High Crimes and His Demeanor, Part One

(Photo: Salon.com / Graphics: Brian Covert)

In the end, not one of them would desert or betray their fearless leader, their loyalty to their commander-in-chief on full display for all the world to see. They followed in lockstep and ignored all the factual and circumstantial evidence, and the damage done by their leader. And their leader made it known he was mighty pleased with that.

Such deep loyalty is often praised when it comes to, say, military units, sports teams and even marriage mates. And for good reason. Total loyalty and a refusal to betray one’s higher officer, a coach or a spouse, for example, are usually positive things when it comes to standing up for one’s moral convictions and refusing to discard honesty for the sake of convenience.

But when it came to the Republican Party and its votes in the recent impeachment of the Fake President, Donald Trump, there was nothing to praise. There was nothing to admire. There was only shame — for not one Republican member of the United States House of Representatives would take the plunge and do the right thing. The final vote counts for both Article 1, abuse of power by Trump, and Article 2, obstruction of Congress by Trump, were 195 Republicans against the two charges, 0 members in favor of them.

For the Republicans all along in this impeachment process, it came down to this simplistic equation: The congressional members of the opposing Democratic Party hate Trump. They despise him for winning the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They can’t stand his aggressive way of getting things done and his shaking up of the political status quo in Washington DC. The Democrats are out to take down a president — the Republicans’ dearly beloved Chosen One — only because they don’t like his personality.

“This is a disagreement,” Republican senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told CNN. “People on the Democrat side don’t like President Trump. They don’t like his demeanor. And so, they have decided to sort of criminalize politics.” Many other Republicans voiced similar sentiment.

For the Democrats, the matter at hand is a constitutional crisis involving Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors as U.S. president. That is indeed a serious charge. For Republicans, though, it boils down simply to Trump’s supposed “high crimes” and his demeanor. In other words, it’s all about nothing — certainly nothing for Trump to get impeached over.

And in circling the covered wagons all around their outlaw president, the Republicans have conveniently brushed aside all the damning evidence and credible witness testimony that came up during the House Intelligence Committee hearings, which the whole world saw. Republicans continue to look away from the all the abuses of presidential power by Trump, and choose to see instead some sinister theories involving U.S. Democrats, Ukraine, George Soros, etc., and dismiss with a sneer and a wave of the hand the actual abuses of power still going on at the White House with Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City.

And the best defense the Republicans can come up with is a juvenile one: The Democrats dislike the president’s attitude. So now, the nation finds itself in a constitutional crisis, the likes of which have never been seen before in the 200-plus years of the USA as a republic. The most supremely ironic thing of all is that the system of democracy is being destroyed from within by such so-called patriotic Republicans, not from outside by foreign enemies. Isn’t that usually how empires fall? Indeed, it is.

At press time, the congressional leaders of the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell, are at a face-off about what kind of impeachment trial Trump will receive in January of next year. McConnell and other Republicans have already sworn their loyalty to the defendant in this case, Trump, ensuring that there will be no substantive trial at all in the Senate if they can help it.

But anything can happen, as it did with Nixon and his impeachment and resignation, so we will have to wait until Trump actually gets his day in court to see what transpires from here. One thing is for sure so far: Trump always idolized Richard Nixon as his political hero, and now he is following right in his much-adored leader’s footsteps. That’s just how it should be.

Which side of this constitutional crisis will win in the end — a guilty verdict of Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors or an acquittal of “high crimes” and his demeanor? Stay tuned to this blog page for the sequel to this drama sometime next month.

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