When Trump says “Jump,” House Republicans ask “How high?” That’s essentially what happened yesterday after a desperate Trump implored Republicans to defend him against impeachment and a group of House Republicans obliged by storming an impeachment deposition underway in a secure Capitol Building room. To break into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (or SCIF) is usually a crime and will often result in the termination of any security clearances the perpetrators hold. But crimes aside, the stunt by Republicans was a last-ditch effort by desperate Trumpers to stop an inquiry that has daily been disclosing devastating evidence of Trump’s abuse of power and possible criminal activity in the Ukraine scandal. Republicans can’t defend the president’s actions, they can’t deny his own incriminating statements, they can’t impugn the witnesses, so all they can do is storm the gates, gum up the works, and whine about a process that is being handled exactly as it should be. The corrupt interlopers even tried to imply to the press that Republicans had been shut out of the inquiry when in fact every member of the relevant committees has been allowed to attend, Republican and Democrat alike. Just like the Benghazi hearings.
Around the time Republicans were storming the SCIF, Trump tweeted that “Never Trump” Republicans were even worse than Democrats, calling them “human scum.” It was another appalling sewer moment for the least presidential president in modern history, and it echoed a common Tea Party smear about Republicans who don’t follow in lock-step with party orthodoxy-of-the-moment, ridiculing them as RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only. It was no coincidence that Trump’s spasm of rancor came the day after Ambassador Taylor’s blockbuster testimony to the House impeachment inquiry confirmed that Trump conditioned US aid to Ukraine on them announcing an investigation into the Bidens. Evidence of a quid pro quo demolished many of the arguments made in Trump’s defense recently, and it was a “red line” that many Republicans were on record saying couldn’t be crossed by the president without dire consequences.
But for now, Republicans across the country seem to be campaigning on the fantasy that the impeachment inquiry is bogus and the investigators are corrupt. In NY-19, one of Rep Delgado’s potential challengers is taking this path. Tony German tweeted this yesterday:
In her first address to the 116th congress, Nancy Pelosi said “I pledge that this congress will be transparent, bipartisan, and unifying, that we will seek to reach across the aisle.” Yet the impeachment inquiry is secretive, partisan, and divisive. Adam Schiff has not been fair, honest, or trustworthy in leading this “inquiry”. As usual, Congressman Delgado fell in line with Nancy Pelosi and AOC and voted no on censuring Congressman Schiff for his misleading and ambiguous behavior regarding the “inquiry.”
The GOP clearly believe that invoking the names of Pelosi and AOC will stir their misogynist base to action, since Limbaugh, Jones, Beck and the Fox Network have spent so much time demonizing female Democrats over the last several decades. And the GOP must assume that their base isn’t smart enough to grasp that the early stage of an impeachment inquiry is supposed to be secretive to prevent witnesses from comparing notes and changing their positions. If this is the best the Republicans have, we should rejoice. New Quinnipiac poll results were released yesterday showing support for impeachment rose to 55% from 51%, while disapproval dropped from 45% to 43%. The public isn’t buying the Republican’s phony impeachment outrage, and when the witnesses are eventually brought into open hearings the poll numbers are only going to get worse for Trump and his cult.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office” if he isn’t removed from office first.