The club of impeachment: Rules have changed, so you play by new rules

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Our Founding Fathers never intended for impeachment to be used as a political weapon. It was intended for high crimes, those that were such a breach of the public trust and violations of the law, that the targeted individual needed to be removed from office.

In the last four years, impeachment has become weaponized by the left. Facts and evidence mean little to nothing now. All that matters is defaming a political opponent. Impeachment was environed as the ultimate punishment. Instead, it has become a club with which you pummel your political opposition, damage their reputations, and degrade them. The Democrats have used it as a blunt political object to beat those down who are perceived to pose a threat.

Before you scream, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” let me say that I actually went to the Capitol to watch the first impeachment of Donald Trump for myself. I saw what none of you did, what was really happening in the Senate chambers. My own senator, Tim Kaine crossed his arms and stretched out to a nearly horizontal position as if he were going to take a nap. The person next to me whispered if Mitt Romney was asleep…I replied, “I think he’s dead.” One senator whose face I didn’t recognize, nodded off, caught himself, sat up, then nodded off again like one of those toy birds that bob their heads down in a glass of water.  Other senators had their pages pass notes to each other like a 4th-grade class. As the president’s people mounted their defense, none of the prosecutors even looked up at them.  Adam Schiff was cracking jokes with a colleague throughout the defense presentation.

Throughout the coverage of this theater, I remembered Adam Schiff telling Americans that he had “damning evidence” of Trump’s collusion with Putin. Moreover, he claimed that the evidence he had was “more than circumstantial.” It was all a lie, one he has never been held accountable for.

What I witnessed, which most Americans did not, was that the party leveling the charges was not taking the proceedings seriously. Why? One, they were far from being an impartial jury; and two, they knew that this was all for show. Unlike the Watergate hearings, no one seemed to be taking the charges seriously. What I personally witnessed was an American embarrassment, yet none of it made the news broadcasts.

The left bemoans that Trump was guilty and it was only because the Republicans didn’t vote correctly on impeachment that he remained in power. This, too, is a convenient lie. There were more than a handful of Republicans who would have gladly tossed Trump under the bus. What the Democrats lacked was proof and evidence. They never should have proceeded with that impeachment but did so not to remove Trump from office, but to further smear him.

I didn’t attend the second impeachment because I saw what a farce it was from the start.  Only a Democratic-controlled Congress would declare a man guilty, put him on trial, find him not guilty of the charges – then launch into an investigation to lay the blame at his feet.  If this had been serious, they would have presented a long line of witnesses who had trespassed that day who would have said, “Donald Trump ordered me to do it.”  Instead, they showed footage of the event and discussed how afraid they were. They conjured up plots of assassination attempts that, thus far, have not emerged in the court proceedings against those in the Capitol that day. There wasn’t a case presented, it was a circus sideshow.

I believe they will come to regret this bit of theater, and regret it deeply.

The Democrats have changed the rules of the political game when it comes to impeachment, and it will come back to bite them, hard. Look at the filibuster rules changes. They pushed those through under the warnings by the Republicans that they would pay the price someday…and now they are. The same will happen with the weaponization of the impeachment process.

When the Republicans gain control of the House, should they initiate impeachment investigations into Joe Biden over Hunter’s dealings overseas or the debacle in Afghanistan?  Absolutely! Make no mistake, if the Democrats control the House and a Republican sits in the White House, they will do the same…in fact, they have already shown their cards with Trump.

The era of conservatives being reasonable and calm has passed. The left has shown it will use any and all tools at its disposal to unilaterally blast an officeholder solely for political gain.

Conservatives need to respond in kind. The rules have changed, so you play by the new rules – plain and simple.

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Blaine L. Pardoe

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