Say It Ain’t So, Joe: The Failure of Biden To Denounce This Impeachment Is A Missed Presidential Opportunity

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.

 

378 thoughts on “Say It Ain’t So, Joe: The Failure of Biden To Denounce This Impeachment Is A Missed Presidential Opportunity”

  1. 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 ??

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. This was NOT Joe’s first “missed opportunity”, and it surely won’t be his last, just watch.

  3. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2021/01/09/opinion-after-heinous-assault-time-reckon-reality/6599593002/

    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.

  4. 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.”

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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 .

  6. “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.

    1. George.
      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.

      1. 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.

        1. George
          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.

  7. https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1347949719906086913

    “Daniel Dale
    @ddale8

    There’s an extremely viral tweet that claims impeaching Trump means he can’t run in 2024. That is not true. Even a two-thirds Senate vote to remove him from office wouldn’t mean a 2024 ban. The Senate would have to hold a second vote to prohibit him from holding future office.

    10:53 AM · Jan 9, 2021·Twitter for iPhone”

    1. I look at it like this. If we as Americans don’t Set an Example right now about this issue with Trump Using his office to try to Steal Power by preventing Joe Biden From taking office. Then we are saying it is OK to do Whatever it takes.. And that sets a very Dangerous path for the Country we can ill afford to Set. If it mean Impeaching Trump again even if he is out of office, then by all means do it. have that second vote, and prevent him from every Holding office again. That will set the punishment for the 5 lives lost at the capital and the millions of dollars damage those Thugs did there. and Show to the world that Even the President of the United States Must follow the constitution. Other wise lets just be like Russia and all be poor.
      John Benepe (56 years a Republican) and Ashamed to admit it the last 4 years…..

      1. Analnominous…who THE FUG IS REALLY STEALING POWER AND OR AN ELECTION ?. ARE YOU THAT PARTISAN YOU CAN NOT SEE WHAT HAS BEEN DONE , AND TO WHOM ?. The only POS full of corruption is china joe and his family of grifters……millions of buckos and ill gotten influence. China joe is a mobster , bought and paid for by influence…CHINESE COMMUNIST INFLUENCE if you had not noticed…but hell you probably live under a frickin rock in a left leaning antifa cell .

  8. What a guy:

    “Trump hasn’t contacted slain Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s family: report”

    https://nypost.com/2021/01/09/trump-hasnt-contacted-capitol-police-officer-brian-sicknicks-family-report/

    Four days after Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick was bludgeoned to death fighting rioters in the halls of Congress, President Trump still has yet to order flags to fly at half-staff at federal buildings, according to multiple reports.

    Trump also has yet to reach out to the Sicknick family, The New York Times reported.

    Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, has called the family to extend condolences, the Times noted.

    Sicknick, 42, was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher while responding to the riots, and later died of his injuries, officials have said.

    Flags on the Capitol building itself were lowered Friday, per a directive from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but Trump has not issued the same order for the federal buildings under his purview, according to reports in the Times and MSNBC.

    Meanwhile, Trump and Pence have reportedly not spoken since Wednesday.

    Pence is said to be furious that Trump made him the target of Wednesday’s angry mob that stormed the Capitol as Pence was overseeing the Congressional election-certification process.

    Sicknick, a native of South River, New Jersey, was the youngest of three brothers and had long dreamed of being a cop, his family has said.

    He enlisted in the National Guard six months after graduating Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School in East Brunswick in 1997.

    — NY Post

  9. No, Jonathan Turley, the Prez-Elect should just stay out of it. For the violations are of Congressional grounds and personnel so another impeachment, a political act, seems appropriate.
    There is nothing in the Constitution requiring deliberation. 😕
    Just impeach King Donald the Mad. Again.

  10. TURLEY QUOTED IN N.Y. TIMES STORY

    Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who testified in the House against Mr. Trump’s first impeachment, said the latest drive was a rush to judgment out of partisan anger. The fact that Mr. Trump’s critics have called for him to be removed either by impeachment or the 25th Amendment, he said, showed that they are interested only in the outcome, not the legitimacy of the method.

    “This opportunistic use of impeachment would do to the Constitution what the rioters did to the Capitol: leave it in tatters,” Mr. Turley said. “The Democrats,” he added, “should not repeat one impulsive, destructive act in the Capitol with another in such an impeachment.”

    Edited from: “For Trump And The Nation, A Final Test Of Accountability”

    The New York Times, 1/9/21
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    I’ve been reading that Republicans expect Democrats to forgive and forget. Like a siege on the Capitol is not ‘that’ big of a deal. As though we should allow Trump the ‘courtesy’ of serving out his remaining 2 weeks.

    So apparently Turley is towing the party line on this matter. Which goes to show Republicans have learned nothing whatsoever from this extraordinary week.

    Turley overlooks the reality that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have to cover their butts. Historians will naturally wonder ‘why’ Trump wasn’t removed from office immediately after the insurrection. It’s an obvious question certain to build over time. Yet a lot can happen in 2 weeks with a rogue president at the helm. Trump has proven, beyond any doubt, that he cannot be trusted with the levers of power.

    If Trump seeks to pull another momentous stunt, Pelosi and Schumer want to have their concerns formally noted in the strongest terms. That’s just common sense for them. If Trump were a general, the Pentagon would strip him of command and confine Trump to a brig. The rules for Commander In Chief should really be no different.

    1. Wow! this is so insightful. Thank you for that great quote

      “This opportunistic use of impeachment would do to the Constitution what the rioters did to the Capitol: leave it in tatters,” Mr. Turley said. “The Democrats,” he added, “should not repeat one impulsive, destructive act in the Capitol with another in such an impeachment.”

