Time waster: Metcalfe’s impeachment hearing is a farce

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If the approval of Pennsylvania voters fell like rain, Attorney General Kathleen Kane would still be wet. As the first Democrat and first woman to win election to the job, she has been in office less than 17 months but already state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, wants to impeach her.

Given that the hyper-partisan Mr. Metcalfe has made a living poking political fingers into the eyes of his perceived enemies, it is tempting to say that the impeachment hearing he called Tuesday in Harrisburg was not surprising. But even by his standards this foolish waste of time was outstanding.

Having turned the House State Government Committee, which he chairs, into a stage for farce, Mr. Metcalfe saw Democratic members oblige by walking out after only 10 minutes. He later called their action “a clear dereliction of duty” and childishly said that, “They clearly are not able to defend her, so instead chose to run.”

In fact, anybody who attended this meeting was derelict in their duty because Pennsylvanians have more important business that needs attention. And there is no defense for a political sideshow that avoids real work.

Impeachment is serious business and should be reserved for serious offenses, not simple disagreement. Mr. Metcalfe, who counts gay people among those for whom he has no sympathy, is especially mad at Ms. Kane because she would not defend the state’s anti-gay marriage law. He also faults her for not bringing charges against Democratic officials in Philadelphia who reportedly accepted money from an undercover operative.

?Impeachment is ridiculous.As it happens, the Post-Gazette was sharply critical of Ms. Kane about what we thought was shirking her duty on the gay marriage law and we had questions and criticism about the Philly case. But both are not without counter arguments and both are fair game for political debate.

What Mr. Metcalfe really would indict is the opinion of Pennsylvanians when they recently elected this attorney general. In the process, he shames the Republican Party and ironically does a favor to Ms. Kane, because over time the public has learned that if he is against someone, the person can’t be all that bad.

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