"Nobody knows." That's the refrain One America News network's John Hines says he got over and over again on Wednesday. What was the point of impeachment? Nobody knows. What happens now? Nobody knows. "I've asked probably a dozen lawmakers why the Democrats would do this -- a second time -- before President Trump leaves office. They don't know. [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi may not even know." Most people can only come up with one answer for the spectacle on the Hill, and that's spite.
"You know, I didn't like the president's speech on January 6th either," a frustrated Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said on the House floor. And yet, "...I could cite plenty of provocative speeches made by Democrats that directly preceded violence this summer. But we've already had enough of that... Every movement has a lunatic fringe." Suppressing free speech is not the answer," he argued. Neither is impeachment.
"Short of declaring war, [this] is the most solemn and consequential act that Congress can take. To use it in this manner, in the heat of the moment -- with no hearings, no due process... trivializes this power to the point of caricature." Look, McClintock argued, "The Democrats have won everything in sight -- the House, the Senate, and the presidency. In a republic, that calls for magnanimity by the victors. Only in a banana republic does it call for vengeance."
With the exception of the 10 Republicans who voted yes, the GOP is mostly just in shock, Hines told me on "Washington Watch." They can't see an upside to "the [Democrats'] strategy, or their political tactics... It just escapes them." And for the incoming Biden administration, it makes even less sense. "If you're the new Democratic president, is [impeachment] really what you want dominating the headlines and upstaging your message?" Donald Trump, as Hines pointed out, is a man the other party doesn't like, doesn't respect -- and the Left is going to let him suck "all of the oxygen out of the room?" If you're a Republican right now, Hines shook his head, you're wondering "why the heck are they doing this other than just political retribution?"
Especially when, as so many people point out, the Senate isn't likely to take up the debate until next week -- if they do at all. If I were a Republican strategist, I'd be pointing senators to the latest polling. Despite all of the chaos and finger-pointing, the president's approval rating hasn't eroded much. In fact, it seems to be inching up. Maybe his base, like others in the country, are just plain sick of the Left's hypocrisy.
On one hand, you've got Joe Biden announcing his inauguration theme -- "America United" -- while up on the Hill, his party makes an absolute mockery of it. "The messaging doesn't line up with the actions," Hines agreed. Conservatives are ready to turn the page, and Democrats refuse to let go of their political vendetta long enough to cooperate.
And Biden's agenda doesn't help. As CNS News's Terry Jeffrey pointed out, one of his first priorities is stripping Americans -- especially conservative Americans -- of their voice in government. He's pushing a constitutional amendment "that will literally prohibit the spending of any private money on political speech in the United States. He wants all political speech funded by the government. In other words, if you're going to run for office, the only way you can run is if the government gives you money to run. If you want to speak about what a politician is doing [or] have a radio show... you'd have to have the money from the government to do it. He literally wants to make it impossible for us to speak on our own using our own resources, use our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech."
How do we know? Because it's right there on his campaign website. He wants to drive the private money out of American politics, "which means that individual people [will have a hard time] getting their message out." If you want an honest, objective take on what's happening in politics, Biden's policy would make it next to impossible to get the truth. Of course, the one solace is that Biden wants to do this by constitutional amendment, which would be next to impossible. And yet, with help from Big Tech, the Left is already accomplishing a lot of Biden's silencing. "Look at how hard it's been for conservatives to fight for their voices to be heard," Terry said. "Conservatives had to create their own platforms for getting their messages out." Now liberals are coming for those too.
The one thing we have to cling to in these rocky two years is that America has been here before. We've been challenged. We've been divided. But if we look to the right place and do the right thing, we can have the right outcome.