[guest post by Dana]
Filed under: You have got to be kidding.
Bloomberg has the report:
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst warned Sunday that Republicans would immediately push to impeach Joe Biden over his work in Ukraine as vice president if he win the White House.
“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” Ernst said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.’”
The grounds for impeachment, the first-term Republican said, would be “for being assigned to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year.”
Ernst discussed Trump’s impeachement Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union:
I think ferreting out corruption is absolutely the right thing to do”…[I]f Trump was “tying it to other things,” referring to the allegations that the president connected U.S. military aid to investigations into this political rival, that’s something she “wouldn’t have done.”
“The president has a lot of latitude to do what he wants to do…I think, generally speaking, going after corruption would be the right thing to do. He did it maybe in the wrong manner.”
Ernst said she will be voting to acquit Trump in the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday, adding that “whether you like what the president has done or not,” she does not think it rises to the point of removing a president from office.
Ernst, who is an at-risk Repuplican in a battleground state, was recently pushing for a quick end to the impeachment:
We’ve had 17 witnesses, from the House…We do hear from people back home, but they’re like, ‘get this over with.’ That’s what I’m hearing, is that we really need to wrap this up and get the American people’s business done.
On the question of Republicans possibly pushing to impeach a President Biden, consider a sampling of the Republican response to the impeachement of Trump:
Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, was also “sad,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning, because Democrats wanted only to impeach Trump and prevent him from doing his “amazing” work—an observation that the President liked so much that he promptly tweeted it.
[I]mpeaching the President was, in the words of the Ohio Republican Jim Jordan “unfair,” “dangerous,” and “harmful to our country.”
And this from Kellyanne Conway:
“People will not forget about it,” Conway said Tuesday morning. “People will remember how those Democrats spent their time and the taxpayers’ money, which was a big waste. And if you waste my time, you risk my trust is what these voters will say to them. And can we stop calling them moderate Democrats? I think they’ve proven that they’re not. They are not representing the will of their people.”
“If you’re called a representative, if that’s your day job, you ought to represent the will of your people. And these folks saying, ‘Oh, it’s a vote of conscience. I’ve been struggling. I had to read all the documents all weekend.’ They would sound more legitimate and more credible if they just said, ‘I need to follow the leadership of my party, which has gone so far to the left, we can’t even see the middle from where we are anymore. And frankly, which probably dangles committee assignments and campaign money in front of me for me to make this vote,'” she said.
Even viewing the the hearing was considered a waste of time, let alone the impeachment itself:
“They’re kind of on a fishing expedition,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
“It’s a political sideshow and I’ve got more important things to do,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “The House has its job to do. And then when it comes to us, that’s when our job kicks in.”
“It’s a sham. It’s a show trial. Not even that,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). “Nothing rises to the level of impeachment. So, this is just a big waste of time.”
And let’s not forget these GOP responses when the impeachment inquiry was launched:
“So much for being prayerful and thoughtful, I think it’s a bad day for the country, I think this whole thing is a joke,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham…
“I guess if you’re going to come up with an inadequate case, you might as well go for the impeachment and have the circus,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told reporters, adding that he’s glad they’re getting to it “sooner rather than later.”
Additionally, Lamar Alexander held fast that it was voters who should decide Trump’s fate, not Congress:
“If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist…It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party… Our founding documents provide for duly elected presidents who serve with ‘the consent of the governed,’ not at the pleasure of the United States Congress. Let the people decide.”
Ernst’s warning provided Biden this nugget to use on the campaign trail:
They very much don’t want to face me obviously,” Biden told the Des Moines Register. “I’ve never seen a sitting president and his allies this frightened about who may be the nominee.”
Claiming that the impeachment of Trump has opened a “door of impeachable whatever” diminishes the impeachment process, as well as conveniently relieves a president of accountability for his actions. There is something hypocritical about a party that has cried foul from the Trump impeachment get-go and blamed it on everything from a witch hunt, to partisan politics and an attempt to undue an election, and yet these same people are now warning a contender from the other side of the aisle that there could be an immediate push for impeachment if he is elected. Let’s call it weaponizing impeachment. Whatever happened to letting the voters decide? Whatever happened to doing the will of the people? What about accusations that the impeachment effort was nothing more than an effort to overturn an election? Does all of that go out the window when the president is a Democrat? Shouldn’t consistency and an equal-application of laws and processes be the goal rather than straight partisanship? Because if Biden becomes our next persident, then clearly the people will have spoken and made their will known.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)