HOW DO REPUBLICANS SLEEP AT NIGHT?
Second thoughts on Trump's impeachment
I threw out the first one, which was better written, had better pictures, better headlines and maybe a more satisfying conclusion. The problem with it was it wrong and made me ashamed.
It did come from the heart, and I think some people might have said it reflected how they are feeling as the impeachment and trial of Donald Trump – perhaps the last serious challenge to his outlaw presidency – is coming to a close.
When Trump is acquitted later this week, he’ll be in a much stronger position than when the process started. His control over government will be more powerful perhaps than any president in history; and his already favorable odds of winning a second term will be improved.
At least that’s how it seems today.
You can argue that the impeachment episode will give voters one more reason to throw Donald Trump out of the White House when the Nov. 3 election rolls around.
Across the land, millions of sleepless Americans face every morning distressed, depressed and disgusted by a president who’s out to destroy the values and reforms that make the United States a country which, despite its terrible and aberrant flaws, many of us cherish.
But it sure doesn’t feel like that will happen. Instead, impeachment seems to be turning out to be one more example of Donald Trump’s astonishing run of good luck, just the way a fiendish cartoon character escapes one perilous calamity after another.
All thanks to Republicans who control the U.S. Senate.
I even had arranged for a clever picture to be taken, showing me sitting at the top of our hallway stairs, looking smugly down at the final three steps, each posted with a sign:
The trouble is that it’s not true. It’s not true in the Senate or the House of Representatives. It’s not true in the 50 states, the Red ones or the Blue ones. Not true in your county, your city, your town, and not in my neighborhood.
That kind of blanket dismissal, labeling a group of people, is bigotry. It’s where racism starts. It’s how Donald Trump thinks and talks. It’s wrong.
Sure, I’m a “sweet” dog, but I took the bait and thought and talked like Donald Trump.
I happen to know some Republicans, and mostly I like them. Some are neighbors. I meet Republicans on my daily walks, including those who stuff their pockets with dog treats. I can assure you that Republican dog treats are as tasty as Democratic treats.
It's still a mystery why some Republicans can like both me and Donald Trump, since Trump is too selfish to care of a dog. I know some Republicans who both own dogs AND voted for Donald Trump. I’m sure you have had the same sort of experiences with Republicans, minus the treats.
This is the real disappointment of impeachment.
A lot of us hoped some Republicans would stand up to Donald Trump. But our hearts were broken, just like they were on Election Night, 2016, when we learned that our neighbors, friends and relatives had voted for a foul-mouthed, heartless fool whose campaign was built on hatred and phony promises.
Since not all Republican are alike, why didn't some of them push back last week?
To be honest, and I think dogs should try to set an example here, the witnesses weren’t going to say anything truly new. It was already clear that Trump betrayed his office by trying to extort the new president of Ukraine - withholding military aid his country needed to fight Russia until Ukraine announced it would investigate a potential Trump political rival.
But the real effect of witness hearings would be to drag out the Senate trial and scare the bejeezus out of Trump, and then who knew what might happen.
All that was needed was four Republicans to vote with the 47 Senators who vote Democratic.
Only Utah’s Mitt Romney and Maine’s Susan Collins did. The other 51 Republicans chickened out.
There were two other possible Republican defectors, and their statements show, again, that Republicans aren’t all alike.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska gave what I thought was a bogus excuse for staying with the pack, blaming Democrats for a “rushed and flawed” case for the Senate to consider:
"Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don't believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed."
On the other hand, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee gave a slightly more credible explanation: that Democrats had proved their case, but the offense wasn’t impeachable, and, with the election only months away, ousting the president might produce a terrible spit in the country:
“There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. ... the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence’ … If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist.”
I HOPE YOU DON’T THINK I’ve gone soft on Republicans.
The Republican Senate is solely responsible for putting our country on the road to dictatorship by betraying the Constitution’s promise that Congress – the Senate and the House – will keep the president honest.
Instead, lots of people are going to blame the Democrats for “losing” the impeachment fight, just like Maureen Dowd did in today’s New York Times, implying that Democrats are sissies by letting Republicans win:
“I feel like I have spent my career watching the same depressing dynamic that unspooled Friday night: Democrats trying, sometimes ineptly, to play fair and Republicans ruthlessly trying to win… . As with so many other pivotal moments in modern history, Republicans wanted to win, not look for the truth. And history, God help us, is written by the winners.”
To which I say: God help us, Ms. Dowd, what choice do Democrats or anyone else have but to “play fair?” Is the answer a Democratic Donald Trump?
The question we should be putting to Republicans, because it’s just as much their responsibility as it is for Democrats to stand up to a dangerous president, is this: What are Republicans going to do when Trump, now freed from Congressional oversight, tries out one of his most famous ideas, shooting somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue?
“How do Republicans sleep at night?”