You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is a farce.

Igo Estrela/Getty Images

Look no further than the reasons given by some of the 367 congressmen who voted Sunday for impeachment charges to be brought against her before the Senate (h/t Cecília Olliveira):

  • “For my granddaughter’s birthday”
  • “For peace in Jerusalem”
  • “For the foundations of Christianity ”
  • “For science and technology”

There’s something almost honorable in the open cynicism with which the proceedings were conducted. One congressman from the far right dedicated his vote to the colonel who, during Brazil’s longstanding military dictatorship, ran one of the clandestine prisons where Rousseff, then an urban guerrilla, was tortured.

In the weeks since the movement to oust the twice-elected president took on real momentum, it’s become clear that no legitimate justification for such a move exists. Rousseff, to be sure, is presiding over one of the worst economic crises in the country’s history, at a time when her Workers’ Party is engulfed in a massive political graft scandal.

But Rousseff herself has yet to be directly linked to the kickback scheme, and the politicians maneuvering for her to be stripped of office are, if anything, more deeply implicated than her allies. Previous presidents have employed the same budgetary tricks she stands formally accused of, and now that impeachment is underway, not even those orchestrating this naked power play seem to believe the charges against her constitute worthy grounds for removal.