rights? Give your readers a little more clarity on why President Trump should be turned out of office after being duly elected by 63 million voters? Is it really because he made a phone call that displeased you? There must be more to your argument than that. While Christianity Today is making its case for impeachment, I hope the editors will now tell us who they support for president among the Democrat field. That should tell us the rest of the story.”

Dr. Dobson should be reminded that Vice President Mike Pence would become president if President Trump was convicted and removed by the US Senate. Actually, this would probably do more to advance the goals of the evangelical base than it is to have a cultish devotion to Trump, but a narcissist has a way of manipulating people to advance their goals.

And that manipulation and self-interest is really what’s at the crux of the impeachment argument. Did President Trump abuse his power to try to withhold funds appropriated by Congress to advance his own self interest (i.e., benefit his re-election bid)? The President has a good amount of latitude when it comes to foreign relations, but this is something the Senate really should take seriously and make their ultimate decision and vote based on the facts presented to them.

The National Review has a piece written by Ramesh Ponnuru where he outlines four walls that advocates of impeachment should have to scale in order to charge ahead with the process. An excerpt from that article:

It might be possible to regard Trump’s Ukraine misadventure as a lapse of judgment, with little harm done, if he showed any repentance or even understanding of what he has done wrong. Instead it looks more like a window into tendencies of his that are incompatible with performing the functions of his office.

Whether Trump should be removed from office over the objections of nearly half the country is not an important question. He can’t be. There are better questions. Would it be good for the country if a large majority of Americans were to be persuaded that it is unacceptable for a president to use his office to encourage foreign governments to investigate his political opponents? Assuming that the necessary level of support to remove a president from office for that offense will not be reached, should we prefer that more elected officials go on record that it is unacceptable — or that fewer do?

I’ve seen arguments range from that you can’t impeach a President who has done such a great job to pictures of counties won by President Trump saying “impeach this”. We have enjoyed a period of continued economic expansion and prosperity under the Trump Administration, but the question before the Senate is whether or not Mr. Trump violated his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Impeachment is a serious matter, and something that I hope my fellow Republicans just won’t abdicate all reason and rational thought in defense of the President. Yes, the Democrats have been gunning for the President since day one of his administration, but President Trump really should have kept this in mind and taken to heart being above the appearance of impropriety. The Democrats’ expediency for getting impeachment done seems to be more of a political game rather than putting a check on the chief executive. Jonah Goldberg’s podcast with guest Gary Schmitt is a good primer for impeachment and the discussion above. I recommend giving it a listen.

We need to tread lightly in this matter. Impeachment of a president isn’t a common occurrence in our nation’s history, so each impeachment pretty much sets precedent. Regardless of the Democrats’ motive and rush to push impeachment through, the US Senate should give a fair and impartial hearing to the articles of impeachment as a way to preserve the process and integrity of the institution. Anything that gives the appearance of stacking the deck in favor of dismissal without hearing the evidence will lessen public confidence–not to mention, what happens when a Republican president faces impeachment by a highly partisan, Democratically-controlled House and trial by a highly partisan, Democratically-controlled Senate?

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armanidogDave BearseNoParty4MeCalmlyBallisticChatsprint Recent comment authors
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Wagon
Wagon

There was also a rather lengthy recycling of a local Gwinnett pastor’s support for Donald Trump on the sole basis of the Abortion issue.

In for a penny in for a pound I suppose.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I think the abortion issue remains the top reason why the Pres’ flaws are simply subsumed, forgiven, ignored, or rationalized. Of course, we can’t know the Pres.’ heart, and must wonder if he has taken the pro-life mantle out of true belief, or for political purposes. We could stack up all the evidence on either side of that equation and probly all reach the same split decision, but I don’t think his intent or heart even matters to those who support him based on this issue. So, given our human (plus faith-based) incentives to rationalize and forgive, there would be… Read more »

Bart
Bart

Impeachment the process is serious, Impeachment as a political weapon is not only dangerous at the time, it slowly but inevitably decreases the power of impeachment. Christianity Today is taking advantage of this dangerous situation showing that they put profits and popularity over truth and reason. The senate should take it up immediately upon their return in January and dismiss this bogus process as soon as possible.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

“Christianity Today is taking advantage of this dangerous situation showing that they put profits and popularity over truth and reason.”

