Why Did Ron Paul Vote Against Impeachment?

This post, written by Manila Ryce, originally appeared on The Largest Minority

To paraphrase the late, great Ricky Ricardo, Ron Paul's got some splainin' to do. I would like to urge all first-time pro-Paul visitors to my leftist pinko blog to please save all reactionary hate mail until after you've actually read what I have to say. Paul's vote to table the impeachment resolution, then to refer it to committee is especially troubling coming from a supposed consititutionalist. He voted with the Democratic leadership on both accounts.

There are a few excuses being kicked around the internet which are all rather weak. Firstly, I don't buy the excuse that he knew the bill wouldn't go anywhere so he decided not to vote in favor of it. After all, Paul got the nickname of "Doctor No" by adhering to his constitutional principles regardless of the politics surrounding the issues. Did he not? Secondly, I also don't buy Paul's own line that there isn't sufficient evidence to suggest that the Bush administration has done anything illegal, as there supposedly was to warrant his vote for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Cheney's own words are sufficient evidence in themselves.

More importantly, impeachment is not an actual trial, and requires no evidence at all (not that there isn't any). It is merely an indictment to formally accuse an official of committing a criminal offense. Voting to table the resolution was a vote to prevent such an investigation. The evidence is presented after the House votes in favor of impeachment, not before.

Perhaps even more confusing is this interview from the far-right website InfoWars from March:
Paul said that Bush should be impeached not under the umbrella of partisan vengeance but for ceaselessly breaking the laws of the land.
"I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office."
Opining that the U.S. had entered a period of "soft fascism," Paul noted that the legacy of the Bush administration has been the total abandonment of Constitutional principles.
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