The Republicans’ argument that the Democrats are seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election by impeaching Donald Trump doesn’t hold water. Here’s why: Even if Trump is impeached by the House and removed by the Senate (highly unlikely given that Republicans control the Senate), Mike Pence would become president. This would not reverse the 2016 presidential election, because you’d still have a Republican in the White House! If Trump is impeached and not removed from office, the impeachment could backfire on the Democrats much as the impeachment of Bill Clinton backfired on the Republicans. So the Democrats have a lot to lose and very little to gain by impeaching Trump. The only thing that can ”undo” the 2016 election is the 2020 election.

The Republicans can’t defend Trump’s actions, so they’re attacking the process. First they complained the process was conducted in secret and the House hadn’t voted on impeachment. Now that the House has voted to hold proceedings in public, they’re still not satisfied, complaining that the whole process is tainted. They keep moving the goalposts, and Americans should see this for what it is: an attempt to distract the public from Trump’s behavior and instead criticize the process.

Republicans lowered the bar on impeachment quite a bit when they impeached Clinton for lying about a consensual affair. If they don’t like what’s happening now, they need to look in the mirror!

Mike Wallis, Edina

• • •

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, tell us why you voted against the rules for an impeachment inquiry (“Peterson 1 of 2 Dems to vote against measure,” Nov. 1). Is it because you have evidence that there is no “there” there? Then share that evidence in a public statement. At this time we, your Minnesota constituency, do not have that evidence but we certainly have a lot to investigate given what we have been told by the president and many of those who witnessed his words and actions. You can’t just say there is no impeachable offense if there is not an orderly, constitutionally granted investigation and conclusion. That is what you voted on, and you denied it for your constituents and your country. Tell us why!

Linda Spanier, Sartell, Minn.

• • •

Congratulations to Peterson for voting his conscience in the impeachment debacle. Minnesotans, we need to wake up and not just vote yes men and women to represent us in Congress. There is much work that needs to be done, and they waste their time on such nonsense. Peterson can’t be the only one who understands the circumstances behind this vindictiveness.

Judith Stowe, Rogers

• • •

Beyond the predictability of the lopsided vote in the House impeachment inquiry (“House vote lays out path to impeachment,” Nov. 1), what really seems at issue is not whether the president committed a crime but whether his party gives a rip. If this is the case, what does this say about the future of American democracy? While Republicans will rush to say that no man is above the law, by their actions they say the exact opposite. The process is going to play itself out one way or another in the House. It will be death by a thousand cuts. But rather than look at Trump’s transgressions in their totality, Republicans will nitpick each one to death as being trivial.

The Senate seems poised to let Trump off regardless of the evidence, which sets a very dangerous precedent in holding future presidents accountable for their actions. It really will turn into an imperial presidency, as there will literally be no standard by which we can measure any act by the president as illegal while he is in office. Is this really the country we want?

Thomas Jesberg, East Bethel

• • •

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R.-Calif., quoted Alexander Hamilton and said impeachment should not be a partisan tool. I agree. If McCarthy and his fellow Republicans in the House allow themselves to understand the facts, and then consult the Constitution and their own consciences, impeachment won’t be a partisan tool. And it could lead our country back to sanity.

Virginia Pastoor, South St. Paul

GOP PRIMARY

I thought every vote mattered. Guess the Republicans disagree.

I learn something every day when I read the Star Tribune. On Friday, I learned it is Minnesota’s political parties that submit to the Minnesota secretary of state the names of their party’s candidates to appear on the primary ballot. I learned they have until Dec. 31 to do this. I also learned that the Minnesota GOP party submitted its list of primary candidates on Oct. 24 and that the list contains only the name of Donald Trump, not any of the three properly filed GOP challengers to the incumbent president (“MN GOP keeps Trump rivals off ballot,” front page, Nov. 1). In addition, I learned the Minnesota GOP has not requested that additional lines be placed on the primary ballot for write-in candidates, and so there will be no such lines. Party chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan was quoted as stating, “President Trump is extremely popular in Minnesota and my job as chairwoman is to make sure we deliver our 10 electoral votes to the president on November 3, 2020.”

I foolishly thought that each vote mattered, even in primary elections. I thought it was the people who were given the right to determine who will represent them in government. This move should be a huge slap in the face to all voters who wish for free elections. Furthermore, isn’t it entirely possible that those who learn toward the GOP desire a GOP candidate for president with a name other than “Trump”?

I learned also that several other states have scrapped their primaries with the obvious goal of clearing the path for incumbent Trump. My questions are: How is this allowed to happen? Isn’t it the purpose of a primary election to narrow the list of party candidates? Isn’t it the right of the voters to select their preference?

Loren W. Brabec, Braham

• • •

One of our most precious rights as a democracy is guaranteeing the right to vote. Or at least I thought it was. As described by Susan B. Anthony in 1873: “Here, in this very first paragraph of the [Declaration of Independence], is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for, how can ‘the consent of the governed’ be given, if the right to vote be denied.”

What has separated us from the despots and tyrants of history has been the right to exercise the franchise. Except if you are a Republican in Minnesota, apparently.

Carnahan, in restricting the primary ballot so that the only name appearing is that of Trump, deprives voters of the right to choose one of the other three announced GOP candidates. Congratulations, Ms. Carnahan. Vladimir Putin would be proud!

Alan Miller, Eagan

WATER

Minnesota will keep that, thanks

I read with horror the story of the Lakeville-based railroad that wants to ship water to the Southwest (“Plan could send state water to Southwest,” Nov. 1). If we allow one such operation, we’ll be unable to block the many that are sure to follow. The Southwest has been mismanaging water resources for more than a century and now it’s coming for ours.

Our Legislature and governor need to get in front of this issue and right now, without delay. We can go one of two directions: 1) Craft a law making water export outside the state illegal now and forever. 2) Make the price per gallon so high that no Minnesotan would have to pay income, property or sales taxes ever again. Anything in between would irresponsible and maybe even criminal.

Mike Beer, Minneapolis

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