Imcheapment

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It looks like President Trump will make his Supreme Court nomination pick later this week, and that Senate Republicans will deliver the votes he needs.  Lindsey Graham, who is in a surprisingly tight race here in South Carolina, came out with full-throated support for confirming a nominee, even this close to the November election.

What came as a major surprise was Mitt Romney‘s willingness to vote for a Trump nominee.  He did qualify his support by stating that he intends “to vote based upon [the nominee’s] qualifications,” which still leaves open the possibility of his characteristic perfidy.  Even with Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins demurring, that gives Senate Republicans some cushion in confirming the president’s choice.

Of course, the Left is in a full-scale, apocalyptic meltdown.  They’d turned Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a symbol for their preferred style of judicial activism, and saw her as a crotchety, sleepy champion for their pet causes.  Ginsburg never saw an abuse of judicial power she didn’t like, and was a guaranteed vote for the progressives on any case.

The prospect of replacing her with a constitutional conservative is the Left’s worst nightmare.  RBG’s refusal to step down into a peaceful (and, surely, lucrative) retirement during the Obama administration has not cost the Democrats—potentially—a reliably Leftist seat for probably another forty years.

It’s little wonder, then, that the Democrats are pulling out every trick imaginable to stall or prevent confirmation hearings, and to otherwise scuttle Trump’s eventual nominee.  That includes threats of impeachment.

The Democrats already cheapened impeachment with their bogus “Ukraine collusion” story.  Technically, yes, the House can impeach a president at any time if they have the votes to do so.  The prudence and dispassion of a prior age would normally have prevented such a drastic measure except in the most dire of constitutional circumstances—in other words, if the president actually abused his authority and the constitutional limits placed upon it.

Now, however, the Democrats have cheapened the impeachment process to such an extent that it’s nearly the equivalent of voting to name a federal post office after some uncontroversial small town hero or legendary civil rights figure:  it’s just another day at the office.

If Speaker Pelosi and her ilk push through an impeachment against President Trump for fulfilling his constitutional duty and power to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court, the very act of impeachment will have lost all meaning.  If President Trump were wantonly selling the Supreme Court seat to the highest bidder, then, by all means—impeach away!  But he clearly isn’t.

Relying on violation of some vague “precedent” or “rule” isn’t sufficient grounds for impeachment, either, even if the precedent was what critics claim it to be.  In 2016, Senate Majority Leader “Cocaine” Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s appointee, Merrick Garland.  That was entirely within the constitutional rights of the Senate.  The precedent McConnell invoked at the time was that if the presidency and Senate are controlled by opposing parties, an election year nomination should wait until after the election.  The theory is that the people are clearly divided in their support, so the opportunity for an election allows for their input.

In this instance, President Trump—a Republican—controls the presidency, and Republicans enjoy a majority in the Senate.  Ergo, that rule doesn’t apply.  Even if it did apply, and President Trump was attempting to ram through a conservative nominee, it would not be grounds—in any conceivable constitutional universe—for impeachment.

Indeed, I argued yesterday that even if the precedent were that the president should not make an appointment in a presidential election year, period, President Trump should do so regardless.  The stakes are too high not to do so.  The petty threat of scurrilous, absurd impeachment charges from House Democrats and their shifting-dentured leader is definitive proof of that.

Impeachment is, indeed, a political process—without the votes, you can’t make it happen.  But just because one party has the votes doesn’t mean it should impeach.  Impeachment is a grave, serious step, one that requires introspection and thoughtful debate.

Of course, the Democrats are now incapable of such prudential restraint.  Their only goal is victory—by any means necessary.

If we are to defeat them—in November and beyond—we must understand this truth, and be prepared to adopt that attitude ourselves.

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