Monday, December 03, 2018

"Presidents Under Fire: The History of Impeachment" with Fareed Zakaria on CNN

Presidents Under Fire: The History of Impeachment”, hosted by Fareed Zakaria, aired on Sunday, December 2, 2018 on CNN (best url ).
Of course Zakaria stressed the history, with the impeachment of Andrew Johnson after the Civil War, and then the threat against Richard Nixon in 1974 (leading to his rather abrupt resignation on August 9, 1974), and then the silly trial of Bill Clinton given the Monica Lewinsky scandal (so well and explicitly written up in a book by Kenneth Starr).  Zakaria took a little time with Nixon, covering the Saturday Night Massacre of 1973.  That was during my own coming of age and I remember it well.
Zakaria stresses that once impeachment starts getting used as a partisan weapon, it loses its credibility when we really need it.  It’s like taking too many antacids and getting a rebound.  Zakaria also points out generally its only conduct while in office that can get him impeached (so the stuff about Putin before the election is a best a gray area).  It would be hard to get 67 votes from the Senate even if a Democratic House passed it.

Update:  Oct 25, 2019

Fareed Zakaria reaired this with some extra material about Trump and the Ukraine corruption situation. This time the episode was called "On the Brink: When a President Faces Impeachment".  Zakaria has only recently come to believe impeachment is proper and says Trump is turning into an elected dictator because he won't honor the rule of law. 

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