Do you care about corruption?

Some discussion in one of the comment threads prompts me to ask, do you really care whether your favorite politician is corrupt?  Sure, we’d all like our favorites to be pure as driven snow.  But, seriously, assume McCain is your man and you believed Obama would do serious damage to America (or assume the reverse; it doesn’t matter).  Would it matter to you to discover, beyond dispute, that your favored candidate was crooked as a three dollar bill and the opponent, who would ruin America if elected, is as upright as a saint?  Would you punish the individual at the expense of the country (the phrase “cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind)?

Okay, would it make a difference if the sins of your favorite were entirely personal (Monica, Whitewater) or actual misuse of power (Watergate)? 

We all love to point to the moral failings of the other candidate (gee, Obama provides lots of opportunities, doesn’t he), but does it really matter?  I submit there are a few voters who would punish their candidate at the expense of their country, but I’ll bet they are darn few.  For example, I doubt very many people at all who believe in Obama’s vision for America are going to be persuaded to vote against him because of the people he has associated with.  What do you think?  What would you do?

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    That would be a horrifying dilemma.

    I guess, for me, “sleazy corruption” would not be as disqualifying as “criminal corruption”. With the latter in evidence, I’m not voting for that man or woman, period. Sleazy corruption is evidence that the person is always skirting the very edge of legality, eagerly finding every loophole and exploiting it to its fullest, in ways that can clearly be seen to be harmful and wrong, and for which a guilty verdict has a likelihood of no more than 50%. (I borrowed that last sentence from the entry in Webster’s New World Dictionary for “Clintonian Action”)

    It comes down to “how bad is the other guy”?

  2. Oldflyer says

    Pure Strawman, DQ.

    I do not admire hypothetical questions.

    Reminds me of the hypothetical question put to me by a board member as I was on the edge of whether to go Marine Aviation or Navy. The answer was; “If the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife, we would issue you one.” I went Navy.

  3. says

    Hello DQ,

    History has shown time and again that you’ll do well to not look too closely at the personal morality those politically allied with you. Any cursory look at the history of our country (and the history of the world, for that matter) and you’ll find truly unseemly things beneath the covers.

    For instance, JFK was an utter beast morally in his private life, but he was successful as a politician.

    The great FDR was doing mass rallies and parades similar to Hitler when he was elected. Accusations that he was a fascist/ socialist was probably not too far off the mark.

    Nixon, who navigated us through the most tumultuous years of the Cold War and who basically preserved our nation behind the scenes for close to half a century, nonetheless resorted to paranoid sneaky tactics to get his way.

    George W. Bush (the dad) was the hero of Desert Storm and the “gray eminence” behind the “throne” for years is nonetheless a Masonic humanist who sped our slide into the global world and helped our consequent and continuing slide from national sovereignty.

    The list is just endless. People are not tidy and we can’t expect our politicians to be as pure as the driven snow. We keep looking for pure white hats and pure black hats, one or the other, and it is not there.

    When we look around in our own personal life, do we see different? Who around us are paragons of saintly morality? There was only one perfect Man and He was nailed to a cross.

    For my money, I’m voting against Obama rather than for McCain, but I’m planning on doing this while holding my nose.

    McCain is not my friend politically. Take for instance his campaign co-chairman and economic advisor called Americans, us, a bunch of “whiners”, a whole nation of whiners, in fact.

    This man, Phil Gramm, a former congressman, a former senator who is worth millions upon millions of dollars, who sits on the chair at a prestigious bank, and who also sat on Congressional committees dealing with our national financial and banking decisions— this man is calling us a bunch of losers because many of us are having a hard time making ends meet?

    And this is who McCain chooses to be one of his two co-chairmans of his campaign?

    I have loads of problems with McCain, but I also had loads of problems with President Bush and I ended up supporting him anyway. And I probably wouldn’t do any different now given the choices.

    It is true that many voters don’t give a fig about the morality of their politicians as long as they advance their political agendas. And I think it is also true that Obama’s choice of friends is not decisive in making the American people to vote against him. Right or wrong, Americans don’t vote against people because of who their friends are. But I also think that this is true only up to a point.

    I think Obama is disconnected to the American people through an ivory tower mentality and excessive self-love while McCain is disconnected to the American people through his billions of dollars and sheltered life on the Hill.

