Let’s consider some of the issues to face the President over the last week.
Multiple officials have presented testimony before House committees detailing abuse of power by the President. He was pressured to recant a no-bid contract awarded to his own property, after revealing by his own statements that he retained direct control over the property. He abandoned an ally to be overrun and murdered by an invading force. His official representative admitted a quid-pro-quo transaction associated to the aforementioned abuse of power. His personal attorney was revealed to be deeply associated with campaign finance law abusers who had firm ties to adversarial nations, and after attesting to no knowledge of or significant association with the arrested men multiple pictures and direct correspondence has been produced demonstrating the President is lying.
That’s one week, and it’s not all of the major issues he’s confronted, nor does it begin to scrape the bottle of the issues from previous weeks.
Now let’s look at some of the other issues he’s faced through the week. He described the investigation into his criminality as a “lynching”. He may have surreptitiously extended his middle finger to a female astronaut. He’s had balance issues at a rally, and at the same rally returned to describing the positives of getting rid of the Electoral College. He’s attacked the emolument clause of the Constitution as “phony”, in a direct attack on originalism.
All of these issues are noteworthy. Some are absolutely valid concerns, some are negative interpretations of potentially innocuous actions and statements. One thing is certain, however: none of the issues in the second batch, even assuming the worst about them, rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
The impeachment effort is partially legal, partially political. Charges must be brought against the President, and those charges must be voted upon. A very high standard of proof is thus required, as members of the President’s party are likely to seek any excuse, no matter how ludicrous, to let him off the hook for his crimes.
The answer to that is to shift public opinion. As people develop a certainty that the President is acting in felonious or corrupt ways, political pressure will mount on the Senators who vote on his potential ejection.
Some people, those who only casually follow the news, will have their opinions shifted by items from the second group of stories. For a person who votes primarily on the perception of health of a candidate or their general likeability, issues like flipping off an astronaut matter.
For those who pay attention to politics, they should be minor points of interest, simply continued confirmation of the merit of a position. There is always the risk of them becoming distractions or diversions, and that must be avoided.
Every politically-involved person has a role to play in an impeachment process. The task for those who oppose it is to make it appear unjust or too complex for certainty. The task for those who support it is to present the case and the supporting evidence. The rest of it… shifting public opinion based on ancillary statements and actions… are the job of the politicians and the professional journalists and punditry.
Every one of us has friends, family, and associates who recognize the effort we put into staying informed. They may agree with us or not, but they know that we are up to date on what’s happening in the world. This is where we are most useful in the process: shifting public opinion locally by introducing valid reasons for impeachment to those who are wavering in their support of the President or those who simply don’t pay attention.
Showing concern about the Constitution means little to them. Selling out allies to foreign enemies or enriching himself by abusing his position means a lot.
For this task, we need to focus only on the impeachable offenses. Those must be the topics of discussion when we are attempting to influence others. Everything else is attacking symptoms rather than the disease, and hinders the chance to remove a President who is actively attacking America’s historic role in the world and our Constitutional system.