Politics is history in the present tense — and that was definitely true at the House impeachment hearings.
There were the usual partisan theatrics, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
But the main event was the imposition of legal and historic perspective at a time when that’s the thing we have least of in our politics.
Professor Jonathan Turley was a Republican witness and he also testified in Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment. He was careful to make it clear that he did not vote for President Donald Trump. Instead, he framed himself as a devotee of James Madison in a time of “intense rancor and rage.”
But it’s important to understand that Professor Turley was a strenuous advocate for the impeachment of former President Clinton while he now opposes the impeachment of President Trump, saying this:
“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards … This impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president.”
Let’s take a step back and look at what Mr. Turley’s favorite founder James Madison said during the constitutional convention about the intent of impeachment.