Trump was impeached by the House last night on both articles: Abuse Of Power and Obstruction of Congress. No Republicans voted to impeach, and three Democrats voted to acquit, so on balance the vote went along party lines. Trump is only the third president to be impeached in US history, and it’s a distinction that sets him apart from his constant object of resentment, Barack Obama.
While Congress was voting, Trump was in Michigan holding his latest emotional support rally, and he was clearly distressed by the impeachment outcome and the stain on his legacy. A day can’t go by without another disgrace from Donald Trump, and last night he reached a new low by going after Rep Debbie Dingell, whose recently deceased husband Rep John Dingell was a beloved Michigan political legend. Through a fog of self-pity and resentment, Trump said, “Debbie Dingell, that’s a real beauty,” and implied that her husband was “looking up” from hell–all because Rep Dingell voted for impeachment despite the fact that Trump said nice things about her husband when he died. Trump’s attack drew moans and sighs from the audience–a rare moment where Trump’s vileness was too much even for his cult–and drew national attention with commentators like Brian Williams repeatedly calling it a disgrace.
The Dingell disgrace is part of a larger issue worth revisiting. When Republicans on social media attack Democrats, they often follow Trump’s lead by invoking Pelosi, AOC and Ilhan Omar, rarely ever including men. Trump has also recently attacked and mocked former FBI investigator Lisa Page, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and former ambassador Marie Yovanovich without any similar attack on prominent men, plenty of whom oppose him just as vehemently. Trump certainly attacks men, but his strongest and most persistent ire is reserved for women, and this tendency is mirrored by his cult of supporters. By their actions, the core of Trumpism is exposed as an ideology of misogyny. It’s more than that, of course, but a disdain for women is at the center of Trump’s resentment and anger–as well as many of his supporters. Trump is a bully–always has been–and his targeting of women might be a way for his profoundly insecure ego to feel powerful. But regardless of motivation, Trump has developed a strong track record of publicly treating women like Rep Debbie Dingell worse than men in similar positions. It’s repulsive and cowardly.
Another outgrowth of the impeachment vote has been an increasing focus by Republicans on swing district Democrats who voted to impeach, like our own Rep Delgado. It’s a certainty that Republicans are going to hit our district hard in the months ahead. They’re nowhere near having a clear nominee, but that won’t stop them from attacking Delgado, which they’ve already started to do on social media. Once the New Year begins we have to be ready for a battle in NY-19. We should expect that the NRCC and others will organize angry Republicans to attend Delgado town halls and be disruptive. We can expect that the GOP will buy a lot of advertising, both on TV and on the internet, and if their recent history is any guide, their messages will consist of inflammatory lies and smears. The 2020 election is going to be a bitter fight, both for the presidency and for our NY-19 congressional seat, so please make a New Year’s resolution to stay in the fight and help protect our Democracy from the forces of corporatism, fascism and authoritarianism that Trump has so distressingly stoked. I’ll be resting and recharging my batteries with family next week, so tomorrow will be my last blog until New Year’s Day, and I wish all of you a safe, restful and joyful holiday season.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”