The GOP argument is that Trump’s attempt to use foreign aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals wasn’t a crime because it was unsuccessful. Fox News host Laura Ingraham even said on her show this week that bribery was specifically named as an impeachable offense in the Constitution, but “attempted bribery is not.”
Bill Oakley, a writer and showrunner on “The Simpsons,” wrote in The Washington Post that this argument calls to mind the defense used by the malevolent cartoon character Sideshow Bob when he was jailed for attempted murder. He quoted the character:
Convicted of a crime I didn’t even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?
Oakley also wrote that the argument might sound good in Springfield, the fictional hometown of the Simpsons, because “the citizens of Springfield are, as a whole, dummies.” But out here in the real world?
“It’s hard to believe that the Sideshow Bob defense of Trump will be long-lived, as it fails to stand up to even the slightest scrutiny,” wrote Oakley. “It is literally a joke.”
Plus, the GOP is already moving on to a new argument: that Trump was simply trying to fight corruption.
“‘Oh come on now, that’s too much. People won’t seriously fall for that,’ Sideshow Bob might reply,” Oakley wrote. “And then, with an evil gleam in his eye: ‘...Will they?’”