Republicans are many things. Honest is not one of them. For the past two years, they have been avoiding investigating Trump's numerous scandals and running interference in the investigations they couldn't avoid. They've gone from insisting that nothing happened to maybe something happened but it wasn't a crime to claiming that crime isn't actually crime.
Now, as all of their excuses crumble under the mountain of evidence that Donald Trump is a criminal that is shockingly bad at covering his tracks, Republicans are trying out a new tactic: Undermining the almost inevitable impeachment by claiming it's all about politics.
Here's Hugh Hewitt making that very case:
But that the House Democrats are going to drive toward a vote on one or more articles of impeachment seems, to me, predestined. The animal need for House members to be on television, combined with the already accelerating race for the Democratic presidential nomination, guarantees that one dynamic will feed off the other as surely hurricanes do over warm ocean water. The big blowoff is coming. It will last months and months.
Hewitt is engaged in the right's favorite game. Psychological projection. The only party that has ever abused the process of impeachment in modern times has been the Republican Party. Despite Trump's almost daily whining about witch hunts, we saw what an actual witch hunt looked like back in the 1990s when Republicans spent over three years and tens of millions of dollars digging into every facet of the Clintons' lives. They came up with an affair and tried to remove the President of the United States because he lied about it.
Republicans paid a heavy price for that abuse and had it not been for the media's monumental efforts to tear Al Gore down, they would have continued to pay that price in the 2000 election.
Fast forward a few years and by 2006 when Democrats took over the House again, George W. Bush turned out to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent presidents ever to be elected to the Oval Office. On the basis of his lies that lead to the war in Iraq alone, Democrats could have impeached him. But they didn't. They were quite aware how it would be perceived by the public and even the perception of abusing impeachment for political purposes put them off of it.
On the other hand, Republicans started talking about impeaching Obama before he was even inaugurated because, for Republicans, impeachment is a political weapon, nothing more. The only reason they didn't try is because Obama didn't give them anything to work with. Yes, Republicans had all of their Fox News "scandals" but those only exist on TV and in the minds of stupid people. For a real impeachment, they would have to produce evidence and the GOP knew there wasn't any.
On the other other hand, there is so much evidence demanding Trump's removal for a plethora of crimes that the Democrats would have to make a political case for not impeaching him. A better move might be to move forward with the impeachment (preferably after Mueller's report) in the House while making it absolutely clear they have no expectations of Trump being removed by the Senate because of the corrupt GOP. Get all of Trump's criminal activity out in the open and make Republicans complicit by forcing them to stand with him.
Political? Only after the fact. And let's be honest, Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves for protecting Trump for as long as they have. They knew he was a lowlife criminal and could have held him accountable two years ago but didn't. That was a political choice they made. Now that it's about to bite them in the ass, they're whining that Democrats are playing politics with impeachment as if that's something they find objectionable. The hypocrisy is off the charts and it still won't be enough to save them.
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