    On the one hand we have “Change, change, change”, on the other hand we have “Vote for me. I’m a war hero.”

    Nothing’s perfect, certainly not our choices for President. Neither is pure as the driven snow, but…

    … but, at least, McCain is not calling on the dissolution of the America I’ve known and loved for most of my life. Obama wants to bring about a change and I fear he, along with a willing Democratic Congress, will turn our country inside out into a vague facsimile of Europe. Something hollow. Full of platitudes and berating lectures, but not much else…

  4. suek says

    Corruption. Interesting discussion. First, I’d have to consider definitions. What is defined as corrupt?
    1)Personal immorality or venality?
    2)using info to benefit personally (sort of insider trading stuff)?
    3)dipping into the public coffers?
    4)applying the law discriminately?
    5)actually taking bribes to shape law?

    There are probably others – feel free to add.

    1 and 2 are offensive, but wouldn’t deter me from voting for someone if their opponent wasn’t head and shoulders above them. If proven though, I am definitely going to consider the opposition.

    3 is definitely a problem, but it’s also temporary and fixable once it’s discovered. Such a person should be prosecuted. I wouldn’t vote such a person into office – because this person is not only immoral, but subject to blackmail in addition to the immediate problem.

    4 and 5 are dangerous. Anyone proven to have done either of these – even if not indisputably proven – should not be _near_ public office.

  5. says

    Thanks for the link, suek. I was struck by how forthcoming McCain was in accepting the blame for the breakup and saying he deserved the change in relationship with the Reagans. The article makes me think more of the man, not less.

  6. says

    Hi Oldflyer,

    Fair enough. But we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy looking for flaws in the personalities of our rivals. And we can’t just blame the media; bloggers are as guilty as anybody. Even our politicians do it. The impeachment of Clinton, which had everything to do with political name-calling and private morality, and nothing at all to do with his performance in office or high crimes and misdemeanors, is Exhibit A.

  7. Ellie2 says

    I apply the same standards to Members of Congress as to any other employee. If my best employee was stealing from my company, I’d fire him. If he was carousing on his own time, I couldn’t care less.

    Obama’s associates are not merely who he hangs with — he gets them grants, they get him a side yard he can’t afford.

    Where I work we call that “consideration” and you get fired for it. If a public employee grants contracts to his relatives, that’s graft and they should not only get fired but also prosecuted.

    That’s my big gripe with the GOP, they are on the take. Big time. Over time in Washington being on the take seems normal. Who was that guy (from CA I think) who was sobbing on his way to jail “How did this happen???”

  8. Ellie2 says

    DQ -

    a) Monica Lewinsky was a White House Intern. You don’t regard that as an abuse of power? Where I work, affairs are ignored UNLESS they are within the chain of command;
    b) WJC had an open sexual harrassment lawsuit against him. Part of that case was the discovery of a pattern of behavior. You think that lying about his sexual behavior to a grand jury was “purely personal”? The judge that lifted his law license didn’t think so.

  9. Ymarsakar says

    Every voter has a vision, an ideal, of where they want the nation to go. Based upon their particular self-interests, virtues, vices, weaknesses, greed, and ambitions, these citizens have a specific vision on certain general trends or even certain specific policy goals.

    When a voter has to recalculate his support for a candidate because the candidate is doing counter-productive things that interfere with the citizen’s “vision”, then the choice is made on a balance type scale. This balance is often as much intuition, meaning emotion based, as it is logic based.

    To a certain extent, there’s a safe zone that people will tolerate concerning their politicians use of their power, but it is only to the extent that the end scale result is still better than giving power to the other guy.

    The question of who is the better candidate and the question of how to get better candidates, are two different subjects. A voter makes decisions independent of one over the other. They will not vote for Obama simply because they don’t like waiting for a better candidate or believe that one will never come in the future. They will vote for Obama because they think he is better than McCain.

    If a politician is able to convince the citizen that their vision will be furthered MORE if you give power to Pol A than to Pol B, then the citizen will likely vote for Pol A.

    There are many ways of convincing people, but the end result is still the same. That vision, that ultimate end goal, that balance of scales concerning future potential results, tips in one direction as opposed to another. Tip in one direction, and you get a vote for McCain even if much of what he will do will be counter-productive to your vision of the ideal. But so long as it is seen to be less counter-productive than Obama, then it is satisfactory, so long as the terms are short, and they mostly are relatively speaking to other nations and dictators.

