This week, President-elect Joe Biden made a highly commendable decision to nominate Judge Merrick Garland as the next United States Attorney General. Like many, I praised Garland as an outstanding choice and a move that advanced Biden’s earlier pledge to seek unity. That is why I was so disappointed in Biden refusing to take a position on the effort to impeach Donald Trump next week. As with his equally inexplicable refusal to take a stand on court packing, Biden’s silence on this clearly unsupportable “snap impeachment” was a missed opportunity to show real leadership when it matters most. It is not popular to oppose this impeachment, but leadership often demands that presidents take unpopular but correct positions.
Biden stated on Friday that President Trump “isn’t fit to hold the job” and said that he did not want Trump to attend the inauguration. I have no problem with that statement. Indeed, Trump himself has said far worse about Biden and he has also stated that he does not want to attend the inauguration. I also have no problem with calls for Trump’s resignation or a bipartisan statement of condemnation from Congress. However, critics want to push through an impeachment will little discussion or deliberation on highly dubious constitutional grounds.
When asked, Biden stated;
“I’m focused on the virus, the vaccine, and economic growth. What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide,” Biden answered when asked if he supported such moves. … We’re going to do our job and the Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs. That’s a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job.”
The defense of the Constitution is “his job” and this would gut both the process and the standard for impeachments. This was an opportunity to take a principled stand to unify the country by asking his party to stand down and not pursue a “snap impeachment.” As I discuss in my column today, this impeachment not only threatens principles underlying impeachment but also free speech in our Constitution.
As with court packing, this is not the time for good people to stand silent even in the face of such unhinged anger. Indeed, Democrats may loathe the day that they embraced the concept of a “snap impeachment” — a contradiction in constitutional terms. Impeachments are designed for deliberative, not impulsive, acts.
Indeed, Biden’s reference to more pressing matters is preciously the point. He should have asked Congress to focus on those issues and not an impeachment that will not succeed in removal but will succeed in undermining our constitutional system.
There could be evidence to support impeachment but it has to be found outside of this speech. That requires an inquiry. Biden should oppose any “snap impeachment” to allow for hearings at a minimum.
This was the type of “Say It Ain’t So, Joe” moment that I was hoping for after the election. Biden could have refused to go along with this plan or to remain silent in the face of a clearly improper use of the impeachment power. He could still have condemned the speech and the President, as many have done. He could then have asked for his party not to do greater damage by rampaging through the Constitution to try to remove Trump in his final days. That was a presidential moment missed by the President-elect.
347 thoughts on “Say It Ain’t So, Joe: The Failure of Biden To Denounce This Impeachment Is A Missed Presidential Opportunity”
The question of Why and weather to impeach Trump is debatable. What is without debate is that Any attempt to bar him from running again is born out of Fear that he might run again and win. Who are you (Democrats) to deny we the people to decide if he is Worthy ??
A well-reasoned and rational commentary as usual.
The only problem, as we continue our incredibly rapid Orwellian descent, is that we no longer live in those times.
The end game here is not to remove Trump, the goal of impeachment and the invocation of the 25th is to remove any possibility of him running again and to create as much collateral damage to Republicans and conservatives as possible.
The larger end game is, unfortunately, far more sweeping–to ensure Democrat power forever. You think I’m reaching? A few months ago, a Harvard law professor mused on that very subject, essentially–if we do this right, why should Republicans ever come into power again unless they move to more “mainstream” (read Democrat…paging Orwell) and acceptable ideals and policies? Quite the parlor trick: as long as Republicans are really Democrats then a “two” party system is ok. How will this be accomplished? Look no further than the proposals ranging from ending the filibuster to court packing to Senate packing to eliminating the Electoral College to all manner of Constitutional mischief.
Ultimately, this is about raw power and that is why our Constitution will come under increasing attack in the coming years because a democratic republic steeped in a system of checks and balances is simply unconducive to sustainable one party rule.
I should add that when you factor in the Dem’s control of the media, the law profession, higher education and pivotal Washington bureaucracies among other power vectors, it could be argued that the larger end game is not just wishful thinking but simply a matter of time.
Except for those annoying black swan events that disrupt the best laid plans of mice and men…in this case aka Trump.
sorry but I have a problem with Merrick Garland and it has to do with his anti-gun anti-2nd amendment beliefs
This was NOT Joe’s first “missed opportunity”, and it surely won’t be his last, just watch.
Rep. Meijer: I experienced the heinous assault on Capitol; now, time to face reality
… I was one of the few Republicans who had already acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect, and earlier in the week I had joined a handful of GOP colleagues in noting our constitutional responsibility to certify the Electoral College results. We had seen calls on the far right for the vice president to pull an imaginary “Pence Card” and overturn the election results.
