Does the extreme nature of Trump’s presidency and the capitol riots warrant double impeachment? And should we worry about setting a precedent for the party in power impeaching the opposition’s president?
I do wonder about the pandora's box that is potentially being opened with this impeachment. Not because I think Trump's impeachment is unjustified, but because I don't trust the Republican party NOT to retaliate in the future over a Democrat's impeachment-unworthy conduct. Is this a new strategy for Republicans to try to bar prominent politicians from holding future office by impeachment for past acts? Are they going to find some reason to make Kamala Harris next?
I believe Trump's actions absolutely warranted another impeachment. We should worry that Republicans will seek impeachment in bad-faith in the future. But it would be more unwise to let the possibility of bad-faith actors doing something in the future stop you from doing the right thing now. What kind of horrific precedent would be set if impeachment was not pursued? Do we think that would matter one bit to Republican political calculations in the future about whether or not to pursue bad-faith impeachments against a Democrat? I don't think so. See, e.g. Clinton, William Jefferson (1998)
I believe Trump’s actions absolutely warranted impeachment. A worse precedent would be set if Congress decided that Trump’s actions did not warrant bringing articles of impeachment. We can’t worry about whether or not doing the obvious right thing now makes it easier for bad-faith actors to do something similar in the future. Do I believe Republicans will, in bad-faith, seek impeachment of a Democrat in the future? The answer is simple: If they feel like they can get away with it politically. Which is exactly what their calculation would be regardless of what Democrats did about Trump. It hasn’t stopped them before. See, e.g. Clinton, William Jefferson (1998)