A cavalry gallops to rescue from impeachment’s Hate City - GulfToday

A cavalry gallops to rescue from impeachment’s Hate City

Martin Schram

Columnist and author

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

In the last election before the Grand Old Party plunged itself into its shameful Donald Trump era, Lt. Col. Joni Ernst, who formerly commanded Iowa National Guard truck convoys in Iraq, began her 2014 Senate campaign by introducing herself to voters in a TV ad that emphasised her rather untraditional qualification:

“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork!”

And on Election Night 2014, when the conservative Republican became the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate, Ernst proclaimed a most untraditional campaign promise: “We are headed to Washington — and we are going to make ‘em squeal!”

Fast-forward to 2019: in this historic Impeachment Week, we heard a whole lot of squealing, partisan vitriol and personal insults at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. It had nothing to do with the budget-cutting squeals Ernst once believed she’d provoke. Shockingly, her new commanders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican President Donald Trump, begat record-setting deficits that just topped $1 trillion!

But of course, what we’ve gotten used to hearing aren’t hurtful fiscal squeals, but hateful taunts, spewed with unrepentant anger. This week’s House impeachment debate featured an unrelenting string of Republicans speed-spewing angry insults and distortions. They have turned our nation’s capital into Hate City. We desperately miss the civility and comity that existed for decades among Washington’s Republicans and Democrats even as the conservative vs. liberal battles were being waged.

Week after week, our president has fallen deeper into the depths of unacceptable conduct. He now seems unstrung or just childishly out of control. This week, Trump childishly ridiculed what he crudely described (but we will only call a dental condition) concerning the Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. A couple of news cycles later, Trump vilely targeted Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who had just voted for his impeachment, by telling a Michigan rally her late husband, Rep. John Dingell, who died this year, could be looking up at us (hinting he is in hell).

But far more shocking than their mere loss of fiscal responsibility, Washington’s new-generation Republican conservatives have also lost the fortitude and just plain guts that once enabled them to stand strongly for law-and-order and decency and condemn wrongs — even their own leaders’.

Are there no Washington Republicans left who have the guts to condemn Trump’s crimes and assaults and rein him in? Are there no Profiles in Courage left in the formerly Grand Old Party?

Even Republican hardliners are silent as their leader is globally ridiculed when he seems easily manipulated by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. (Fact: After Trump recently met with Russia’s foreign minister, Moscow’s Russiya 1 TV aired a news segment titled: “Puppet Master and ‘Agent’.”)

On Wednesday night, Trump was impeached on two counts: abusing his presidential power, for pressuring Ukraine to probe Joe Biden in exchange for getting U.S. military aid; and contempt of Congress, for barring documents and top-level officials from testifying to the impeachment inquiry.

Now Republicans are blocking Democratic insistence that a Senate impeachment trial must call as witnesses top Trump officials who can testify whether Trump told them to demand a Ukraine quid pro quo. Republican senators seemed determined to not anger Trump. Ernst, who values Trump’s support in her 2020 reelection campaign, recently stumbled while trying to sidestep a journalist’s question.

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