Today, Friday, December 13, 2019, the House voted two Articles of Impeachment out of committee. A full House vote will come next week. Watching the hearings in the House was profoundly disturbing. The Republican Party in Congress has been subsumed by Trumpism. They are turning their backs on factual evidence and parroting Trump’s conspiracy theories and alternate universe versions of reality. “Alternate Facts” have taken over their brains and sucked out their hearts and souls. It’s like a horror movie.
We are witnessing this mind-blowing pretzel twisted thinking across the board, starting with their reaction to the IG Report. The IG Report was the long-awaited report that Trump and the right wing conspiracy theorists have told us would prove that Trump was spied on, the “oranges” (origins) of the Mueller probe were baseless and it would prove that the Dems were out to get Trump from the very beginning.
The Report delved into the origins of the Mueller probe and found they were sound. The probe began with a tip from our trusted ally, Australia, not the Steele Dossier as Trump and the right-wing contended. There was no hoax or witch hunt. No spies lurking around in the Trump campaign sent there by the FBI. Emails reveal that there were a mix of Trump loving FBI agents and agents who did not like Trump working on these cases. The agents who worked on the investigation were not acting out of political motivation, Horowitz reports.
The IG Report also looked at the FISA warrant system and found serious flaws in that system which need to be fixed. That is good to know. It also tells us that the IG Report is not one-sided. Horowitz reported factual evidence without regard for the political fall-out.
What is troubling is how the GOP has responded to the plain evidence that their conspiracy ideas were baseless. They simply ignored facts they didn’t like, shouted louder and pounded the table claiming hoaxes and conspiracies despite the evidence.
The same thing is happening in the House with impeachment. The House Judiciary committee conducted its “mark up” of the Articles of Impeachment and will vote them out of committee for a full vote in the House that will occur next week.
By now we all know the facts:
Trump directed a pressure campaign on Ukraine using 391 million in allocated taxpayer dollars earmarked for military defense for our ally as his personal leverage to get a hit job on his most feared political rival, Joe Biden, to help himself get re-elected in 2020. The self-serving schemes he wanted investigated were two-fold: 1) Open a criminal investigation into Biden so he could insinuate that Biden was not the squeaky clean guy he actually is. 2) Find the (nonexistent) server being hidden by a Ukrainian oligarch that would prove Russia was not the state actor that cyber-attacked our country in 2016 to help Trump win the election. He used Rudy Guiliani as his agent to get all of this done. He directed the scheme from the White House and in the process, he wrecked the reputation of Marie Yovanovich, the anti-corruption Ambassador who was standing in the way of this corrupt scheme being implemented by Guiliani. The damning read out from the conversation with Zelensky was hidden in a code protected server to shield Trump. Trump stonewalled Congress to prevent it from using its Constitutionally mandated power of oversight so that Trump could get away with his corrupt scheme.
Republican members of the House Judiciary committee have not presented one shred of evidence to counter these damning facts. Because evidence that could help Trump prove otherwise doesn’t exist.
Instead, what we hear from the GOP members are the following defenses of Trump:
- Hoax, witch hunt.
- You all hate Trump and have always wanted to remove him.
- Trump was concerned with corruption and that is why he wanted Zelensky to open up a criminal investigation into Biden and Burisma.
- No harm no foul since the military aide was released.
Here are the responses to these weak arguments.
The hoax, witch hunt idea.
This has become standard fare at this point for Trump, the grievance president. Poor little rich guy, who is the most powerful person in the world, is being unfairly hounded by his haters. Hey, look! no one forced Trump to engage in impeachable conduct. He chose to do it. He knew it was wrong because the Mueller Report was very clear about not getting foreign governments to help you out to get elected. Trump got off scot free in round one because of a DOJ opinion that said a sitting president cannot be indicted, but he and his close advisors knew it was wrong to do what he was doing with Zelensky. His advisors deep-sixed the transcript in the code protected server. If he were a sitting governor, he would have been indicted for these same acts. And he would be going to jail. Trump has no one but himself to blame for committing impeachable offenses. He should man up and take responsibility. Instead he keeps the criminality going using Rudy and others as his agents and he continues to insist he is blameless. He is not.
You all hate Trump and have been trying to get rid of him from the start.
A lot of people, I count myself one of them, did not start out hating Trump. We were nervous about him, but we hoped he would turn out to be a great president for the good of the country. He came at this job with a fresh perspective and he wasn’t really a Dem or a Republican, so maybe he could work across the aisle and get things done that would make the country better. That was the hope.
