Impeachment means laws apply to all

Published 5:48 pm Monday, February 8, 2021

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Sun Columnist

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s column in the January 29-31 issue of this paper deserves some response, along with some of his other comments  in his Jan. 29 Congressional Update.

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On the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Barr stated he was willing (not anxious) to work with the new president “when we can.” These last three words are nothing more than a catch phrase for “when you do it our way.” The day after the inauguration, Barr was already excoriating the new president and suggesting that unity was not in the foreseeable future.

Statements in his Congressional Update certainly emphasize that position. Barr suggests that re-joining the Paris Climate Accord is a “gift to China and a blow to middle-class families across the Commonwealth.”

Balderdash! Inaugurating energy innovations is more likely to generate good jobs in the depleted coal fields of Kentucky than suggesting that coal will once again fuel the planet, and China will be forced to see the wisdom of addressing climate change as the rest of the world bands together.

In fact, China is already instituting vast energy efficient programs such as large installations of wind and solar facilities, and China is the world leader in the production of solar panels, a program that could be brought back to this country and create thousands of jobs.

Barr lamented the fact that President Biden had written more executive orders during his first week in office that President Trump did in his first 100 days. That happens to be because it took President Trump, through his four years of executive orders, to mess things up so badly that immediate actions was required to get this country back on a rational and reasonable track. It is reasonable to ask Barr how many of President Trump’s executive orders he complained about at the time.

Barr stated, in his column, “I voted against impeaching President Trump because our nation is not brought together by another impeachment.” One must wonder what his thoughts about the country being “together” were when he was hunkering down  somewhere in the Capitol with over 500 of his fellow Congressmen and Congresswomen while hordes of vandals were destroying and stealing historical items and defecating in the hallways.

His additional comments would imply that his decision to not vote for impeachment was based on facts. That’s for the Senate trial to determine and a conviction in the Senate should be based strictly on facts (if either side can honestly assess what those are) and not on some predetermined notion based on whether one has an ‘R’ or a ‘D” by his or her name.

He commented: “Our country must focus on uniting and moving forward. Instead, impeachment will be less about upholding the standards of the presidency and more about carrying out an act of political vengeance, further dividing an already divided country.”

Yes, we have a divided country. Because President Trump spent four years dividing it with his vicious rhetoric against anyone who opposed him, his blatant support for ultra-right wing violent groups and his blind-eye approach to our notable enemies like Putin.

No, Mr. Barr, this impeachment is less about political vengeance (though there is probably some of that in it) than about holding an incompetent and virulent executive accountable for, and instigator of, the most heinous act to befall the seat of government in this country since the war of 1812.

It is an action designed to demonstrate that the laws which govern us do not stop at the door of the White House or the steps of the Capitol, but apply to all those who abide within including, one might add, possibly some of those who sit near you in the House of Representatives.

Perhaps our founders had a clearer view of executive misfeasance than do our current legislators.

Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at