State Representative Jonathan Kinney

Bill Nemitz and the Trump Impeachment

Op-Ed Special to the Portland Press Herald, October 5, 2019

Overturning a presidential election has very serious consequences, but apparently Bill Nemitz does not see it that way.

Before an investigation had even begun, Nemitz made clear in a recent column that he has already made up his mind: the President must be impeached. He directs his ire towards Senator Susan Collins for not taking the same categorical approach, criticizing her demand to see all of the evidence, and her decision to remain an impartial juror.

Nemitz’s cavalier attitude toward impeachment echoes the Queen of Hearts’ sentiments in the classic “Alice in Wonderland,” who famously declared, “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

In truth, Nemitz’s facile argument only makes sense in a world accessed through a rabbit hole. But every American should agree with Alice’s objection that no one should be sentenced without a fair trial. Senator Collins has consistently taken this methodical approach, including during the impeachment proceedings against former Democratic President Clinton.

Mr. Nemitz compares this process to a game of dodgeball, but he should know that Senator Collins would be a terrible player; she is not accustomed to dodging. If she were, she would have immediately taken a position on impeachment in order to duck the arrows of columnists on the far left and the far right who want her to prejudge the outcome.

When Washington erupts and partisans retreat to their corners, Senator Collins has always stood tall in the center. Mainers trust her to be fair and consider all the facts, just as she always has.