I appreciate where you're coming from, and I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Rhetorically speaking, though, you're discussing rules as if they were norms and norms as if they were rules and at a basic level, "impeachment' is not so much a ruling of law as it is a measure of popular opinion. There's no "judge" in an impeachment. There's votes. I mean, objectively, Clinton lied under oath. The framework you must accept to believe he didn't lie under oath is tortuous at best. He was under oath for reasons utterly unrelated to his performance as an executive, however, so a majority of legislators voted to acquit him.
Your teacher-student example isn't apt because there's an authority over them that enforces their code of conduct. This whole impeachment kerfuffle is complicated because there isn't. So the Hobbes/Machiavelli question comes to the fore: what is the cost of eroding the norms of the executive?
The cost to Harvey Weinstein was negligible until it wasn't. Societal norms shifted under him. Please read this carefully because it's important to me: I was there. I lived in that ecosystem. Friend of mine was molested by a Hollywood icon in front of a producer, a cameraman and two PAs. And they all laughed it off because that was the world. That's the water we swam in.
Working in Hollywood when Weinstein broke was interesting because we were indignant. I mean, fuckin' hell who doesn't have stories about Harvey Weinstein being a rapacious fuck? it was known. We all knew this. We all knew someone with a first- or second-hand story. And we knew them for a broad spectrum of Hollywood. Fuckin' Bryan Singer? Fuckin' Natalie Wood? My career didn't go as far as it could have because I was judged inappropriate for certain drug-fueled orgies where deals were made. Maybe six of my cohort from back then have gotten movies in the interim. No, you haven't watched any of them. But this is just what we fucking put up with because it was the world. So you look around and you see how outraged the normies are and you listen to what they have to say and you go
wait. It's me. I'm the problem.
And then you immediately go LIKE I COULD HAVE FUCKING DONE ANYTHING ABOUT IT!
And see, that's what shifting norms are: they're enough people with enough juice saying "i want to do something about it."
Ronan Farrow came for my boss. And that was that. And he was right to do so. And whatever personal benefit I received from working for a sexual predator it's appropriate that the accolades and power go to people who don't abuse it.
But the norms had to shift.
So eyes on the prize: 2016-2017 were about norms shifting towards totalitarianism. 2019-2020 have been about norms shifting back. Don't get hung up on the procedurals. What you're watching is the Democrats asking the country "are you on board with this guy" and some will never leave.
But he did lose the popular vote in the worst attended general election in modern history and they did lose the vote in the best attended midterm election in modern history. What you're watching is the Democratic Party holding a mirror up to the country and asking
"Is this who you are?"
...and I don't think it is.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to sit through six hours of sexual harassment training for the second time in two years because momentous changes happen from a million incremental shifts and if this is what we need to do to save Mira Sorvino's career next time, it's worth it.