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Naive, pointless, harmful Premature, partisan impeachment filing demeans the process and democracy.

Among some of his political opponents, talk of impeaching Donald Trump began practically the moment he declared victory in the Nov. 8, 2016, election. It was unfortunate even then. Now, six Democratic congressmen u including one from Chicago u have elevated it to the status of ridiculous.

In word and deed, President Trump has done plenty in his first 10 months in office deserving rebuke and outrage. He has polarized the country like perhaps no president before him and inflamed his political enemies. But being provocative, even outrageously so, hardly rises to the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" set by the Constitution as justification to impeach a president.

Disgruntled everyday citizens may grumble around the kitchen table that the object of their scorn should be removed from office, but when elected officials file articles of impeachment on the floor of Congress, they demonstrate a naive understanding of what the concept is. Worse, they cheapen the process. Worse still, they demean democracy itself.

In their complaint, the half-dozen Democrats, including ChicagoEs Luis Gutierrez, allege obstruction of justice, violations of conflict-of-interest rules and efforts to undermine both the federal judiciary and freedom of the press u all legitimate issues of discussion, some matters of law requiring much more official investigation and none yet shown to be anything more than a point of argument. Under such circumstances. an official action aimed at ultimately unseating a president appears more like a petty effort to overrule the results of an election than a solemn exercise to protect the nation.

That impression is made even stronger by the knowledge that the groupEs effort is beyond quixotic. There is no way, given what we know now, that a Republican-controlled House is going to allow action on an impeachment bill.

Legal and appropriate mechanisms are in place and, in the case of a special prosecutorEs investigation, at work that could determine whether any of President TrumpEs actions merit a trial in the House of Representatives. It is too much to hope that these systems can operate without any taint of politics, but they at least should be allowed to reach their conclusions before confronting the distortion of political interpretations. Failing that, articles of impeachment do nothing more than reinforce the notion among TrumpEs supporters that the president is being harassed and abused by political enemies.

If Gutierrez and his fellows want to rid the country of President TrumpEs policies and practices the right way, they should concentrate less on trying to force him out of office and more on persuading his supporters why those policies and practices are wrong.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Nov 17, 2017
Words:432
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