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This is what Woodrow Wilson said about the impeachment process:

"'Nothing short of the grossest offenses against the plain law of the land will suffice to give them speed and effectiveness. Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest may secure a conviction; but nothing else can.'"

What do the phrases "suffice to give them speed and effectiveness" and "Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest" mean?

Thanks in advance.

  • What does what mean? You have to tell us what word or phrase you fail to understand. – tchrist Jul 22 '19 at 4:32
  • "Will suffice" = "will be enough". For the second one, I will hazard a guess: I think he is using "overgrow" to mean "surpass." – aparente001 Jul 22 '19 at 4:47
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Simplifying the language for easier understanding:

Nothing short of the grossest offenses against the plain law of the land will suffice to give them speed and effectiveness.

Only very extreme cases of a clear breaking of the law will be enough to make 'them' act (with speed and effectiveness).

Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest may secure a conviction;

Indignation meaning:

Indignation: strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base; righteous anger. (dictionary.com)

Meaning that 'they' must be offended to the point where that offense is greater than their sense of party loyalty.

In the context of impeachment - this means only when things reach an extreme level will the people overlook political party loyalty and act to impeach.

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