At each step in the impeachment saga, President Trump’s defense has shifted as prior ones fell apart. At first, Democrats were dragging things out. Now they’re moving too quickly. For months, the Inspector General probe would prove the FBI acted out of political bias in opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. Now that the IG concluded otherwise, the report is irrelevant.
And in this manner, we have come to this seminal moment where the House impeaches the President of the United States.
Here was the impeachment rally last night.
Eleven years ago, Donald Trump indicated that he thought impeachment of a Republican president would have been a “wonderful thing”:
“When [Pelosi] first got in and was named speaker,” Trump said to Blitzer then, “I met her. And I’m very impressed by her. I think she’s a very impressive person, I like her a lot.”
“But I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush,” he continued. “It just seemed like she was really going to look to impeach Bush and get him out of office. Which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing.”
“For the war,” Trump replied. “For the war! Well, he lied! He got us into the war with lies!”
So supporting impeachment of a Republican president is acceptable, it turns out.
But It is particularly offensive that Trump has been invoking God and prayer these past couple days. It is a cynical ploy to keep the evangelicals on his side.
The House is “debating” the Articles, which of course means that they are giving speeches. And Republicans are being “cute”.
No sooner had the House had been gaveled to order than Republicans moved to adjourn. Even when it was clear that it would fail, they forced a roll-call vote.
When that roll-call vote did fail, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rose to present a ripped-from-Fox News list of “charges” against House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, seeking condemnation of how the impeachment had been handled. Democrats immediately moved to table that nonsense motion, but Republicans have again forced a full roll-call vote.
Expect more of the same. Because despite all their claims about the importance of the day, despite all the chest-beating, despite all the quoting of Alexander Hamilton, Republicans are still engaged in petty bullshit. They’re still determined to treat the day like a game. They’re still engaged in throwing more mud on the mud. And, most of all, they’re still utterly incapable of defending Donald Trump on the facts—because those facts condemn Trump absolutely.
Expect more of this, because it appears that, confronted with the most important day of their careers, Republicans are going to treat it as just another day to kneel before Donald Trump and display their abject surrender to his corruption.
On the day the House of Representatives impeached Bill Clinton, his approval rating hit its presidential peak, 73% pic.twitter.com/TAaLgLZ9gD— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 18, 2019
Not so with Trump:
UPDATE: Trump in the WH, watching Fox:
Left, Fox's America's Newsroom, 9:42 a.m.— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) December 18, 2019
Right, Trump, 11:38 a.m. pic.twitter.com/B0LR7ux9Un
NEWS: House votes 229-197 to set up six hours of debate on two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump.— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 18, 2019
2 Democrats voted NO
1 independent voted YES
0 Republicans voted YES
Final votes are expected later today.
As we begin House debate on impeachment, the Democratic side is almost full. About 150 members.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) December 18, 2019
Republican side is fuller than usual, but still only about 30 GOP members.
(Yes, I did count both.)
Outside Congress right now:— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) December 18, 2019
Huge crowd calling for impeachment and chanting:
“NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW!”
Wh House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham, moments ago: “The President will be working all day. He will be briefed by staff throughout that day, and could catch some of the proceedings between meetings. Trump, just now:
SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2019
Um, he’s taking this well.
Approaching 2 pm, and Republicans are making dozens of arguments. Trump didn’t do it. He kind of did it but not in a bad way. Dems have always wanted to impeach Trump, this is just their excuse. This is election nullification. Leave it to the voters. The economy is good. Joe Biden is corrupt, etc.
Republican Rep. Steve King argued that Biden was not actually Trump’s opponent, since he is in a giant primary against other Democrats and is “running third in that race.” Biden has led in national polls since he entered the race.
It also looks like Republicans are giving their small handful of female representatives more than one chance to speak in order to hide the fact that they’re a caucus of almost exclusively white guys.
Chabot, who was manager for impeaching Clinton for lying about a blow job, says this will mean everyone gets impeached.
"During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded to this President," @RepLoudermilk in one of the more unique attacks on the impeachment process.— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) December 18, 2019
Umm, I’m no religious scholar but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Trump ain’t no Jesus— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) December 18, 2019
Also, this isn’t a trial, so comparing it to Jesus’ trial is…, well, you know.
Watching a series of swaggering, snickering, gaslighting, hyperbolic, grandstanding older white guys alternating with a diverse array of sober, honest and professional Democrats really underscores the extent to which the GOP has degenerated into pure identity politics.— Will Wilkinson 🌐 (@willwilkinson) December 18, 2019
True story: there is a White House staffer going around the Senate delivering to each office, as a package, the incoherent, scathing Pelosi letter AND…wait for it…a giant 16×12 White House Christmas card (along with, implausibly, a second smaller Christmas card).— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 18, 2019
What a day. pic.twitter.com/y8gZuQbipl
3:40pm” Gohmert started ranting something about how Obama/Hillary did nothing to help Ukraine and when he was done…
Wow – After Gohmert spoke, Nadler said: “I’m deeply concerned that any member of the House would spew Russian propaganda on the floor of the House.” Gohmert starts yelling— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 18, 2019
4:00 pm: Schiff takes over for Nadler.