Rand Paul just made the most bracing speech of his career. It was about the absurdity of the new effort to convene a Senate trial to impeach Donald Trump. I’ll come back to Sen. Paul’s speech in a moment. First, let’s take a moment to talk about the man everyone is talking about today. I mean the former president of the Untied States, Donald J. Trump.
Addiction can be a terrible curse. It can make people do all manner of irrational things. Consider the Democrats and their addiction to Donald Trump. Has any junkie been more abject in trying to score his fix? Like many addicts, the Dems hate the thing to which they are addicted. Yet they are ineluctably drawn to it.
The Democrats and their media enablers have spent the last four years railing against Donald Trump. The Washington Post began calling for his impeachment 19 minutes after he was inaugurated. They couldn’t get impeachment off the ground until early last year when some national security functionary spilled the beans about a phone called between President Trump and the president of Ukraine.
Only there were no beans, no real ‘quid pro quo,’ not between President Trump and anyone in Ukraine, anyway. It’s a different story with Joe Biden. He actually bragged on television about getting the prosecutor fired who was looking into his son Hunter’s corrupt business dealings. Fire the prosecutor, he said, or you don’t get the money the US promised you. The prosecutor was fired.
Well, as Samuel Goldwyn is alleged to have said, we’ve passed a lot of water under the bridge since then. I mention the Democrats’ sad addiction to Donald Trump and their media allies’ ostentatious double standard because both are on view again in impeachment 2.0, a little theatrical performance staged by congressional Democrats to impeach Donald Trump again, this time for allegedly inciting the violence that swept through the Capitol building on January 6.
This is pure farce for a number of reasons. First of all, Donald Trump is not in office, so it is pointless to impeach him. Yes, yes, I know: the idea is that if only he can be convicted he can then be forbidden from running for public office again. Are the Democrats and their Republican shills really that terrified of Donald Trump? Oh my gosh, if we don’t destroy him he might rise up again, phoenix-like, and beat us once more!
Despite a handful of Republican grandstanders such as Mitt Romney, there are nowhere near enough Republican votes to convict him. Besides, the Constitution says that when the president is impeached, ‘the Chief Justice shall preside.’ John Roberts declined to preside. Is it kosher that Sen. Patrick Leahy should step in to preside over the show trial of a private citizen?
Sen. Paul’s speech was brief and eloquent. Donald Trump is being hauled up for public obloquy for inciting a ‘riot’ or ‘insurrection.’ But he didn’t. As Sen. Paul points out, and as several commentators (myself included) have noted, President Trump asked his followers to proceed ‘peacefully and patriotically‘ to the Capitol to make their voices heard.
How unlike the Democrats in their rhetoric about Donald Trump, about Republicans, about conservatives. The bulk of Sen. Paul’s speech was a short trip down memory lane. Remember when Bernie Sanders in 2017 indulged in false and inflammatory language about Trump’s healthcare plan? Because of that, Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, inflamed by Sanders’s words, shot and nearly killed US House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and injured several others. Did any Republican call for Bernie to be impeached for his reckless rhetoric that incited a would-be murderer?
Remember when Sen. Cory Booker urged his followers to ‘get up in the face‘ of Trump supporters? Remember when Rep. Maxine Waters told her followers that ‘If you see anybody from [Trump’s] cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!’ Remember this past summer when American cities, from Seattle to Washington DC, were burning and Democratic politicians and so much of the media made excuses for the rioters and said that their arson was a form of ‘peaceful protest,’ that their violence wasn’t really violence because it was aimed at property? The New York Times, taking a wilted page from J.S. Mill, called the institution of an ‘autonomous zone’ in Seattle an ‘experiment in life.’ Remember when Kamala Harris, now Vice President of the United States, in effect offered to pay the bail for violent protesters who were jailed? Remember when Sen. Paul and his wife, returning to their hotel from a presidential speech at the White House, were surrounded by an angry mob and were able to escape unharmed only because of the police? The property damage from the BLM- and antifa-run riots this summer was in the billions. More than 700 policemen were injured, 19 were killed.
Sen. Paul instanced these and other incidents in castigating the ‘sham’ impeachment now underway in the armed camp that used to be our capital city. They are, as he said, motivated by people ‘deranged by their hatred’ of Donald Trump. And he is right, too, that the whole ‘unconstitutional’ impeachment wheeze is ‘dead on arrival.’ Five Republicans voted against Sen. Paul’s effort to dismiss the impeachment proceedings. Perhaps they would vote to convict Trump too. (For those keeping track, those senators were Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, the horrible Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey who announced recently that he would not be running for reelection.) But their votes would fall far short of the two-thirds majority necessary to convict.
Sen. Paul said that it was much to the Republicans’ ‘credit’ that they never moved to censure, let alone impeach, their Democratic colleagues when they egged on the violent ‘mostly peaceful’ protesters this summer or when they waged a non-stop campaign to delegitimize Donald Trump after his election. Sen. Paul suggested the Republican mildness and forbearance showed they were made of better stuff.
But perhaps Republicans — well, conservatives, anyway, which is not the same thing — ought to treat the Democrats to the same sort of fury that has been lavished upon every Republican since Ronald Reagan. The Democrats have compared every major Republican since Reagan to Hitler. How would they respond to similar treatment?
If the Republicans win back the House in 2022, perhaps they could instantly use their power to impeach Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or even Barack Obama. The Democratic media has viciously attacked conservatives, destroying companies such as Parler and are seeking to destroy the careers of people such as Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Is it not time to respond in kind?
The Democrats are addled by their addiction to hatred. Treating them to the same sort of brutal repudiation that they have visited upon conservatives is the only way to make them reconsider and grow up. Call it a form of tough love.