Are Maxine Waters and others calling for a Democratic majority in Congress so they can impeach President Trump winning over their party? Not so you could tell. Plenty of party leaders and influencers are edging away from Waters and her excitable ideas, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont). He was doing the Sunday shows this weekend and on Meet the Press he had the impeachment question put to him. Rather than jumping out and walking the plank with his supporters on the far left, Sanders actually urged caution and made a cogent case for why Democrats shouldn’t be getting ahead of themselves. (Free Beacon)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Sunday agreed with the idea that it is a “gift” to Republicans to talk about impeaching President Donald Trump on the campaign trail.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd referenced House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) comment last month that “talking about impeachment” is “a gift to the Republicans.”
“Do you agree with her?” Todd asked Sanders.
“Yeah, I do,” Sanders responded, adding that lawmakers should allow special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation “to go where it goes.”
Sanders argued that people do a disservice to the integrity of the process by making a decision on the matter prematurely.
It almost feels as if I’ve slipped into some sort of parallel dimension here, but Sanders wasn’t simply being cautious. He was actually making some very valid points. In his next answer, he goes on to talk about why the people who would hypothetically have to vote on impeaching the President (the members of the Senate) can’t be declaring that they already know the verdict before the charges are even brought forward.
Here’s the video. It’s one of the few times I’ll advise you to watch him, because somebody seems to have slipped Bernie some truth serum.
Of course, Sanders is saying the right words, but he’s also talking about an essentially fictional description of how this works. Unlike a trial in a court of law which finds innocence or guilt for most citizens, impeachment is an almost entirely political event. Rather than a theoretically impartial jury of your peers, a president is judged by a collection of people who come into the process with the greatest degree of bias and most incentive to protect the interests of their own party imaginable.
There’s also the distaste the public would likely have for such a prospect unless the evidence of actual high crimes and misdemeanors was overwhelming. Watergate tore the country apart and that case never even made it to the impeachment stage. If the Democrats actually managed to begin impeachment proceedings, the government would essentially shut down just as we’re in the middle of some historic and potentially critical moments in foreign policy and a growing but still tenuous economic recovery at home. That’s not going to serve anyone, and Democrats would be smart to anticipate the backlash they could face if they move forward.
So hats off to Bernie Sanders. The guy may have some crazy, socialist ideas when it comes to domestic policy but he was definitely making a lot of sense here.