As the Trump Impeachment trial begins in earnest in the U.S. Senate, Republicans are showing America just how far they’ve gone down the proverbial rabbit hole. Ignoring the staggering mountain of evidence before him, AL Congressman Gary Palmer, said, “Impeachment is one of the most serious and consequential powers entrusted to Congress. With that comes the responsibility to never use it for partisan, political purposes. Removing a President, and in effect overturning an election, should only be done when there is clear and incontrovertible evidence of a crime. No such evidence was ever presented by the Democrats.”
Except, there was. A mountain of evidence.
At roughly the same time, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released a damning report saying that Trump, indeed, broke the law by illegally withholding money for military aid to Ukraine. It further made the case for Trump’s obstruction of Congress by excoriating the Office of Management and Budget for its complicity and lack of transparency under Trump’s own OMB Director, Mick Mulvaney.
Sorry, Rep. Palmer, that is, um, clear and incontrovertible evidence of, wait for it, A CRIME.
Specifically, a violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. Oh, there’s a lot more crimes Trump and his henchmen have committed, but we’ll just leave that one there for you because it’s the most obvious and inarguable. By the way, that landmark act was passed to prevent rogue presidents from withholding money that had been lawfully appropriated by Congress for their own political purposes… sounds familiar, huh?
Not to be outdone in the feverish competition for the most bizarre/ insane Republican comment of the week, AL Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville chimed in, “I tell people this: We got two sides that hate each other, and that’s normal in politics, OK? You have an election. One group wins. The other accepts it, and they say, ‘OK, we’ll just run hard and unelect a guy,’ then you’ve got a country because you work with each other. That’s not how it works anymore. You’ve got one group that doesn’t win. They don’t accept it, so what we’ve got now is a countdown for civil war. I mean, they are trying to create a civil war in this country instead of trying to get along and say we’ll beat him at the ballot box. They’re lying, stealing, cheating — doing everything they can to get this guy we elected. And it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. They want a dictatorship — that’s what they want.”
Two groups that hate each other, and that’s normal? Civil war? What??
Wow! It’s hard to even know where to begin in identifying all the bizarre insanity in that amalgam of delusional hyper-partisan drivel. Yet, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is giving him a run for his money when she called CNN’s Manu Raju “a liberal hack” for asking her if she would vote to consider new, emerging evidence in Trump’s Impeachment trial. For the record, Raju is the absolute antithesis of partisanship. McSally may be previewing the new Republican strategy of “I know you are, but what am I?” chanted by schoolyard bullies since the creation of playgrounds.
The point is that Republicans have decided to defend Trump at all costs, no matter what, truth be damned, and until the sad, inescapably bitter end. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insulted America and the concept of impartiality when he showed his hand on Fox News saying, “Everything I do during this, I will be coordinating with White House counsel.” He wants no witnesses or evidence presented at the trial, instead opting for a surreal Theatre of the Absurd sans media to limit public scrutiny or criticism.
Tri•al (n.) A proceeding in which opposing parties in a dispute present evidence and make arguments on the application of the law before a judge or jury.
Republicans really need to think this through- there will be a heavy price to be paid for supporting Trump’s deliberate destruction of norms, institutions, and his flagrant disrespect for American law. It’s hard when you’ve gone ‘all in’ to admit defeat, but Republicans are about to cross a line from which there is no return. Every day, more and more compelling evidence is coming to light and, soon, there will be no more excuses or apologies that will prevent the inevitable collapse of Trump and Trumpism.
McConnell and his cohorts have foolishly painted themselves into a corner and, instead of asking for help or looking for an honorable way out, they’re just asking for more red paint.