I grew up in a Republican home. My family valued honesty, dependability, thrift, and belief in God. I deeply appreciate the virtues my parents taught me. But as I look at the Republican Party today, I see none of these qualities. All I see are Republicans who are in an act of contortion, deflecting uncomfortable truths, and accusing their opponents of wrongdoing without facing up to the fact they are more loyal to the President then they are to their historical Republican roots of good old family values. I struggle to understand what has happened to them.
President Trump sent out a rough transcript of his phone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky where he asked for a “favor” from him politically—to investigate Joe Biden, a political opponent, and his son, Hunter. Republican legislators act like it never happened. E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland strongly and clearly testified before a House Intelligence Committee investigation that there was an expectation of a “quid pro quo” (bribery). Zelensky was supposed to broadcast that the Ukrainian government was investigating the Bidens. Instead of acknowledging the testimony and the President’s released transcript, the Republicans ignore one of their own—a Republican who donated $1,000,000 to President Trump’s inauguration, belittling him for not remembering some details or not beginning his testimony in the way they thought he should have. The President forbade the Ambassador from looking at his notes and messages, claiming executive privilege. Republicans also ignored the testimonies of several other career diplomatic service employees.
Republicans have criticized the Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff for not providing first-hand accounts of the President demanding a bribe, when at least two Sondland staffers heard Trump describe that very demand on a Trump-Sondland phone call. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who also listened in on the call, clearly stated in testimony that there was the expectation of an investigation of Burisma and the Bidens in return for aid. His testimony has been ignored.
They criticize Schiff while the President is forbidding his aides who have direct knowledge of the conversations to testify! They do it with a straight face. I am reminded of Hitler’s statement in his book, “Mein Kampf”: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, people will believe it.”
I, now a moderate Independent, am appalled by the deceptive narrative of the Republican leadership.
It seems obvious that there will be a House vote to impeach the President. There will be at least three articles in the impeachment document: 1) President Trump tried to bribe the President of Ukraine to announce an investigation of the Bidens to help him win reelection in 2020. 2) President Trump was openly involved in witness intimidation when he tweeted comments during the testimony of former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and 3) President Trump committed obstruction of justice by refusing to release pertinent documents or allow White House staff to testify before the House.
Once the trial proceeds to the Senate where a 2/3 majority is required for removal from office, control of the proceedings will shift to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. There, the Republicans will attempt to change the narrative to a Republican perspective.
Republicans in the House have objected that they had no say in the selection of witnesses who testified. When the trial begins, McConnell will call witnesses who support President Trump, ignoring the complaints of the Democrats. Hunter Biden is likely to be called to testify, as is his father, Joe Biden. It’s likely that Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the 2016 Democratic attempts to smear candidate Trump using the Steele Dossier which accuses candidate Trump of having close connections to Russian President Putin will be brought out. It is highly doubtful the President will be removed from office. Most Republicans are more afraid of Trump and his supporters than voting their consciences.
Both party leaders want to end the impeachment trial as soon as possible because 2020 begins the presidential election campaigns. If you think the divisiveness of the nation has been bad since President Trump’s inauguration, brace yourself.
Democrats have the difficulty of finding a candidate who can beat Trump by getting minorities out to vote and finding a candidate close enough to the center to attract moderates from both parties. They don’t have an easy task.
Republicans will continue to defend, deflect and create false narratives to convince those on the Right to come out in numbers to support Trump. They, too, have a difficult task. The 2020 Presidential election campaign will cross decorum barriers not seen since the gory 1800 election battle between President John Adams and candidate Thomas Jefferson.