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The Impeachment Hearings

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I’ve been watching to Impeachment hearings on T.V., sort of. I mean, I’m not glued to the tube for every moment. I generally catch the morning opening statements, and I’ll tune in occasionally throughout the day, and of course I try to fathom how the media is covering the news at night. But otherwise, no. This time around, the Impeachment of Donald John Trump doesn’t have, for me, the compelling drama of the Impeachment of Richard Milhouse Nixon.

(I’m totally ignoring the Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton because—again for me—that was a non-event. We had a sexually prurient special prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, working at the behest of Clinton haters in the Congress, and the best he could come up with—after years of investigative snooping—was an extra-marital affair.)

But the main reason why I’m not watching every moment of the Impeachment hearings is because they’re redundant. We all know exactly what Trump did. Nobody is disputing the facts. They can’t. Trump, afraid of Joe Biden, tried to extort or bribe the president of Ukraine into launching, or announcing the launching, of an investigation of Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump did this solely in order to muddy the waters in the upcoming campaign. While Trump himself is at the center of a dozen, or more, really nasty scandals, he is trying to befuddle voters by raising totally fake charges against the Bidens. He knows there’s no “there there.” He doesn’t care. His purpose is to throw just enough doubt into just enough independent voters to squeak through to re-election with another 75,000-vote edge.

So I already know the facts. But there’s another reason I’m not really watching, and that’s because the sight and sound of these Republicans defending the indefensible is incredibly offensive to me. I’ve seen and heard a lot of political nonsense in my life. I’ve heard lies and smears. But what these Republicans are offering up is breaking into brand new territory for chutzpah. Everybody knows—I would hope everybody knows—that no Republican actually believes there’s anything on the Bidens, or Hillary, or Obama, or the FBI, or anyone but themselves. I would hope everybody knows, in the consciousness of their own private thoughts, that Trump really has violently broken the law by trying to get foreign countries to intervene in our election for his own personal gain. I would hope they know that Trump’s behavior constitutes High Crimes and Misdemeanors. I can’t believe that there’s a single Republican who doesn’t know these things. But the fact that they’re not admitting it, and are defending this president’s unConstitutional behavior, can mean only one thing: they don’t care that the President of the United States is lawless. All they care about is that he’s appointing judges who they believe will uphold their small government Christian agenda, and undoing years of careful government stewardship of the environment, of health and safety laws, of worker protections.

And this is why Democrats are fighting back. After three years of witnessing Trump’s unrelieved attack on our Constitution, on our way of life, we have to do something. Speaker Pelosi, bless her, withheld support for Impeachment for as long as she could. She knew that the country needed something more solid to base Removal on than the Mueller Report; bad as it was for Trump, it failed to persuade Americans, other than Democrats, that it warranted removal from office.

Then Trump pulled off this Ukraine stunt. I will admit that the specific two House articles against him occur against the background of everything else he’s done that is evil, horrible, offensive, disgusting and insulting to America and the office of the Presidency. House Democrats chose to limit their allegations, ignoring the details of the Mueller Report. Whether that was correct, I do not know; History will decide. But what I know is that this deviant president must go. My respect for the history of our country demands this; my knowledge of the rise of Adolf Hitler, with which the rise of Trump provides exact parallels, further justifies it.

Yet the Republicans will stop at nothing. When an irresistible force meets an unmovable object, what happens? Does the resulting collision end with a bang, or a whimper? We may be about to find out.

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