  10. Ymarsakar says

    They will vote for Obama because they think he is better than McCain.

    And this applies to people that think he is good in the short term for the nation and those who think he is good in the long term for the nation by messing things up so badly that the people will clamor for Republican leadership.

    I’m not quite sure people have an innate ability to solve problems once they recognize it. After all, the self-delusion capabilities that got them into this pit in the first place is still there. Just cause you force them to recognize reality doesn’t mean they will do anything about it.

    The endless civil wars in Africa is a good indication of what happens when people recognize that there is a problem, but don’t know how to fix it.

    If you don’t know how to fix it, then trying to interfere would be worse than doing nothing.

  11. suek says

    >>b) WJC had an open sexual harrassment lawsuit against him. Part of that case was the discovery of a pattern of behavior. You think that lying about his sexual behavior to a grand jury was “purely personal”?>>

    I’m with Ellie on this – comes under #3…Clinton was the primary law enforcer in the country. As the Executive Officer, enforcement of the law was his primary responsibility. He chose to exempt himself from following those laws. When upper echelon officials apply laws to others but not to themselves, you have the classical corruption situation.

    That said, I’m not so sure about the Monica abuse of power thing…one might equally say that given Clinton’s reputation, Monica may have been the one abusing her situation! Yes, I understand about abuse of power – and I think your workplace’s policy is commendable – but I’m really not sure “undue influence” applies here. Not that that makes it much better – just that they both may have been immoral opportunists who recognized each other and did what they wanted regardless of consequences.

  12. says

    Hi Ellie2,

    Maybe you are right. Certainly affairs within the “chain of command” are problematic, but Monica surely seems to have been a very eager participant. As for the lying, it bothers me, but not enough to throw the guy out if he’s my guy. Of course, Clinton was not my guy, but still, lying about an affair is not what the founders had in mind by high crimes and misdemeanors, I don’t think.

  13. suek says

    DQ…you’re a lawyer for crums sake. How can you so completely miss the point?

    >>lying about an affair is not what the founders had in mind by high crimes and misdemeanors, I don’t think.>>

    It wasn’t about lying about an affair, it was about perjuring himself in a court of law. It happened to be about sex, but the point is that he was the chief law enforcer, and he perjured himself. Your law courts are worth _zip_ if perjury cannot be effectively prosecuted. You have a whole thread about “Telling the Truth” and the willingness of clients to lie on the stand, but you don’t think that the man who heads up the nation should be held to the same standard? If you enforce laws on one person, it’s absolutely vital that laws be enforced against _all_ people – _especially_ the ones at the top.

  14. Ellie2 says

    DQ,

    I think that Monica believed that WJC was going to dump Hillary for her, once he left office. Shades of Amy Fisher.

    I agree she was an eager participant. He was supposed to be the adult. He was POTUS, she was an intern. He could have been a teacher, a Priest, a doctor. Same imbalance of power.

    As for the lying: do you make any distinction between lying to your buds, wife, boss etc and in sworn testimony in a court of law? If you are in court, do you get an exemption for lying about subjects you think are none of the court’s business?

    We got the right outcome, in my view: he was impeached for perjury and found not guilty of the “high crimes & misdemeanors” standard.

  15. says

    Hang on, suek, that’s not what I’m saying. Anyone who commits perjury should be held to account (though, in truth, hardly anyone ever is!). But all that means is that Clinton should be tried for perjury and pay the penalty for lying under oath. It does not mean he should be impeached and removed from office.

    The president may only be removed for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Now, I don’t think anyone quite knows what that means, but I take it to mean seriously improper actions taken in his or her official capacity as president. Fooling around with Monica, lying about it and even perjuring himself about it were not actions taken in his official capacity and should not have been grounds for impeachment or conviction, however much they might open him up to civil suits or criminal charges.

    One last point. When I bemoaned the fact that my clients and practically everyone else were quite ready and willing to lie on the stand, I was complaining, among other things, about how we as a society no longer see lying, even under oath, as a terrible moral failing. We expect people to lie to protect themselves. I think that’s terrible, and complain about it in the post, to my co-workers and to pretty much everyone else. But, to the extent that we have now come to expect it, it seems hypocritical to all of a sudden get terribly self-righteous about Clinton doing what thousands of people do in our courtrooms every day. Suek, please note, I’m not accusing you of hypocricy, I assume you would apply the same standard you apply to Clinton to anyone who lied on the stand. I’m speaking of Americans as a whole. The whole impeachment effort was political opportunism at its worst, and had nothing to do with actual high crimes and misdemeanors, at least as I understand that term.

