Faced with the inevitable fact that House Democrats will impeach Donald Trump with likely few consequences politically, Republicans are at the end of their rope. They’ve exhausted every defense as more people continue to see through their lies, and their justifications for letting him off the hook are getting weaker and weaker.
The latest new defense comes just in time for the holidays, which should tell you something about how desperate they are for it to stick. Trump stooges Matt Whitaker, the former toilet scam Acting Attorney General, and Newt Gingrich both appeared on Fox News to complain about how unfair it is that House Democrats are deciding to impeach Trump around Christmas.
“It is really a sad day for America. It is, I think, going to hurt people’s Christmas experience because this is going to be playing in the background. Instead of Bing Crosby’s Christmas album, we’re going to have impeachment,” said Whitaker. The biggest irony here is that Gingrich spearheaded Bill Clinton’s impeachment and held the final vote on December 19, 1998, just a few days before Congress adjourned for the holiday break, urgently warning his Republican colleagues that they had to punish a president who committed obstruction of justice and lied under oath if they wanted to preserve the rule of law. Now that Trump is facing the exact same accusations, they’re calling the whole thing a partisan witch hunt.
What people often forget about Clinton’s impeachment is that news of Newt Gingrich’s extramarital affair broke around the time of the impeachment, forcing him to step down as House Speaker. It was the ultimate irony after a long and unpopular inquiry where the outcome of Clinton’s acquittal was never in doubt. Impeachment was viewed up until that time as a serious bipartisan effort to hold officials accountable who committed high crimes. Afterwards, it was seen as little more than a partisan threat and a waste of time. It is for this reason that Trump’s impeachment is driving Republicans like Gingrich crazy – not so much because they care about Donald Trump, but because it exposes their long legacy of undermining our democratic institutions.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making