The truths and myths of impeachment

Donald Trump was impeached last night.  He is the third President to be impeached.  He is the first President to be impeached in his inaugural term.

Now what happens?

First off, just because he was impeached doesn’t mean he’s out of office.  He can still show up in the Oval Office today.  Once a President is impeached, the Articles of Impeachment are sent to the Senate for a trial.

But there’s no timetable to send the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate for a trial.  They could arrive today, or tomorrow, or next month.

You can’t remove an impeachment from your record.  It’s not like expunging a speeding ticket.  That impeachment designation will hang around Trump’s neck like one of his extra-long red ties.  Forever.

Does it mean that the next President could be impeached if his party is not the majority one in Congress?  That’s for the future to decide.  And if we go down that tit-for-tat pathway, that’s a sad state for Congress.  Then again, I’ve seen side-by-side news clips from Lindsey Graham about the differences of impeaching Presidents – depending on whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican.

There were arguments that the House spent too long on impeachment, and not enough time on kitchen-table issues like drug price reform, the opioid crisis, infrastructure, etc.  Actually, I understand there’s about 500 bills that have passed through the House – many with bipartisan support – and are currently waiting on Senator Mitch McConnell’s desk to be heard in the Senate.  Waiting.  Godot arrived sooner than these bills will see a Senate floor.

There’s an argument that the whistleblower – the person who brought news of the Trump-Ukraine phone call to light – to be compelled to testify.  First off, a whistleblower is protected from retaliation.  And the person should remain anonymous until he or she decides – if ever – to step forward.  And although people have postulated as to his or her identity – heck, one of my own commenters tried posting the whistleblower’s name in the comments section – I’ve blocked the name.  It’s the same reason a person who witnesses his sister being assaulted by their uncle can call an anonymous tips hotline – without having to worry that revealing such abuse would turn into retaliation for exposing this crime.

This is not an easy morning.  We are in a polarizing time.

Imagine if you will, that you’re driving on a snowy highway.  The roads are slushy and slippery.

All of a sudden, out of the corner of your eye, you see a vehicle in the breakdown lane.  You glance to see that the vehicle has no flat tires or crumpled fenders.

But you also notice that the car contains a bumper sticker that says – oh, I don’t know – TRUMP 2020 or BERNIE or INFOWARS or BIDEN 2020 or BUT HER E-MAILS or something like that.

Would you stop to help?  Honestly?

You would stop if the car was on fire.  You would rescue the driver, I know you would.  Or you would at least call 911.

But if you thought the car had run out of gas – or if it was something non-life-threatening …

Would whatever bumper sticker or stickers on that car’s back trunk question your motives?

Believe me, I am fully in support of the two articles of impeachment.  And I don’t care if this means I lose friends or get blocked on my social media feeds because of this.

I just hate that Trump has divided us instead of uniting us.

We have to be better than this.

We can’t be split between the elephant and the jackass.

Because they both end up in same zoo – albeit in separate pens.

Such is the morning of an impeached President.

Let us now see where this goes.  And in what direction our country will now travel.