Pres­ident-elect Donald J. Trump and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi smile for a photo during the 58th Pres­i­dential Inau­gu­ration in Wash­ington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. More than 5,000 mil­itary members from across all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including reserve and National Guard com­po­nents, pro­vided cer­e­monial support and Defense Support of Civil Author­ities during the inau­gural period. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mar­i­anique Santos) | Courtesy Wikipedia

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would impeach 62 million Amer­icans if she could. But unfor­tu­nately, her office only allows her to pursue impeachment of a single deplorable.

Pelosi announced the beginning of an impeachment inquiry into Pres­ident Donald Trump last Tuesday.

Por­traying herself as a strict con­sti­tu­tion­alist, she said to the nation, “Our republic endures because of the wisdom of our Con­sti­tution enshrined in three co-equal branches of gov­ernment serving as checks and bal­ances on each other.”

Pelosi con­tinued, saying, “The actions taken to date by the pres­ident have seri­ously vio­lated the Con­sti­tution, espe­cially when the pres­ident says Article II says ‘I can do whatever I want.’”

Pelosi wants Amer­icans to believe dire cir­cum­stances have called for her party to assume the duties as noble guardians of our republic.

“A republic, if you can keep it,” Pelosi reminded Amer­icans as she looked upwards and past the news cameras. “Our respon­si­bility is to keep it.”

The House Democrats, Pelosi claims, are all that stands between self-gov­ernment and a despot of a pres­ident bent on destroying the nation.

Amer­icans should reject her twisted rhetoric.

For starters, the speaker took the Pres­ident out of context. The Pres­ident did say Article II of the U.S. Con­sti­tution “allows me to do whatever I want,” but he said it only in the context of firing leaders within the exec­utive branch such as Special Pros­e­cutor Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey.

Though the Pres­ident could have phrased it better, the Pres­ident was correct. According to the Con­sti­tution, the leg­islative branch’s “advice and consent” role applies only to the appointment, not the firing of the president’s staff. As the sole elected leader of the exec­utive branch, Pres­ident Trump reserves the right to fire any appointee he deems an imped­iment to faith­fully exe­cuting the laws of the United States.

As for the basis of the impeachment inquiry, “the essence of it,” Pelosi said, is that the Pres­ident “has admitted that he brought up the inves­ti­gation of the Biden family in his call” with the Ukrainian Pres­ident Volodymyr Zelensky. “He is asking a foreign gov­ernment to help him in his cam­paign.”

“Don’t get caught in the trap of ‘oh, there is no quid pro quo’ with regards to the president’s ask,” she told her caucus, according to NBC News.

Never mind that Pelosi had not yet read the tran­script of the call. Never mind that former Vice Pres­ident Biden boasts of pres­suring the Ukrainian gov­ernment to fire a pros­e­cutor inves­ti­gating his son’s Hunter’s company for cor­ruption. Never mind that Biden flew with his son on Air Force Two, where Hunter Biden attended a business meeting with one of the wealthiest men in China.

Who cares if less than two weeks after the trip, the Chinese gov­ernment invested more than $1 billion into a business co-owned by the son of the U.S. Vice Pres­ident. No further inves­ti­gation is required, the lack of media cov­erage tells us, because Biden claims no mal-intent behavior ever occurred.

Democrats argue the American people do not need to know how the Obama admin­is­tration inter­acted with foreign agencies and obtained the FISA war­rants nec­essary to wiretap the 2016 Trump cam­paign. For Attorney General William Barr to inquire about the origins of the Russia col­lusion inves­ti­gation is totally inap­pro­priate and demon­strates the attorney general has “gone rogue,” says Nancy Pelosi.

Mean­while, Democrat law­makers have engaged in eerily similar behaviors, and few seem to spot the hypocrisy. The Wash­ington Post’s Marc Thiessen reported that in May three Democrat U.S. sen­ators wrote a letter to Ukraine’s Pros­e­cutor General Yuriy Lut­senko, and threatened the Ukrainian’s to reopen inves­ti­ga­tions that could impact the Mueller probe.

Unlike Pres­ident Trump’s phone call, there is a clear quid pro quo in the letter the sen­ators wrote, “We have sup­ported [the] capacity-building process and are dis­ap­pointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these prin­ciples to avoid the ire of Pres­ident Trump.” Directly after they urge the Ukrainians to “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede coop­er­ation with this important inves­ti­gation.”

Democrats fail to artic­ulate how law­makers requesting coop­er­ation from foreign gov­ern­ments on an inves­ti­gation into Trump is any dif­ferent than Trump requesting foreign coop­er­ation on an inves­ti­gation into Biden.

Both are con­tenders for the pres­i­dency in 2020, the only dif­ference is that one has emerged innocent after a two-year long, $32 million inves­ti­gation has con­cluded.

Truth be told, this impeachment battle has very little to do with Donald Trump. The impeachment pro­ceedings are really about the actions of 62 million Amer­icans who cast ballots for any can­didate but Hillary Clinton.

In the same way Democrats inflicted per­manent damage to the judicial system during the spec­tacle of Brett Kavanaugh’s con­fir­mation, they now threaten to do the same to the pres­i­dency.

Just like Sen. Chuck Schumer, D‑N.Y., said he would oppose any Trump Supreme Court nominee with every­thing he had, Rep. Waters and many others called for Trump’s impeachment within the first few months of his pres­i­dency.

In addition to destroying the long-estab­lished assumption of con­fi­den­tiality pres­i­dents and foreign leaders reserved for effective com­mu­ni­cation, the Democrats have turned impeachment into nothing less than the means for Con­gress to reverse the outcome of a pres­i­dential election.

“If you’re looking for a fair process, you came to the wrong town at the wrong time,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R‑S.C., told Kavanaugh during his con­fir­mation hearing. “Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it.”

Unfor­tu­nately for America, Graham’s statement proves as valid now as it did a year ago.

For two-and-a-half years and counting, Democrats have shown they see no rep­u­tation too well-respected, no con­sti­tu­tional precedent too sacred, and no group of cit­izens too large, for them to debase and strengthen their power.

As Pelosi sug­gested, despotism cor­rupts the D.C. air. But the swampish odors are not coming from the White House.

Ben Diet­derich is a George Wash­ington Fellow and a senior studying political economy.