  16. Ymarsakar says

    (though, in truth, hardly anyone ever is!)

    These days, only political targets like Libby are held to account using perjury because it’s such a convenient fishing tool for witch hunts.

    The thing about false accusations concerning rape, however, is the same subject, since it is a political target.

    The difference is, the former is a political target one must hit as hard as possible, from the perspective of the Left, and the latter is a political target that must be protected and given as many advantages as possible indirectly or directly.

    You can get a lot done, whether you call it ‘good’ or ‘evil’, if you focus fire on a certain target.

  17. Ymarsakar says

    The whole impeachment effort was political opportunism at its worst, and had nothing to do with actual high crimes and misdemeanors, at least as I understand that term.

    It really depends upon what the connotations and denotations of “misdemeanor” meant back in the day. Since certainly we can extend the meaning of “high crimes”, like Ted Kennedy’s car splash routine, to modern times very easily.

  18. Ymarsakar says

    Concerning the spirit of the words, Clinton would definitely have been impeached in the days of the Founding Fathers, cause they would not have tolerated his behavior towards transfering tech to CHina.

    But the spirit is not passed on all that reliably across the generations.

  19. Ymarsakar says

    It does not mean he should be impeached and removed from office.

    No, what it means is that there should be a vote and people should vote on it, as it is meant to be. Of course, this turns into a political circus as the Democrats back their candidate for political reasons, but every split vote is a political circus, just mostly behind closed doors.

  20. Ymarsakar says

    In summary, I tend to think people’s ability to stay true to anti-corruption principles really depend upon two factors. The skill of the political manipulator on both sides of the equation and the personal virtue or strength of the citizen in question.

    Upon these two factors, rests the totality of which decision will be made. Either to support a candidate regardless of corruption, or to change one’s thinking entirely because of that corruption.

  21. suek says

    >>I was complaining, among other things, about how we as a society no longer see lying, even under oath,>>

    And why not when even people such as yourself find it acceptable in their leader? Corruption is corruption, DQ. That’s why it’s _called_ corruption. Clinton would not have hesitated to prosecute someone else for the same offense. Look at Spitzer – you could say _that_ was about sex as well. The anger towards him wasn’t just that he used prostitutes – it was because he was also prosecuting people for using prostitutes. In other words, he was himself doing what he was – properly for his office – prosecuting others for. That is the heart and soul of corruption – the higher uppers in politics do exactly the same things that the lower downers do, but the higher uppers are “excused” because of their power, and the lower downers get sent to jail. Paula Whoever was definitely one of the “lower downers”.

  22. says

    Come on, suek, at least don’t distort what I am saying. How do you get I “find it acceptable” out of my statement that “Clinton should be tried for perjury and pay the penalty for lying under oath”? I just don’t think he should be kicked out of office for it.

    The most important right we have in America is the right to vote for our leaders. That vote should be respected and not lightly overturned. Any process that removes from office a leader voted into office by the people should be used only in the most extraordinary circumstances. And any process that removes the one leader voted into office by all of the voters, should be used only if the continued existence of our nation is threatened. Anything else, including perjury, can wait for the next election, at which time the voters can remove the persident from office.

  23. BrianE says

    For this is the core of the corruption in our present system of government.“Corruption” not in the sense that representatives are bribed.
    Rather, “corruption” in the sense that the system induces the beneficiaries of Congress’s acts to raise and give money to Congress to induce it to act. There’s only so much time; there’s only so much Congress can do. Why not limit its actions to those things it must do—and those things that pay? – Lessig, Free Culture

    This is the corruption that John McCain was hoping to contain with the campaign finance reform act. I would submit there is another form of bribery and its a bribery that is bankrupting America. It is the briberly of politician buying votes from the American people.
    Politicians promise this program, or that program– spending money for this group or that group and it has produced an American that is on the take.

    Sleazy politicians are returned to office because they “bring home the bacon”.

