I wrote this about a year ago. It is time for a re-print:
The Hard Right of the political spectrum wants real Patriots in office to restore faithful respect for the Constitution and our Founding Principles.
There are, essentially, three options to rectify the problems of a Government that insists upon violating the restrictions and parameters of the Constitution. All three are Constitutionally approved, deliberately put in the Constitution by our Framers because they understood that there will always be men who mean to be Masters, and that the People deserve morally responsible means of being rid of Tyrants.
In America we can change our Government by the vote, by Impeachment, and if those mechanisms are denied by corruption, we have the Second Amendment. Until Benjamin Franklin applied his brain to the issue, we only had the vote and violence as options. There was a lot of open space between the two.
Franklin understood that those in power would from time to time, as he said, “…render themselves obnoxious…” and place themselves at odds with Liberty and the People. Obviously, an obnoxious Master would give no weight to a vote against him, and the only remaining option for the People to be rid of him would be violence against all of Government, or assassination of the individual being obnoxious.
Franklin understood and argued that including an Impeachment mechanism that offered the ability to punish and remove an obnoxious member of the Political Class would save the republic from the problematic effects of assassinations. Assassinations are not only less than civilized, but they impose abrupt disruptions to the country.
Also, they are final. The Impeachment mechanism provides for a defense, the opportunity for the accused to provide a response to the charge of being obnoxious.
Article I of the Constitution provides the House with the sole power of Impeachment, on the following grounds: …treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors…
High crimes and misdemeanors are deliberately vague. It is clear that the mechanism of Impeachment is intended as a remedy for criminal misconduct, but also political misconduct. Franklin considered any act worthy of assassination to be an impeachable offense. Conduct that does not rise to the level of warranting assassination likewise does not warrant Impeachment.
Generally speaking an Impeachable offense is one that finds the obnoxious party expanding the role of Government beyond the boundaries set by the Constitution. For our purposes, any politician who advocates or acts to expand Government beyond the clearly enumerated powers of our Constitution warrants Impeachment proceedings in the House, and trial in the Senate.
As America struggles with efforts to Restore the republic, citizens must consider the power of Impeachment. The Constitution identifies the President, the Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States as qualified for Impeachment. This includes the Judiciary and bureaucrats, but certainly excludes members of the military. It is generally considered that Members of Congress may not be Impeached, though many would argue that Franklin’s standard of Impeachment must apply to Members of Congress, lest the only recourse remaining in the face of a corrupted voting procedure would be assassination or armed revolution, precisely what the Impeachment mechanism is intended to prevent.