Except that going against 90% of white evangelicals will do neither.

Rich coming from a Party that puts power over principle in support of a serial liar and his fake news.

Chatsprint
Chatsprint

“they put profits and popularity over truth and reason”

One of the poorest arguments seen here in a long time.

It is common knowledge that Trump gets higher approval ratings among evangelicals than almost any other demographic.

You’re taking the position that CT didn’t get this memo? Yeesh.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

A question is whether a fair and impartial hearing requires witnesses, and who those witnesses would be.

Minds are largely made up on both sides of the aisle. The Party in control of the process, leads with respect to Senators that have cast aside any pretense of impartiality. I’ll wait to comment on the process, but when in the past four years has the GOP raised the bar on conduct or process of any sort?

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/theres-nothing-impartial-about-declaring-yourself-impartial/603658/

chefdavid
chefdavid

I think the Church Lady needs to have a sit down with the editorial board and ask them “Who made them write this?” “Was it….?”

CalmlyBallistic
CalmlyBallistic

The Democrats’ expediency for getting impeachment done seems to be more of a political game rather than putting a check on the chief executive.

I like how this is said with a straight face, as though every attempt the Democrats made to find further, more relevant witnesses, testimony, and evidence wasn’t stonewalled by the Executive.

Chatsprint
Chatsprint

I don’t know the President’s heart. He professes to be a Christian even though the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy piece, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) seem to be a bit light from what we can tell from his public persona. …….”a bit light” Yea, adultery while married to wives one through three, hush payments to porn stars, separating mothers from infant children, two Corinthians, thousands of lies over the course of his presidency. I could go on, but Nathan has already deemed these shortcomings as only being “a bit light” form of Christianity. Think I’ll take up… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Anyone else notice how the defense that what’s in a heart isn’t known goes silent when Trump writes things like “[Y}ou are offending Americans of faith by continually saying ‘I Pray for the President’ when you know the statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense”?

CT’s ostracization demonstrates white evangelical Christianity is on the path to the respect accorded partisans.

chefdavid
Chatsprint
Chatsprint

BOO!

sure it is.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I’m not gonna do to much to research it, but I may, But it wouldn’t matter if George Soros was 100% owner and manager, because the opinions expressed can still be 100% heartfelt and valid. Assuming, of course, that the authors and editors didn’t engage in a quid pro quo for the very words of the articles themselves. Should we just now completely disregard Hannity bc a Republican owns or manages Fox? Every piece of media has bias, not the least of which is the bias of the author(s) themselves. But bias does not mean insincere. And if the media… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Don’t waste your time.

It’s OK anyway. Giuliani says George Soros isn’t much a Jew, so at least there’s no Jewish animus. And with Giuliani claiming “He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the F.B.I. agents.” it’s only natural that Soros is the source of the CT editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/24/us/politics/rudy-giuliani-george-soros-jewish.html

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Thank you Nathan for at least asking for a thorough and fair and impartial hearing. Even though your beloved leaders are already projecting their judgment. They are also projecting great hypocrisy when you look up quotes of Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell made during previous impeachment Compared to today. Total Hypocrisy. The other tired excuse that constantly rears its ugly head, is playing of the political attack card. Our elected leaders should solemnly do their constitutional duty and investigate bribery, fraud, grift, extortion, emoluments violations and all the other crimes of Trump et al. This should be done regardless of… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

It took a few decades effort to get to this point. Everything as political is certainly not going to be discarded just when it’s absolutely needed to maintain Power.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Oh yes. So many factors in play. Perhaps a dash of blackmail. Power maintenance to keep Putin from spilling what he hacked from the GOP campaign in 2016.

armanidog
armanidog

Is Trump the Antichrist? It seems some folks do worship him. I wonder if we will ever see him riding a horse? “(1) And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. (2) And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:1-2) I just can’t see him on a horse., Maybe if he rides… Read more »