    I was just listening to an C. McCaskill, representing Obama’s campaign, saying that the standard achievement test of the no child left behind act have failed. She says Obama would change the standards, allowing many ways to measure progress. I thought we measured progress of a child by grades, and the problem with grades is that they are subjective– in fact I heard about a district in the Carolina’s that plans on limiting the lowest grade a student can receive to 60. The standard achievement tests show that teachers are doing a poor job teaching.
    Now the corruption in this– politicians are buying the votes of the NEA.

    As long as Americans are on the take the cost of government will rise,
    and politicians will continue to steal money from one group of Americans to give to another group, from the producer class to the consumer class until enough Americans have a sense of honor to resist these dishonest attempts to buy our vote.

  24. suek says

    >>How do you get I “find it acceptable” out of my statement that “Clinton should be tried for perjury and pay the penalty for lying under oath”? I just don’t think he should be kicked out of office for it.>>

    Because you don’t think he should be kicked out of office for it. Look…here’s a possibly poor example of what I mean. Let’s say your birthday is a big day for you. In fact, you have a sign in your office saying “Today’s my birthday!” One of your co-workers walks by the sign, looks at you and says nothing. How upset do you get? Ok…now you’re at home, and your dear sweet sainted mother never calls. You call her, but in the conversation, she never says word one about your birthday. Are you upset? I’d bet you would be. (Ok…I’m not big on birthdays, so I understand if you say this is a lousy example). The idea is that the offense is in proportion to the signifigance of the offender. If this had been Joe Blow, I’d agree with you. I might not fire him. But this is _the President_. The man whose primary responsibility is to uphold the law of the land. That’s his _job_. And he gave himself a pass, so that a person who had a claim against him wouldn’t win her case. That is the soul of corruption. You would give him a pass. I wouldn’t. If Paula Jones doesn’t have the same rights in a court of law that the President has, then the system is corrupt.

    You say it was “just about sex”…well, then, if it’s just a small thing, why did he perjure himself? Obviously because it _wasn’t_ a small thing to him. He knew there was a lot on the line, and he wasn’t willing to risk it – so he lied.

    If he’s unfaithful in the small things, how can you assume he’ll be faithful in the big things?

  25. says

    I wouldn’t give Clinton a pass. How many times do I have to say it? “Clinton should be tried for perjury and pay the penalty for lying under oath.” That is hardly giving him a pass. I just wouldn’t also undo the vote of the electorate over it. It is up to the voters to fire him, not up to Congress to do so.

    Spitzer resigned. If he had not, it would have been up to the voters to fire him.

    I do hope you will quit saying that calling for Clinton to be tried for perjury is “giving him a pass” but other than that I think we will end up having to agree to disagree. You trust Congress to kick Presidents out of office in a far wider variety of circumstances that I do. I believe that the voters elect presidents and the voters should be the ones to fire presidents, unless the very continuation of America as we know it is so imminently threatened that the matter simply cannot wait for the next election.

    The bottom line is that I don’t trust Congress not to play politics with impeachment (or anything else, for that matter). Therefore, I believe that Congress should only preempt the voter’s right to hire and fire their presidents when there well may not be another election at which the voters can decide to fire the president if Congress does not act.

    By the way, let me suggest an alternative. What if the result of an impeachment and conviction wasn’t that the president was thrown out of office, but that the matter was put to a vote of the voters? In Great Britain, where the prime minister can call for an election at any time on very short notice, the quick elections seem to work pretty well. Maybe in really questionable circumstances, like the ones we are disagreeing on here, we should have an election on similar short notice. At least then the voters, not the Congress, would do the firing, which I’d be a whole lot more comfortable with.

  26. suek says

    >>At least then the voters, not the Congress, would do the firing, which I’d be a whole lot more comfortable with.>>

    Not practical, as I’m sure you know, but at least theoretically acceptable. Remembering that we are a democratic _republic_, however, I really don’t have a problem with Congress making the decision. Obviously Clinton was impeached, but not found guilty, so your preference was observed, as was mine. What more can you ask for? He was reprimanded, but stayed in office. Best of both worlds, so to speak.

    But I’m telling you – “Do as I say, not as I do” never worked. If our leaders aren’t held to a standard that reflects their positions of governance, the people sure aren’t going to reflect the higher standards you might wish for. If you want higher standards for the people, you have to set the example.

