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Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:35 PM

The Founding Fathers designed impeachment for someone exactly like Donald Trump

Source: Washington Post, by Barbara Radnofsky

Their writings and debates surrounding the creation of the Constitution make clear that the framers feared a certain kind of character coming to power and usurping the republican ideal of their new nation. Having just defeated a tyrant — “Mad” King George III of England — they carefully crafted rules to remove such a character: impeachment. In the process, they revealed precisely the kind of corrupt, venal, inattentive and impulsive character they were worried about.

The very embodiment of what the Founding Fathers feared is now residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Again and again, they anticipated attributes and behaviors that President Trump exhibits on an all-too-regular basis. By describing “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the grounds for impeachment, as any act that poses a significant threat to society — either through incompetence or other misdeeds — the framers made it clear that an official does not have to commit a crime to be subject to impeachment. Instead, they made impeachment a political process, understanding that the true threat to the republic was not criminality but unfitness, that a president who violated the country’s norms and values was as much a threat as one who broke its laws.

Gouverneur Morris, who wrote the Constitution’s preamble, and future president James Madison were worried about a leader who would “pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation” — theft of public funds — “or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers,” as Madison put it. Morris, who like many in the colonies believed King Charles had taken bribes from Louis XIV to support France’s war against the Dutch, declared that without impeachment we “expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first Magistrate [the President] in foreign pay without being able to guard against it by displacing him.”

Trump’s many ties to Russia spring immediately to mind, of course. What’s provable so far — denying electoral harm perpetrated by Russian actors, hiding his efforts to conduct business in Moscow during his 2016 campaign, leaking state secrets to the Russian ambassador at a White House meeting, numerous contacts between his top staff and family and Russian agents — resonates deeply with this core concern expressed by the Founding Fathers.

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Read the rest at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/10/15/the-founding-fathers-designed-impeachment-for-someone-exactly-like-donald-trump/

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Reply The Founding Fathers designed impeachment for someone exactly like Donald Trump (Original post)
yallerdawg Oct 2017 OP
joeybee12 Oct 2017 #1
BigmanPigman Oct 2017 #2
onenote Oct 2017 #3
yallerdawg Oct 2017 #4
tanyev Oct 2017 #5
PoliticAverse Oct 2017 #6
rainin Oct 2017 #7

Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:38 PM

1. BIG knr

 

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:44 PM

2. Too bad they didn't set up a system to fall back on

when the cabinet and both houses of Congress put party over country instead of following the constitution.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:52 PM

3. While impeachment is a poltical process, the framers also made it very hard to oust someone

by requiring 2/3 vote in the Senate to convict. In the last 100 years there have only been two periods where one party controlled 2/3 of the seats in the Senate: 1935-1943 and 1963-1967. In the latter instance, it's probably an exaggeration to say that one party controlled 2/3 of the seats since the Democratic Party at that time was in the process of splintering between Southern Democrats and the rest of the party.

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Response to onenote (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:56 PM

4. This would have to be beyond party.

This would have to reflect the will of the people.

Nixon and Clinton both come to mind. Nixon lost the people, Clinton never did.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:56 PM

5. Unfortunately they never imagined all the people necessary to make that happen could be complicit.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:56 PM

6. Actually I think it was the Electoral College that was designed for someone like Trump.

That doesn't seem to work as intended.

But yes looking at the history of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" shows it covers pretty much anything.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 06:02 PM

7. Why is McConnell

not feeling any heat from the left? And Ryan? Aren't they responsible for every misdeed at this point?

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