There was a time, really not that long ago, when public servants in the federal government understood that their job was just that: To serve the public. In fact, your humble author has spent time with a number of politicians who served in the federal government on both sides of the aisle, and some who straddled the center, and I can honestly say that even as recently as during the Bush administration, there was a sense of obligation to actually, actively govern.
That seems beyond the comprehension of many of today’s Senators and Representatives, and although the problem lies mostly on the political right, there has been plenty of consternation among the constituents of Democratic leaders as well for what seems like dragging their feet when it comes to doing things that need to be done.
And what needs to be done right now, according to one former Congressman from Missouri, is impeachment. In fact, Tom Coleman served the state of Missouri in the House for 17 years, all of them both after and before high-profile scandals involving a President: Nixon resigned before Coleman was elected, and Coleman retired before Clinton was impeached. It’s not like the longtime Republican Representative had any personal experience with it — he just knows what normal, decent government is supposed to look like.
Coleman pointed out on CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett that even though the Mueller Report didn’t outline criminal acts committed by the President, that it’s the House who even decides what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are — and they don’t have to be criminal acts.
Maybe you’ve seen the viral video of then-Representative Lindsey Graham during the Clinton hearings insisting that he didn’t need to have committed a crime. He’s RIGHT — the “crimes” for which Richard Nixon was impeached consisted of abuse of power and lying to the public. I don’t know about you, but that sounds awfully familiar to me.
“I think there is some confusion that it has to be a crime to be impeachable. Abuse of power, lying to the American people were two grounds for Nixon’s articles of impeachment before he resigned.” – Tom Coleman, a former Republican lawmaker calling for Pres. Trump’s impeachment pic.twitter.com/FGAwDxdkft
— CNN (@CNN) May 25, 2019
But while it’s big news to see a Republican actually calling for Trump to be impeached, the more salient point is what he has to say to Democrats about the matter. In an op-ed piece in his state’s newspaper of record, Coleman said it was an “illegitimate presidency,” and that if Pelosi didn’t lead the House in at least beginning the investigation into impeachment, that:
I believe the public would conclude Democrats are no better than the Republicans who have enabled Trump for the past two years, putting party above country. It could hand Trump a second term.”
And that right there is the last thing the world needs.
Featured image is a screen capture.