July 20, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Impeachment

“The announcement last week that Representative Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was demanding documents from eighty-one agencies, companies, and individuals with knowledge of the Trump Administration’s behavior, or misbehavior, was, in its way, momentous. Though properly classed as the kind of oversight that the see-no-evil-even-when-you’re-staring-at-it Republicans in Congress avoided for the past two years, it seems clear that Nadler is planning what amounts to pre-impeachment impeachment hearings.

Nadler himself cautioned that, regarding the potential eviction of the Trump family from Pennsylvania Avenue, “we don’t have the facts yet,” but the committee’s demand appears designed to assemble as much of what can be known about any potential Trump family depredations as possible, and see where it all leads. Trump called the demand nothing but “a big fat fishing expedition,” provoking the reflection that you are rarely scared of big fat fishing expeditions unless you know that there are big fat fish lurking somewhere in your pond.

There is, however, a real and reasonable argument among congressional Democrats—and, indeed, among the public—about whether pursuing Trump’s impeachment, even assuming that we get the facts, is a wise idea. The arguments against it range from the hyper-practical point that a President Mike Pence would be worse, to the procedural-minded one that, since impeaching Trump would mean that two of the four most recent Presidents would have been impeached, and since articles of impeachment can be passed by a simple majority in the House, every President from now on would risk facing it the moment the opposition has a majority. This would create perpetual governmental paralysis, and, while Trump might not care about safeguarding democratic institutions, the country should.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."

"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."

"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."

"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."

"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."

"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."

"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."

"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."

"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."

"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."

"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."

"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."