The Hazards of 'Normalizing' Impeachment

I must confess I am torn on impeachment. Not the “whistleblower report” or the House Democrats' looming inquiry into President Donald Trump, that is, but on the question of whether impeachment should become a routine form of White Housecleaning or remain, as impeached former President Bill Clinton often said of abortion, “safe, legal and rare.”

Clinton's was largely a partisan impeachment. While a significant number of Democratic congressmen voted to open an inquiry and a handful even backed some articles of impeachment, the matter was largely pursued by Republicans in the House (where only a simple majority is necessary to impeach) and had zero support from Democrats in the Senate (where a two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove). We do not yet know where the Trump impeachment inquiry will end, but it begins in the same place, give or take the occasional Mitt Romney here, Justin Amash there.

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