Colson: How else to describe Washington but one big mess
Hit & Run
This nation’s crisis-in-progress continues, as various factions go to war over the possibility of impeaching President Donald Trump, and numerous observers ask themselves and others whether impeachment is really the best way to rid ourselves of a dangerous, unstable, malicious leader in the White House.
I, for one, am unsure as to which path we should take in the massively important task of getting Trump out of the White House and wrenching control of the U.S. Senate from the hands of the Republican Party.
I have called for Trump’s impeachment in the past, and I still believe firmly that he deserves it and that our country would be immeasurably better off if he were forced from office.
I believe he has committed impeachable, criminal offenses both domestically and internationally; I believe he has undermined the rule of law; I believe he is corrupt to the core and has illegally used his position as president to further enrich himself, and has allowed his cohort to do the same in too many instances.
I’ve concluded, in fact, that while Trump loves to accuse others of “hating America,” he actually is the one who hates this country. He hates all things progressive and compassionate; he hates people of color and strong-minded women; he hates anyone who gets in his way, and he despises the rule of law, which means he deserves to be kicked out of office, today.
But right now, I am not sure about the impeachment question, because it could very well be, as others have stated, that impeaching Trump would be akin to a “show trial” in some tinpot dictatorship.
Such a move might make progressive critics of the Trump regime feel better, but it also might ensure that Trump would be re-elected in 2020 once the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate refuses, predictably, to convict him of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
That would leave him free to take his aggrieved, victimhood act out on the campaign trail to re-energize his “base” and further demoralize the already exhausted opposition.
Make no mistake about it, the current president of the United States is crafty, mendacious, paranoid, morally bankrupt and a man who despises the very idea of a strong federal government, because it endangers his lifelong reliance on lying and cheating in order to remain wealthy and out of prison.
Since even before being elected, he has been angling to do one thing above all others — disable as much of our federal superstructure as he can and keep corporations in the driver’s seat of the U.S. economy.
And what he can’t dismantle, he turns over to people who likewise hate the government and are dedicated to preventing it from doing the job it was created to do, particularly anything that involves preventing rogue corporate and private interests from cheating the general public in the interest of short-term profits.
Oh, yes, he also wants to ensure that the desperate cabal of aging, white men (his natural cohort) hangs onto the reins of power for as long as possible, even as the tides of history and human population growth work in the opposite direction and the world becomes less white and more brown/black/yellow every day.
Given all that (and I think all but the most partisan, white-supremacist and deeply fearful would agree with all that) there is a big push on to impeach Trump and let the chips fall where they may.
But this push has one big drawback, which is the control of the U.S. Senate by a Republican party that already has shown itself incapable of even finding fault with Trump’s worst tendencies, let alone punish him for them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, I must point out, is the same man who went happily along with his party’s declaration to deny any legislative achievements to then-President Barack Obama almost immediately after Obama was first elected in 2008; who gleefully derailed any chance that Obama’s 2016 Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland would even get a hearing in a gamble that a Republican would win the White House later that year; and whose most recent outrageous, anti-democratic move has been to block efforts in Congress to prevent Russia or any other nation from meddling in the 2020 presidential election contest as they did in the 2016 “election” that put Trump in the Oval Office.
With that record, I doubt anyone can seriously entertain any notion that McConnell would allow an impeachment trial to even get started, much less come to any positive outcome and dump Trump on the ash can of history.
And an unsuccessful impeachment effort, however justified, righteous and morally supportable it may be, might very well be the worst move possible in the current environment.
Because winning a pyrrhic victory in the House of Representatives could be an empty gesture in the end if it strengthens Trump and his allies and brings us four more years of Trumpian degradation of everything this country once believed it stood for.
If impeachment is a nonstarter, our only hope is victory at the ballot box, though Trump’s allies have been piling up the voter-suppression tactics in state after state, and Russian hackers already are believed to be busily implementing a second-stage attack on the integrity of our electoral process.
Ultimately, the whole thing rests on one basic strategem — if all of us who feel the way I’ve described will go to the polls and vote next year, we can end this.
Jeez, what a mess.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Certainly there is no replacing the voice Paul Andersen brought to the Times’ op-ed pages. For the next year, though, we’re going to use the Monday spot to bring some of the voices of our newsroom to these pages.