From the political rhetoric dominating public circles today, it seems that the Democrats are trying to convince themselves that they ought to impeach President Trump with their new muscle in the House of Representatives. That is not a good idea.
We have had enough polarized politics. An impeachment effort, doomed to fail in the Senate, would drive an even greater wedge between the Republicans and Democrats. It seems that the political system is already coming apart and impeachment would shatter it beyond repair.
If such a move were made, it would drag the conflict out for at least five years, with hearings and courts in a long, bitter process. This would foster and institutionalize hate. Some folks still nurse hatred over the Civil War.
With this major undertaking in progress, nothing will be done in Washington. The rest of the world will move on and we will add five years to the two we have already lost. It would be a tearing down process when we are desperately in need of building up.
From a political standpoint, President Trump is the best friend the Democrats have. His antics gave the House to the Democrats. If they get rid of Trump, they will have Vice President Mike Pence, a steady conservative, who will bring the party back by 2020.
Given Trump’s suicidal approach to public affairs, if he were impeached, he would come back in the Republican primaries to be welcomed by his supporters like Napoleon to Paris. If he didn’t get the convention endorsement, he would run as an independent and we would see 1912 all over again.
In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was so mad at President Howard Taft that he ran as an independent, dividing the Republican vote and giving Woodrow Wilson the presidency. Wilson garnered 435 electoral votes, Roosevelt 88, and President Taft 8.
(So if you notice that Trump is wearing glasses on his nose and starting a mustache, you will know what he is up to. John Kasick and Amy Klobuchar will have their work cut out for them in the fall of 2020.)
Talking about rebellion, the North Dakota Republican Party is learning the downside of being the only dog in the park. When one party dominates a state long enough, it breaks into fractions and loses control. That is a historic fact.
That has happened to North Dakota Republicans twice in recent years. Both Senator Kevin Cramer and Governor Doug Burgum won their initial positions by running against convention nominees.
Senator Cramer and Governor Burgum think the present system is fine but then you don’t expect beneficiaries of a system to kick their mother.
Both the Republican and Democrat parties have gone to wide-open systems that invite the participation of everyone, loyal party followers or not. John Trandem, chair of the GOP rules committee, rightly pointed out that party nominations are private decisions that should be restricted to the party faithful.
A major problem is that the party faithful want to be less faithful. Then there are independents who want to vote in a party primary. Both of these groups will fight being exiled on primary election day.
Senator Cramer, in an attempt to distract the discussion, has suggested that perhaps registration would be the solution. That wouldn’t work because registered Republicans could still run against registered Republicans.
Besides, the absence of registration has been a flag of honor among the states. It attests to the honesty of the North Dakota voter. It’s a brag no other state can make.
The North Dakota political system has become too egalitarian to stuff back in the bottle. Republicans will just have to become strong enough to ward off any more challenges to their official nominees.