Brady’s right - It is a partisan issue
GOP Chair Jane Brady seems to believe that partisanship exists on only one side of the political ledger these days. She defends Donald Trump and dismisses impeachment, without any sense of irony at her own partisanship in denying the facts before her - and our decidedly partisan Senate.
According to Ms. Brady, “it’s clear to me there’s no misconduct that would warrant impeachment,” and we are supposed to take her at her word, because she’s a former prosecutor and attorney general. Interestingly, nearly 700 former federal prosecutors - Democratic and Republican - said after the Mueller investigation that Trump would have been indicted for obstruction if he didn’t hold the office of president. But we certainly can’t trust those 700 prosecutors because they’ve been struck by a partisan blindness that, miraculously, Ms. Brady seems to have escaped.
Ah, but that’s old news, isn’t it? The Mueller investigation is long gone, nothing to see there; let’s move along people, let’s get to something relevant. Well, how about soliciting interference of a foreign government (Ukraine) in the 2020 presidential election? Yes, Ms. Brady, you’re absolutely right, “the transcript speaks for itself”; and the words that were said, the intent of the “favor” requested, the withholding of vital funds approved by Congress in exchange for a commitment to investigate a political rival, well, they speak loud and clear - if one is able to open his or her partisan ears.
The only thing “perfect” about Trump’s phone call with Ukranian President Zelensky is the way it perfectly captures the essential amorality of the man, his willingness to bend and break the rules to benefit himself, and his complete abdication of duty to defend the Constitution. Yes, it was a perfect picture of the moral rot and lack of honor that symbolizes the Trump presidency.
But wait…there’s more. Despite numerous foreign policy and national security witnesses who testified to the alarming illegality of the Zelensky call - men and women who served our country faithfully for years, only to be mocked and dismissed by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee (question: do they really qualify for a committee named as such?) - Trump erected a wall. No, not that one, silly - not the one that remains a vacuous, insipid, unfulfilled campaign promise, one that was never going to be fulfilled because, as everybody knew all along, Mexico was never going to pay for it.
No, the wall that Trump has put up is the one between his White House and a Congress that was duly elected to carry out its du
ties, even when and if it comes to impeachment proceedings. There is even a tidy little legal term for it: “obstruction of justice.” In the words of the impeachment article: “Donald J. Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its ‘sole Power of Impeachment.’”
Translation: Trump believes he is above the law. Congress is exercising its legal right - and obligation - to get as much information as possible, to interview all of the relevant and important witnesses, to properly investigate all of the facts necessary, to proceed with a thorough impeachment inquiry. And to this Trump thumbs his stable genius nose and tells the House, “Get lost.”
Perhaps he should have just told the House Intelligence Committee to “Go back to where you came from,” only problem being, where they come from is the United States House of Representatives, his co-equal branch of government.
Ah, but I guess I’m just being partisan here, darn it. I guess violating the Constitution and stonewalling the subsequent investigation is something I should just get over and forget, as Trump and his people - Ms. Brady included - seem to think is the only fair way to proceed. I mean after all, Trump’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney even said it out loud at a crowded press conference right? Mulvaney proudly crowed, “Get over it! Quid pro quo happens all the time. Get over it.”
Get over it, America. Nothing to see here. Just our president going about his business of Making America Great Again by undermining the Constitution, obstructing justice, soliciting foreign intervention in our election, denigrating loyal career public servants for the unspeakable crime of speaking the truth, and dismissing the whole sorry episode as a “partisan witch hunt!”
Ms. Brady got at least one thing right. She states “this [impeachment process] has been clearly a purely partisan effort.” Bingo, Ms. Brady - you nailed that one. The only thing is, if you assume (rightly so) that both sides have partisan interests they are attempting to defend, how can you assume that one side is completely right, and the other completely wrong?
And wouldn’t it be in everybody’s best interest - at least those of us everyday citizens - to attempt to gather all of the relevant facts and have a complete and sensible hearing of those facts before rendering judgment on what they mean?
Only that can’t possibly happen when the partisan - yes, I said it - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states boldly, and without any apparent embarrasment, “I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process. The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I’m not impartial about that.”
If that’s not enough, along comes Trump toady Sen. Lindsay Graham, stating to all the country, “I have clearly made up my mind. I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process. So I don’t need any witnesses…” This despite the fact that by law, Graham is required to hear any and all trial testimony as an impartial and unbiased juror of the Senate.
So, Ms. Brady definitely got one thing right - the impeachment has been a purely partisan effort - only how is she so sure which effort is right, and which is wrong?
And, amongst her other somewhat questionable declarations, Ms. Brady got one thing very badly wrong.
Brady writes, “The president, should the House of Representatives send the articles of impeachment for trial, will prevail in the Senate, because he did nothing wrong.”
She got part of it right: Trump will prevail in the Senate. But not because of her flawed assertion that he did nothing wrong. He will prevail because the Republicans have a majority in the Senate. And those same Republicans - partisans all - have hitched their wagon to Donald Trump, no matter what the cost to their reputations, to their legacies, and most grievous of all, to the American people.
Sorry, Ms. Brady, but with your impressive background as a former prosecutor and attorney general, you should know better than anyone that facts matter. Evidence matters.
The truth matters. And even though you cry “pure politics,” there is absolutely nothing pure in your assertion that Trump did nothing wrong. The transcript does speak for itself - and it cries out for impeachment.
Stephen W. Groo