But from the very beginning, Trump defined himself as a combative, angry, divisive man who turned out to be a secret white supremacist (now not so secret), a misogynist, a self-dealing guy whose corruption is extraordinary and shameless, a climate change denier, a man who only pretended to be a populist so that he could get elected by the blue-collar guys and farmers who wanted to throw a bomb on Washington DC, an isolationist who is damaging our relationships with our allies, a man who would separate families at the border and cage little children, and a man who has a very strange, weird and disturbing relationship with Putin and Russia. We have seen for ourselves that all roads lead to Russia, as Nancy Pelosi says.
These and many other actions engaged in BY TRUMP have defined him and his presidency. Most people did not start out hating Trump. He EARNED that rejection of him and what he stands for by his words, tweets and actions. Many Dems and progressives share that evolution from hope to disgust that Trump has engendered. It could have been different. Trump has only himself to blame for turning off millions of Americans who started out open minded.
Trump was concerned with corruption. No wonder he urged Zelensky to open up an investigation into Biden.
Really? Seriously? Is it not totally obvious that if Trump was concerned about corruption that he would have shown some interest in that topic? Instead he loves corrupt authoritarian leaders like Kim Jung Un and Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia. He tells countries that their policies are up to them and our country will not weigh in or condemn them for anti-democratic acts. A corruption fighter? Then why did he remove Ambassador Yavonovitch, the known anti-corruption fighter in Ukraine? I rest my case.
No harm no foul since the military aid was released.
That is factually inaccurate. The aid has NOT ALL been released. 20 million is still being held back and Trump still is using it as leverage to coerce Ukraine to “do him a favor, though” in this continuing crime being carried out by Rudy in plain sight. Do you think it was serendipity that Trump happened to release most of the aid to Ukraine only after his scheme was found out, the whistleblower blew the whistle and the House said it would investigate? Are you telling me that did not prompt Trump’s decision to release much of the money he was using to coerce Ukraine? And this idea that Zelensky is saying he was not feeling coerced. Really? You believe that? No one should take what a hostage says in a hostage video at face value.
It is disturbing that Republicans have lost their collective moral compass and turned into propaganda machines for Trump’s alternate universe. But it has happened. Trump began with people in his cabinet and administration who provided guardrails. They were all dispensed with over time as Trump gained his footing and could see that these Republicans were toadies without a moral core. He can tell them what to say and do and they will do it. Good Nazis.
The Senate will not convict Trump. We know that. He will be even more emboldened since he cannot be indicted, investigated or impeached or expelled from office. He has removed people who disagree with him and replaced them with people who will help him out and lie for him: Barr, Pompeo, Mulvaney and others. Chris Wray is the capable, level-headed, fact-based head of the FBI, but for how long? Horowitz might be the next to get pushed out and replaced with a toady. Trump is trying to become our dictator.
The House Dems had to pursue impeachment because what Trump did and is still doing is so clearly wrong and so clearly in violation of his oath of office and the Constitution. If someone wants to know what law he has violated, tell them the Constitution is law and he has extorted and bribed his way into this impeachment he brought on himself. His unwillingness to give the House anything- any witness or even one document has never been done before. His defiance is wrecking the Article 1 power of the House and ripping up our constitution. All of the people who worked so hard to elect a House majority that would check and balance Trump would have been profoundly discouraged if the Dems had not pursued impeachment. So the House committees did what they had to do to sustain the morale of the people who worked hard to vote in the House majority in 2018.
We know what comes next. Republicans are unable to free themselves from the death grip Trump has over them unless they are willing to lose their elections over it. They are as stuck as Zelensky. McConnell says he will “work with the White House” on the trial (so much for impartiality) and he wants to have a very fast “trial” in name only. GOP will drink the Kool Aide for Trump. History be damned. Facts and evidence be damned. Democracy be damned. Our country be damned.
By Christmas the Articles of Impeachment will have passed in the House and be on their way to the Senate where the GOP is getting ready to sell out our country.
But history is watching. We are watching. Every vote will be recorded for history and every Republican who rejected the evidence and voted to let Trump off will be known forever as traitors to our country and our democracy.
This is how democracies die.
But only if we let them.
The GOP does not deserve to continue as a free standing party because it has become the party of Trump. These people do not represent the will of the majority of Americans. They work for Trump and Putin not for us. They refuse to check and balance this lawless president.
Vow to work for, support, and vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. Vow to knock on doors for the Dems. Support whoever is the Democrat for president and for every Senate seat. Do not let yourself be discouraged. We still have elections. We are not yet a dictatorship. We have the collective power to act to preserve the country we believe in. If you Google Indivisible.org and MoveOn.org you will get information about rallies and marches and ways to get involved. If you get involved you will meet a lot of like-minded people who will help you get through this dark time in our country.