    As for Spitzer, he resigned because he could see the writing on the wall. Had he not, he _would_ have been impeached. And I’m fine with that…corruption should not wait till the next election. If the penalties are stiff and certain, corruption is much less likely to occur. I just wish there was a way to get Congress critters out of office without waiting until the next election. I’m not sure if it’s the same in all the states, but in Calif. at least, there is no method available to recall members of either house.

  27. Ymarsakar says

    It is up to the voters to fire him, not up to Congress to do so.

    Then are you saying the Constitution strictly forbade Congress from balancing the powers of the Presidency via impeachment votes?

    If they did, fine, then your position about people votes would be backed up. But it’s unlikely that they did, given the focus on limiting the “Corrupt King” issue and also how impeachments were historically used.

    The bottom line is that I don’t trust Congress not to play politics with impeachment (or anything else, for that matter).

    What do you think impeachment is designed to do? It’s not designed to favor Congress or the Presidency, it’s solely designed to balance the powers. To allow Congress to do something about a President they don’t like. And if the President wants to reciprocate, he can veto and refuse to enforce laws via Executive Orders.

    Impeachment, at its base, was designed as a political tool. You cannot erase its fundamental nature simply because you don’t like how Congress might use it, Don. That’s not what the Constitution is about.

    In Great Britain, where the prime minister can call for an election at any time on very short notice, the quick elections seem to work pretty well.

    No, they don’t. Prime Ministers have held back such votes in war and peace times solely to stack the deck for their party later on. You think being able to call for elections when things favor you isn’t a political circus in the end?

    Think again. And the PM’s ability to do that is exercised far more than impeachment. Which means “balance of powers” is literally challenged every time it is used, and if they use it too many times, it obviously will unbalance the balance of powers. As it already has in Britain.

    Therefore, I believe that Congress should only preempt the voter’s right to hire and fire their presidents

    In case you hadn’t noticed, a Republic’s President is not elected by the popular vote. At least, this Republic’s President isn’t.

  28. Ymarsakar says

    Any process that removes from office a leader voted into office by the people should be used only in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    Like the veto? Like the pardon? Like the ability to elect judges until they die?

    There is no “process” that is so fundamentally “just or virtuous” that it cannot be corrupted, which is why the basic assumption of the US Constitution was that it would be corrupted. So if it is going to corrupted, we might as well make another process counter the corruption and have two sides battle tings out until the truth and right comes out. Like a court.

    What does the veto actually do except the deny the will of the American people in getting the laws that they themselves elected their representatives to make?

    What does the pardon do except nullify the decisions of citizens and the law the citizens made themselves?

    There is no process so sacred that it should be left unbalanced and used as a Sword of Damocles. Cause if you try to treat the right of the people to vote in a leader as sacred and something that can’t be used right often, then you’re just setting it up to fall from the pedestal and be corrupted, so that when it is used, it will be used without any counter-balance to it.

  29. Ymarsakar says

    As for voting in the President, what does it particularly matter in Constitutional balance of powers, which is designed to sustain a Republic for centuries on centuries, when 51% of the people are for Bush and 49% are for his opponent?

    Does this 3% difference matter so much that it is should be treated in the special fashion that you proposed, Don? No.

    The system is what is special. How the system works and maintains itself is what is special. Not any single “element” to it, because that one element is nothing without the other parts of the system.

    The percentages have never mattered. The absolute number of supporters for any one candidate has never mattered to maintaining America. What does matter is maintaining a balance, to ensure that it doesn’t tilt one way or another into a permanent crash dive.

    What matters is that the 51% is of moderates and people in the middle. If 25% Left plus 25% right combined to make 50% and the moderate faction combined to make 49%, the 49% should win, even if you have to rig the system to make sure that happens.

    And that’s how the US Constitution is rigged, as opposed to Parliamentary systems where two extreme factions can combine and outnumber the moderates.

    And any process that removes the one leader voted into office by all of the voters, should be used only if the continued existence of our nation is threatened.

    And who decides when the nation is threatened? The Congress and the President.

    Maintaining the balance between the federal branches of government will always be more important than appealing to popular sentiment one way or another.

    Impeachment is the ability of Congress to balance the powers of the Executive branch. Remove that for your popularity contest, Don, and bad things are going to happen in the coming centuries.

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