Don’t fantasize about punishing people

John Nichols has a great piece at The Nation about James Comey’s recent interview:

“Yeah, I’ll tell you, I’ll give you a strange answer. I hope [Trump is] not [impeached], because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty bound to do directly. […] You cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and independents treasure. That is the core of this country. That’s our foundation. And so impeachment, in a way, would short-circuit that.”


Comey says Trump is morally unfit to be president. He says Trump lies constantly; he suggests that Trump is dangerously divisive; he explains how this president fails to adhere to values that are at the core of the country.

Yet Comey is willing to crown Trump as a king for four years, to argue that an unfit president who won a minority of the popular vote in 2016 (and trailed his main opponent by almost 3 million votes) should be allowed to remain in office until January 20, 2021.

That’s not how the American experiment is supposed to work.

While I hope that people do learn from Trump, I also don’t want to make light of the tremendous damage he is doing both within the United States and also around the world. I don’t think that people should pay with their rights to teach others a “lesson” about why fascism is abhorrent. If you think that teaching this sort of “lesson” is worth deporting thousands of people or dropping bombs overseas, then you and I have vastly different approaches to politics.