Letter to the Editor:

Although more than a few readers will disagree, I believe Donald Trump is a loathsome human being and a disaster as president.

It is my opinion that he has a long history of unethical, even criminal, behavior including during his time in office. I am all-in on his removal from office at the earliest possible moment. What I no longer support is the impeachment process to accomplish that fact.

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, “Spare Me the Purity Racket,” Maureen Dowd makes a compelling case against those purists in the Democratic Party who are calling for impeaching the president on moral and constitutional grounds. 

The bottom line, she said, is that “the attempt to impeach Trump is one of the rare cases in which something obviously justified is obviously stupid.” And so it is. The effort cannot succeed and, even more alarming, risks the worst possible outcome: a Trump re-election.

Impeachment is a political, not a legal, process. In all the years of this republic, the impeachment process has been undertaken exactly twice. More to the point, it has never once led to a presidential removal. So let us agree that it is a rare event with scant historical evidence of its efficacy.

I think we can agree that in the present circumstance there is virtually no chance that the Republican-held Senate will come up with the 67 votes necessary for “conviction.” 

For those who may have forgotten or never knew, impeachment is a two-part process requiring a Senate vote to be successful. Impeachment in the House of Representatives will not lead to Trump’s political exile. All one needs to know about this are two words: Mitch McConnell.

The impeachment exercise may well alienate the same voters who voted heavily for Democrats in November of 2018. Many will either not vote for the Democratic presidential candidate or, possibly worse, return control of the House to the Republicans or both. 

The inevitable failure of impeachment will surely bring out even more heated rhetoric whose keywords will be witch hunt, hoax, socialist, traitor and so on. If you hold on to the conventional wisdom that the man is highly unpopular and cannot win re-election, you are flirting with fantasy and disaster.

The Trump campaign will be about an electoral college strategy, in which he needs not million of votes, only 270. Who wins the national popular vote is irrelevant. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

Insisting on the moral and constitutional high ground may be emotionally satisfying, but it leads nowhere. Relying on impeachment is a fool’s errand. If you really want Trump gone, give up the fantasy and start concentrating on making the case for 2020.

Jeff Laadt

Eagle River