Jerry Waldie on Impeachment (He oughta know)

“Impeachment is not a legal, judicial process. Impeachment is a combination of legal and political with a large portion of the basis for impeaching the president being that there is a political desire on behalf of the American people that it should happen.  

“An example of the contrary, where impeachable offenses were committed but no impeachment was brought – and I would not have supported it had it been – was Reagan and Iran/Contra. No question there were impeachable offenses. Impeachable offenses though are not necessarily legal violations. 

“The founding fathers in the constitution said the only way to get rid of a president is through impeachment because they wanted to make sure that a party who controls the Congress does not thereby go in and get rid of a contrary party who occupies the executive branch. 

“So to prevent that from happening, the founding fathers said it can only happen if the public wants it to happen. 

“It was quite clear in Reagan’s case the people would never condone an impeachment proceeding. 

“The second time it was Clinton. Clearly, a case where the Republicans screwed up badly. They tried to do exactly what the founding fathers wanted not to happen. The Congress was Republican; the executive branch was Democratic. They weren’t able to put it together and Clinton’s poll numbers kept rising with every stupidity.” 

(In 1974, Rep. Jerry Waldie introduced the articles of impeachment for Richard Nixon)

Filed under: Overheard

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