The Democrats and main stream media are currently consumed with impeaching President Trump, particularly as we approach the 2020 elections. Frankly, they are fooling nobody but themselves regarding their agenda. Even if the Democrats in the House passes charges of impeachment, they will inevitably fail in the Senate which is under Republican control.
Only two U.S. presidents in our history were impeached: Our 17th president, Andrew Johnson, in 1867, and Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. Let’s be clear, impeachment means charged with misconduct only. A trial is then conducted by the Senate to determine guilt or innocence. In the cases of Johnson and Clinton, both were found not-guilty by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned as opposed to having the country suffer through impeachment proceedings. Of the presidents, let us compare and contrast Presidents Nixon, Clinton, and Trump, as they are the most recent presidents to undergo this treatment.
Richard Nixon – 37th president, Republican, served in office 1969-1974
Bill Clinton – 42nd president, Democrat, served in office 1993-2001
Donald Trump – 45th president, Republican, serving in office 2017-present
Mr. Nixon was the first and only president to resign from office before his term was over. He was succeeded by VP Gerald Ford, also a Republican.
President Nixon worked with the 93rd Congress where both chambers were controlled by the Democrats.
President Clinton faced the 106th Congress where both chambers were controlled by the Republicans.
President Trump faces the 116th United States Congress which is split, with the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, and the Senate controlled by the Republicans.
Mr. Nixon was elected as a “law and order” president to bring stability from the chaos of the 1960’s and promising to end the Viet Nam war. Although not a favorite among liberals, he easily won over Hubert Humphrey who served as LBJ’s Vice President.
Mr. Clinton was elected because of the perception he was more youthful and full of ideas than incumbent President George H.W. Bush, who presided over a faltering economy.
Mr. Trump was elected as an alternative to career politicians and to correct the liberal policies of President Obama. Democrats were shocked that Trump won as they believed Hillary Clinton would easily win. Their shock turned into hysteria and a resistance movement to obstruct every decision he made.
RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS
Perhaps the only president to earn such hatred from the press, other than Mr. Trump, was Richard Nixon, going back to when he was Vice President in the 1950’s (see Checkers speech of 1952) and helping to defeat him in the 1960 presidential election, losing to JFK. In 1962, he ran for governor of California, losing to Pat Brown. In his concession speech, he made the following statement which indicated his displeasure with the press, stating, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” He obviously returned to public life with his presidential victory in 1968.
President Clinton had a warm relation with the press during his two runs for president. They portrayed him as young and vibrant, and Republican candidates George H.W. Bush and Sen. Bob Dole were portrayed as old and stodgy.
President Trump has had a feud with the press ever since his first presidential campaign. He coined the term “Fake News” to describe the spin of the press.
In all three situations, the press played an important role in impeachment. There is no doubt they have a demonstrative record supporting Democrats over Republicans.
President Nixon was accused of covering-up the break-in at the DNC Headquarters at the Watergate Complex. There was no evidence to indicate he had any role in initiating the break-in, just the cover-up. The House spent considerable time sifting through evidence as presented by the FBI and the media, particularly The Washington Post. The president eventually resigned as opposed to facing the embarrassment of impeachment.
As for President Clinton, the House relied on the findings of an extensive investigation by independent Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, which included 11 charges, mostly lying under oath and obstruction of justice.
In terms of Mr. Trump, the country awaited a two year investigation by Independent Counsel Robert Mueller whereby no charges were presented. This did not satisfy the Democrats in the House who continue to investigate alleged improprieties by the president.
President Nixon’s public support can be described as shaky at best. It eroded as evidence continued to pile up, particularly disclosure of the White House tapes which contained damning evidence as to Mr. Nixon’s involvement in the cover-up.
In terms of President Clinton, everyone seemed to know he was guilty, including the Democrats, but they didn’t believe the punishment fit the crime. Although he remained popular among members of his party, he also became a political liability, which explains why his endorsement is no longer sought.
As to President Trump, his support among Republicans and many independents appears to be on solid ground, much to the chagrin of the Democrats.
If we have learned anything about impeachments over the years, it is they are always political, and always divisive. It used to be impeachment was considered a last resort to take, but it is rapidly turning into a common political tool, which is disturbing and hints at the desperation of the party pressing the issue. If the Democrats think such a move is going to unify the country, they are sadly mistaken. Impeaching President Trump is a risky political maneuver as it will only energize his base, particularly since the Mueller investigation produced no sign of wrong-doing. This is substantially different than Nixon and Clinton. Consequently, the American people will see President Trump’s impeachment as the charade that it is.
From the perspective of the Republicans, an impeachment of the president will be the best thing that could happen as the American populace will strongly re-elect the president and drive the Democrats out of office in the House. This will damage the Democrats for years to come.
The Democrats insist we have a “constitutional crisis” at hand. I agree, but not for the same reasons. I perceive them as undermining the Constitution by wanting to eliminate the Electoral College, changing the composition of the Supreme Court, and changing our fundamental rights and freedoms, such as speech and to bear arms.
So, why are the Democrats doing this? They know Mr. Trump has strong support from the populace thanks in large part to his economic policies. As such, they hope to distract voters by simply besmirching his character.
One last thing to consider, under Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the Congress kept on working and produced considerable legislation. Unfortunately, this is not true today. Because of their preoccupation with trying to stop President Trump, the Congress has come to a standstill. In all likelihood, the 116th Congress will go down in history as one of the most incompetent sessions, doing nothing for the American people they are supposed to serve.
Just remember, in our nearly 250 years of existence, no sitting U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. In the cases of Presidents Johnson and Clinton, they both returned to work after being found not guilty, and completed their term in office.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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