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Chaffetz and the I-word

Published May 19, 2013 5:27 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Chaffetz: Obama impeachment 'possible' over Benghazi attack" (Tribune, May 14):

I accept Rep. Jason Chattetz's blowhard grandstanding on almost every issue. His smug pronouncements don't help solve problems, but they appeal to his political base. They add a lot more heat than light. That's politics.

But mentioning the political nuclear weapon of impeachment for what may be incompetence but probably is just impotence is totally irresponsible. It shows how unfit Chattetz is for the big tent.

What if every 10 years or so America impeached its president? That'd destabilize our system of government. At every whisper of scandal, nations would put relations with us on hold, not knowing if the administration would continue.

I get dirty politics, but impeachment talk should be off limits. If it were the norm, President Ronald Reagan would have been impeached for defying a law by Congress and authorizing the Iran-Contra deal. Fortunately, a decade after Watergate, no one had the stomach for that.

For the good of the country, Republicans should take the high road and follow that example. Attack President Barack Obama all they want, but the political nuclear option should be used only in extreme cases. This isn't one.

Paul West

Salt Lake City