We have not expressed any view on the second impeachment of Donald Trump and we don’t intend to do so now. Not because we don’t have any. We do. But rather than simply enter the advocacy fray, we prefer pointing to what we believe is a rare public service performed by the New York Times in its February 16 issue, with its lengthy article entitled, “Will Impeachments Become the New Normal?”
Here are some pertinent parts:
The second season of impeachment had ended less than day earlier, but Republican were already talking about next season.
“I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House,” Senator Lindsay Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said Sunday morning on Fox News.
Mr. Graham seemed to be suggesting that the vice president might be punished because she had expressed support for a bail fund for Black Lives Matter protesters in Minnesota last summer. “She actually bailed out rioters,” Mr. Graham charged. That statement was false, but his threat was plain: Republicans can impeach too….
In recent days, former President Donald J. Trump’s defenders have darkly accused Democrats of opening a “Pandora’s box” of partisan retribution – leading to a kind of anything-goes future in politics, where impeachments get volleyed back and forth between the two parties like a tennis match, depending on which side controls Congress….
There’s an element of plausibility here, given the hyper-partisan fervor that’s gripped American politics…. In a broader sense, officials of both parties have suggested that impeachments may just become one of several regular features of a new and bitter normal in our politics. Previously rare or unthinkable measures could simply start happening all the time.
In truth, we too were intrigued by Sen. Graham’s comment about Vice President Harris and perhaps it pointed to something that should make people not support her in any future election. But removing her from office at first glance seemed out of sync with our political history. But after the second Trump impeachment, maybe things are changing.
Perhaps what is most disturbing is that as a people, we seem to be in a place where every disagreement is the very biggest deal we can imagine. It’s time we start seeing things again in accordance with reality.