February 20 – House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) announced today that the impeachment proceeding against President Hillary Clinton would proceed directly to a vote of the full House.
“We know everything we need to know,” said Goodlatte. “This woman belongs in prison, or worse, for the high crime of treason.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan added, “We knew Hillary Clinton was incompetent and we knew she was corrupt. But trading favors with Vladimir Putin to throw the election, and to enrich the Clinton business interests, is a new low, even for the Clintons.”
“I don’t want to pre-judge this, since the Senate still needs to vote to convict,” added Senate leader Mitch McConnell, “but her behavior makes Benedict Arnold look like a patriot.”
“We now know,” said Goodlatte, citing the bill of impeachment, that the Clinton campaign did the following:
“Several senior aides in the campaign were in regular contact with Russian intelligence. They signaled the Russian leadership that a Clinton administration would give the Russians a freer hand to pursue expansionary objectives. In return, the Russians hacked into the Trump campaign’s confidential internal communications. All this while the Clintons had extensive business interests in Russia.
“Even now, an unrepentant Clinton has doubled down on her disgusting habit of selling out the security of the United States for the business interests of her family. China. After feigning a tougher on Chinese, Clinton abruptly backed down and confirmed America’s One China policy — and the Chinese government suddenly violated its own laws to resolve a long-blocked trademark dispute in the Clintons’ favor.”
McConnell added, “Pathetically, the Democrats have focused on the leaks, by patriotic members of the intelligence community. They liked the leaks just fine when they were coming from Putin. During the campaign, candidate Clinton even urged Putin to provide more leaks of confidential Republic campaign conversations.”
”This is far worse than Watergate,” said Ryan, “Because it involved meddling by America’s most treacherous global rival; and because unlike in 1972, it actually altered the election results. I can’t believe that only a handful of Democrats are concerned about this.”
Okay, the shoe is on the other foot. Most Republicans have reversed their longstanding view of the Russian threat rather than embarrass Donald Trump. It’s breathtaking. They’re okay with having Putin be the dominant world leader as long as Republicans get their tax cuts, deregulation, Supreme Court, and dismantling of government.
With a handful of exceptions, the Republicans already concluded that selling out America in exchange for partisan goals is an acceptable deal. Hypocrisy is rampant in politics, but this takes it to an unimagined extreme.
A curious question for this Republic is whether it’s better or worse that our would-be dictator is so thoroughly incompetent and disorganized. You might say that a more competent demagogue would do even more damage. By now, he would have a fully staffed administration in place. There would be less chaos, less infighting, and a more consistent game plan.
At the same time, Trump’s very weirdness makes him that much more dangerous. Trump’s approval ratings keep dropping, but it’s a long way to 2018. The question is which pays the price first – the Republicans or the Republic.
Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect and professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School. His latest book is Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. http://www.amazon.com/Debtors-Prison-Politics-Austerity-Possibility/dp/0307959805
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