  11. Mozilla and its FIREFOX browser are promoting tech censorship and expanded deplatforming because, in part, “reprehensible as the actions of Donald Trump are, the rampant use of the internet to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy is about more than any one personality”

    I liked using Firefox but I have deleted its app on my devices and will switch to another browser on my computers.

    There is no need to address their vile and untruthful allegations. They speak for themselves. They have made it clear that they are a company I can no longer trust.

    A search shows Firefox market share declining sharply. I suspect this ill considered and somewhat stupid policy declaration maligning about half the country will not reverse the trend to extinction.

    I look forward to the layoffs. They should start with the overgrown zit who thought of this.

    1. Young….Thank you for this information! We too, have Firefox, but will look for another…Please let us know if you find a suitable one.

        1. When Fox News illegally reported the race for Joe Biden while people were still at the polls the word got out. Fox News number 1 in ratings sunk lower than the Crap News Network in ratings. So don’t think it can’t happen.

          1. Fox didn’t call the race for Joe Biden while people were still at the polls, and if they had, it wouldn’t have been illegal.

    2. I too suffered trouble just to get here now & posting. Ph’ MSFT, Foxfire, Facebook, Twitter … Google/Apple, etc.. are trouble for some of us, yet they are toast also going forward, but you have to stop using them & go elsewhere with you biz.

      And remember those same lying b*stards will lie again & tell us the numbers of customers lost now is far greater then the know Liars, like etc.., will admit.

      https://banned.video/watch?id=5ffa32bcfbe79238d80b9b39

    3. They maligned Trump himself, not most of his supporters. Only those supporters who foment violence and hate and advance white supremacy. Are you one of those?

      1. Really?
        Maybe you can explain this.
        “Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part,” Twitter. “Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.” – ABC News political director Rick Klein

        1. Really.

          I was responding to a comment that Young made about Firefox. Do you mistakenly think that ABC News is a subsidiary of Firefox? Or were you just not paying attention to the fact that I was responding to Young’s comment about Firefox?

    1. Free speech is now pro-Trump. Not that it is illegal to be pro-Trump except to the party now in control.

  12. No Calvary Is Coming!

    INSIDE A CAPITOL UNDER SIEGE

    The growing crowds outside the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon sounded menacing but at bay as senators began to debate challenges to the electoral college vote. A top adviser to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stepped out of the ornate chamber for a short break.

    Alone in the Capitol’s marble halls, just outside the chamber’s bronze doors, it was suddenly apparent that the citadel of U.S. democracy was falling to the mob incited by President Trump.

    A cacophony of screaming, shouting and banging echoed from the floor below. McConnell’s security detail rushed past and into the chamber. The adviser began walking toward the Rotunda and came face to face with a U.S. Capitol Police officer sprinting in the opposite direction. The two made eye contact and the officer forced out a single word: “Run!”

    The aide to McConnell (R-Ky.) darted down a side hallway lined with offices. He jiggled one locked doorknob, then another. A co-worker poked his head out of the office of McConnell’s speechwriter. The adviser lunged, pushing him and a colleague back inside.

    The screaming and shouting soon seemed right outside. Only then, a text alert from Capitol police blared on every phone in the room: “Due to security threat inside: immediately, move inside your office, take emergency equipment, lock the doors, take shelter.”

    Congressional staff members take cover after rioters breach the Capitol.

    Three senior GOP aides piled furniture against the door and tried to move stealthily, worried that the intruders would discover them inside. In waves, the door to the hall heaved as rioters punched and kicked it. The crowd yelled “Stop the steal!” Some chanted menacingly, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”

    Peering out a window into a courtyard below, the adviser could see scores of people still streaming in — and no police in sight.

    Before Congress met on Jan. 6 to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund had assured members of Congress that his force of 2,000 officers could handle the large expected crowds, according to multiple people who spoke with Sund in the days leading up to the siege.

    But across the Capitol that day, as lawmakers and aides were holed up in offices, closets and conference rooms, a terrifying reality was taking hold — the Capitol police had lost control and no one was coming to save Congress, at least not right away.

    The deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer, were linked to the riot. During their rampage, marauders came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the Capitol while lawmakers were still there, according to a reconstruction of the events based on eyewitness videos and interviews with nearly 40 lawmakers, staff members and law enforcement officials. The belated emergency response carried out with the help of the D.C. police, FBI and National Guard came after pleas by people sheltering throughout the complex.

    Edited from: “Inside The Capitol Siege: How Barricaded Lawmakers And Aides Sounded Urgent Pleas For Help As Police Lost Control”

    Today’s Washington Post

    1. For the past several years these people have been telling us riots are a good thing. Even the Michigan capitol was invaded and taken over by slobs, but all for the greater good we were assured.

      What happened to change their tunes?

      The politicians and Capitol didn’t even get the Portland or Minneapolis treatment.

      Hard not to despise the lot of them. Those of us who once cared about civility, who cared about law, who respected those in our courts and legislatures, don’t so much anymore and that should worry all of us. Despite the media narrative, that was no terrifying riot in the capital, but if it had been I am not sure I would care. I don’t care about those people anymore. If they stuff their pockets with graft, I don’t care. If they are led to the Gemonian Stairs mumbling ‘but once I was your leader’, I don’t care. I will mind my own business and grow cabbages.

  13. Your extremely obvious role in this Insurrection will be noted and investigated. What Kompromat does Putin have on you? You will henceforth ONLY be remembered as the Main Apologist for a Fascist. Nice way to ruin your own legacy, Turd.

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