history obscene bathroom-stall doodles of this presidency are finally written, they will note that Donald Trump was an impeached president. And you’ll be able to find GOP Congress members’ souls for sale at deep discounts in St. Vinnie’s bargain bins across the country — because having sold them to shield the most egregious huckster to ever occupy high office in America, they’ll have been cheapened beyond redemption.
But, hey, I’m a bleeding-heart, squishy-headed, Medicare-for-All-loving liberal. What do I know?
So let’s ask a Republican, shall we?
Gabriel Schoenfeld, an adviser to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, has a scathing op-ed in today’s USA Today in which he argues that Republicans are currently engaged in nothing less than a full-bore assault on the very idea of truth.
First, he notes, there’s really no escaping the truth of what happened, no matter how vigorously Republicans in Congress strive to conceal it:
The facts of the case are damning. Not only is Trump on record, in a document released by the White House itself, of engaging in extortion and bribery, but his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky was the culmination of a plot months in the making. Yet no matter the facts of the imbroglio, the Republican legislators either baldly deny them or interpret them in phantasmagorical ways.
And that, writes Schoenfeld, is not just damaging to our democracy, it extends aid and comfort to our enemies:
[T]here is nonetheless something deeply sinister about the Republicans' behavior. They appear intent on extinguishing perhaps the most fundamental ingredient of a self-governing republic, namely, the concept of truth.
It would be one thing — semi-respectable — if Republicans were to maintain that Trump’s misdeeds in Ukraine, however deplorable, did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. But it is something else entirely to recycle Russian-inspired propaganda, to maintain the wholly incredible narrative that Trump was doing nothing but attempting to fight corruption in Ukraine, or to deny the obvious fact that there was a quid, a pro and a quo when Trump held up military assistance to Ukraine and conditioned its release on the performance of a “favor, though.”
But this isn’t just about “winning” — something Donald Trump appears to be obsessed with to the exclusion of nearly everything else (though, notably, his “wins” are mostly imagined). The almost certain Senate acquittal we’re about to witness with quivering mouths agape will redound in ways that threaten not just our democracy but the very values our country has always stood for.
This exercise of political power in raw fashion could prove to have profound consequences for the future of human freedom. As the possibility of reason and compromise are destroyed, a venerable constitutional democracy, once the beacon of hope around the world, is coming undone.
William Webster, the only man to head both the CIA and the FBI, someone known to be extraordinarily careful with his words, is warning of a “dire threat to the rule of law in the country I love.”
We can quibble over whether this is a mere erosion of the rule of law or a mudslide. Either way, it’s shameful.
Republicans — most Republicans, anyway — have been living in an alternate universe for some time now. They don’t care how often or how shamelessly they lie — so long as those lies are swallowed whole by Trump’s base.
And as Schoenfeld notes, that’s beyond dangerous. Why can’t more members of the formerly not-totally-crazy Party of Lincoln see that?
Give the gift of hateful anti-Trump sarcasm this Christmas! Dear Pr*sident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing is now available. And if you still haven’t read Dear F*cking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump, what the heck are you waiting for? Reviewers have called these books “hysterically funny,” “cathartic,” and “laugh-out-loud” diversions from our temporary hell on Earth.