While reading the absurd New York Times impeachment porn fantasy by Carl Hulse which was published on Saturday, you have to pinch yourself every few sentences to remind yourself that you are actually reading a bizarre what-if written by the chief Washington correspondent for a major newspaper.
What if the Senate votes to convict President Trump after he was impeached by the House, meaning about 20 Republican senators vote with the Democrats. And then, and then just a majority of them could vote to keep him from running for President again? Of course, before you get to the simple majority to vote to prevent Trump from running for another term that Hulse is so excited about, you first have to clear the impossible hurdle of a 2/3 vote which won't be happening... unless Mitt Romney could be cloned about 20 times.
So while you read "Could Trump Serve a Second Term if Ousted? It’s Up to the Senate," just keep reminding yourself that these impeachment porn fantasies are being written by the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times.
WASHINGTON — With chances rapidly increasing that President Trump will be impeached by the House and tried in the Senate, an intriguing question has reared its head: Could he be ousted only to try to return to the White House in 2020 in a Trumpian bid for redemption and revenge?
Seems unlikely. But Hulse continued:
Like so much of the coming impeachment showdown, that decision rests entirely with the Senate. The Constitution famously grants senators the sole power to convict and remove a president — something that has never been done. What is seldom discussed is a more obscure clause of the Constitution that allows the Senate discretion to take a second, even more punitive step, to disqualify the person it convicts from holding “any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”
Um, Carl. Before you can even get to Step B you have to get past the much more difficult Step A. However, when you are an impeachment porn addict, logic can be tossed to the wayside.
Imposing that penalty would effectively bar the president from reclaiming his old job. In an added twist, tacking on the extra punishment requires only a majority vote in the Senate, not the two-thirds — or 67 senators — required to convict.
Hulse has simple majority fever which makes him overlook that nasty two-thirds requirement to convict which must be achieved FIRST.
For now, the idea of disqualifying Mr. Trump is the remotest of hypotheticals, since it would first require the Senate to vote to impeach and remove him. That seems far-fetched, given how little appetite Republicans in the chamber have shown so far for deserting him, despite the flood of damaging revelations that have come forth in the impeachment inquiry. But if nearly two dozen Republicans did vote to impeach him, it would take only a simple majority to banish him from the presidency for life.
Ah! A brief moment in which the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times barely approaches reality only to quickly relapse before the paragraph is over.
Finally, Hulse raises the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the Senate doesn't have to vote to convict first in order to keep Trump from running for a second term:
The lower threshold has driven some speculation that even if the Senate did not convict Mr. Trump, it might still be able to disqualify him from future office on a simple majority vote. But that notion is generally dismissed as unconstitutional, since the ban on future office has to flow out of conviction on articles of impeachment.
That same annoying Constitution that gives citizens the right to bear arms and that established the hated Electoral College. The chief correspondent for the New York Times might need to go back to square one and indulge in another wild fantasy in which the U.S. Constitution didn't exist thus allowing the Senate to vote by simple majority to keep Trump from a second term despite no vote to remove him from office.