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Judd Gregg: Send them home

Judd Gregg: Send them home
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At President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE’s rallies, his devotees continue to chant “Lock her up!” if Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton offers congratulations over Elliot Page announcement Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee Mellman: Mired in Partisanship MORE’s name is mentioned.

At Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders press secretary: 'Principal concern' of Biden appointments should be policy DeVos knocks free college push as 'socialist takeover of higher education' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump MORE’s (I-Vt.) rallies, his acolytes have begun to chant “Lock him up!” when Trump’s name is mentioned.

They all miss the point.

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They should join the rest of the country, which out of frustration with the president and the Democratic House might be heard not chanting but mumbling, “Send them home.”

The impeachment process is an embarrassment.

The House Democrats have taken one of the most significant responsibilities of Congress as defined by the Constitution and turned it into something mirroring an MSNBC nightly show, made up of innuendo, exaggeration and anger speech.

“High crimes and misdemeanors” is a bar that is not cleared through hearsay, political commentary by disgruntled career diplomats or the flamboyant excesses of congresspeople from California or New York.

Hating the president is not grounds for removing him.

This country has survived over two hundred years with numerous presidents who have not endeared themselves, and who have acted foolishly or even incompetently. None has been impeached and removed from office.

This is because presidents are elected. Pure antipathy cannot, by itself, conjure up the kind of high crime or misdemeanor that would justify the act of impeachment. Rather, what we are witnessing is essentially Chicago election politics. It is extra-political theft.

The Democratic Congress has presented no case for such a removal.

What the Democratic Congress has shown is that its members do not wish to govern. They only wish to try to destroy a person whom they deem to be the wrong president, picked by the wrong people, in an election that went all wrong for them.

They are pursuing one of the most pathetic attempts of alleged governance in the recent history of our nation.

They are failing miserably regarding their oaths of office and their claims to be stewards of our nation.

They need to go home.

For his part, Trump’s continued diminution of the office of the presidency causes many to wish for his return to managing his hotel properties from his offices on New York’s Fifth Avenue. He uses language not fit for locker rooms while his actions show a disconnect from the gravity of his position as leader of the free world.

Of course, neither the Democratic Congress nor the president will actually go home.

They were elected, rightly and appropriately.

They are there.

But their world is now an incoherent cacophony.

Washington has become the functional equivalent of a black hole.

The Democratic Congress and the president are imploding in a manner that leaves the American people staring into the space that used to be Washington, the capital of the free world, and wondering where did they go?

Where are all the rational people?

It is obvious that there are no Washingtons or Franklins or Jeffersons or Madisons in Washington today. But how about a couple of Doles or Mitchells or even Dirksens or Johnsons?

Has everyone of substance and discernment disappeared? Have they simply gone into hiding somewhere at the National Archives or the reading room at the Library of Congress?

When the nation last embarked on one of these incomprehensible exercises in congressional malfeasance, it was during the reign of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.).

It took a little known but steely Republican senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, to stand in the well of the Senate and call out her colleagues for their timidity.

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She demanded that they stand up and not allow voices of conspiracy and hate to lead and define the government.

She was brave and, initially, alone.

She was the people’s conscience speaking.She was needed.

The Senate is where this must come from again.

It is a body apart from the inanity of the current president and the hate-mongering Democratic House.

There will of course be a trial in the Senate once the House Democrats complete their theater and order articles of impeachment. Under the Constitution, this has to happen. Its outcome is a foregone, partisan conclusion.

The impeachment trial will do nothing to reset the course of our government in a positive manner.

A reset needs to come, however.

It needs to be independent of the circles of malevolence and disorientation that the Democratic House and the president have drawn around them.

It is time for members of the Senate, those with the courage of Margaret Chase Smith, from both sides of the aisle to together say, "Enough." 

It would only take a few.

Such senators have this unique opportunity to give the nation, the world and especially the people they work for, something they right now do not have.

Such senators could energize a renewed belief in the hope of America, the strength of our government and the good purposes of those who govern us.

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.