Politics Ain’t Bean-bag
Harold Washington served as mayor during Chicago’s tumultuous ‘Council Wars’ and ‘Beirut on the lake’ era.
Washington repeated a quote from an 1895 Chicago Evening Post political cartoon by Finley Peter Dunne, whose Irish-American bartender character Mr. Dooley said, “Sure, politics ain’t bean-bag.”
Republicans are already playing impeachment hardball with their top-of -the -voice conspiracy theories and promising a preconceived acquittal. Republicans could use their majority vote in the Senate to aquit the president regardless of the evidence against him. The president would then use the aquittal as a campaign issue.
If the Democrats wanted to play hardball in addressing the president’s unconstitutional acts they have a couple of options.
One option is for the House majority to censure rather than impeach the president for his misuse of the office.
While censure might be viewed as a symbolic act, it would be a historic rebuke of the president that Republicans could not immediately undo. The Democrats could then use the censure as a campaign issue for the next year.
A second option is to impeach, but don’t send to the Senate and continue to investigate the almost daily new accusations of presidential wrongdoing.
Watergate figure John Dean has said, “Make it a campaign issue. Senate is rigged.”
“… add such supplemental articles as needed!” Dean wrote on Twitter. “Just let it hang over his head. If the worst happens and he is reelected, send it to the Senate. But keep investigating!!”
Why should Democrats consider these options? Whether the president is censured or if investigations continue, the president’s wrong-doings will be addressed as is the duty of Congress.
But as former FBI Director James Comey has said, if impeached and convicted, “A lot of his supporters would think some kind of coup had taken place,” Comey went on to say, “We need to take responsibility for this and vote next November, and show we have a certain set of values and we insist that our leaders reflect those values.”
Politics ain’t bean-bag. Ultimately it’s the people’s game.