To the fringe, Vice President Mike Pence’s failure to seize fictional powers was tantamount to treason and there were suggestions Pence be put to death. While the Capitol was being assaulted by his supporters who were duped into believing the election was in fact a landslide victory and the true results could be overturned, Trump egged on these violent delusions.
… Hours later, after the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear. As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand. My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.
An angry mob succeeded in threatening at least one member of Congress from performing what that member understood was a constitutional responsibility. Worse yet, while a dead woman’s blood dried mere feet from our chamber, other Republican colleagues doubled down, repeating lies of a stolen election, baselessly deflecting blame for the Capitol assault from Trump loyalists to Antifa, doing whatever they could to justify, equivocate, rationalize or otherwise avoid taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. …
Some creatures (Pelosi, et al.) are truly vicious. They’re like the blood-thirsty mob that stones an outcast — as he’s walking out of town. “It’s not enough that he’s leaving. We want him to suffer.”
A female version of the French Revolutions Robespierre that organized the Reign of Terror that did not end well for him. He met the same fate as the many he sent to the guillotiner.
It is Donald Trump who has done irrepairable damage to the US notion of freedom of speech (which was the most liberal in comparison with other western countries). You will have to deal with it, freedom of speech as you know it is not sustainable anymore in the age of the amplifiers that social media represent. To explain, few would question that countries like Germany or France restrain freedom of speech, but both put limits to it, forbid symbols. Carrying a nazi flag outside a movie set would is an offence, in the US, there are shops making a living of selling all variants of confederate flags. That is all very nice, but what just happened shows that this ideology of freedom of speech has allowed to breed an army of millions of US citizens in a collective schizophrenic delusion who now put precisely the values of the US constitution at risk!
Because, if the insurrectionists and Trump had their way, freedom of speech would be over immediately, to them anyone expressing any point of view differing from theirs is a traitor.
This reminds so much of the rise of the Nazis by exploiting weaknesses of the democracy. Let them continue their “free speech” and you will end up with a totalitarian dictatorship.
No, the US must learn to defend itself from this insurrectional incitement AND from the repeated lies that layd the ground for it.
Pete N ; You are so full of horse dung I can’t fathom the depth of your insincerity !!!. The ONLY hate speech and violence out in AMERICA is by the scumbag left. The mass induced censorship by the technokratzies of the left in lock step with their hounds they bought on the left demoratzi aisle are in purge mode of anything antithetical to their totally rabid socialist drivel. You are one of those hounds from hell…full of bile , hate , name calling POS that react knee jerkingly to anything not your flavor. You disgust the vast majority of America…you are the lowest common denominator.
Does anyone, other than me, recognize the projective nature of that comment?
Yes, projection from Peter N. I can hear his boots getting into position for own Nazi desires.
In 4 years Trump did not cross over any line that Peter N. can state, but Pelosi and the Democrats surely have and so did Obama during his administration.
We are facing wannabe Nazis. We should be calling each and everyone out. We need to get our hands dirty while we peacefully stay within the law .
“This was a whitelash against a changing country.”
“This was a whitelash against a black president.”
– Comrade Van Jones
What happened to “Whitelash 2, The Sequel?”
It was cancelled due to “China Flu, 2020.”
Looks like the crowd wanted to see it anyway.
Don’t you get tired of seeing Everything put forth as White vrs everyone else ?? As a Black American who has seen racism up close and personal, whose family were slaves, I tire of it. Tell me does good or evil have a color ? Name just one Nation among All the Nations on earth, Black Yellow, white ectera that did not kill those who occupied the land before them. Every group has rich, poor, criminals, gifted and regular people. All of us are flawed.
Yes we are sometimes mistreated because of our color. Still in near every case, be you White, Black or other if you want to know WHO is responsible for your poverty and living situation . . . Look in the mirror. We drive cars we cannot afford. We spend $100 a month on cable but won’t put $50 a month in savings. Good an evil do not have a color.
I’m sorry. I should have made it clear that the author of “whitelash” was Van Jones, a certified anti-constitution, anti-American communist; desirous of stealing and redistributing the wealth of Americans.
Charity is industry conducted in the free markets of the private sector under the U.S. Constitution and Congress has no power to tax for charity, individual welfare or any other form of redistribution.
I didn’t do anything to you or your race.
African tribal leaders sold their tribe members and other captured Africans into slavery.
The Israelite slaves had the acumen and gumption to be out of Egypt before the ink was dry on their release papers.
Before demanding other people’s money, protesting and rioting, black folks should look in the mirror and ask themselves why they are not in a place where they don’t worry and can be happy.
Generational welfare, affirmative action, quotas, forced busing, WIC, SNAP, HAMP, HARP, “fair housing” laws, “non-discrimination” laws, etc., are all unconstitutional.
People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom.
Freedom does not adapt to people, dictatorship does.
For the most part, We are in agreement. Look in the mirror to see who is responsible for your situation your color doesn’t matter.
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