William B. Turner
Here is the story from the Washington Post about the vote in the House Judiciary Committee on one article to impeach Richard Nixon, July 28, 1974. Note that only 6 of 17 Republicans voted in favor of the article to impeach. Note also, well down in the article, the point that Members repeatedly referred, during four days of debate leading to the vote, to the transcripts of taped conversations from the Oval Office showing that Nixon had instructed his chief of staff to try to get the CIA to persuade the FBI to call off its investigation into the Watergate break in, which Nixon’s own operatives had performed, by falsely claiming the event had national security implications.
To state what should be obvious, but may not be in the age of Trump, this was a glaring, egregious abuse of the power of the presidency. It was clearly obstruction of justice in the most obvious sense, and in a way that only the president could do. Anyone who wants a reason why Nixon resigned when Bill Clinton rode the storm out can look to the fact that Clinton’s underlying offense was a trivial, if tawdry, act that any man could commit, while Nixon’s was a crime that only the president could commit, a clear violation of the powers of the presidency.
But the Republicans didn’t care. They’re good Christian “conservatives” who believe in blind obedience to authority. They were not willing to remove a sitting president – their sitting president – despite overwhelming evidence of gross misconduct.
Good “conservatives,” of course, think that change is inherently bad, or at least suspect, and one should try to avoid changing as much as possible, so they’re sticking hard by their ancient custom of overlooking gross misconduct by their own president now that we have another Republican in that office who is, at this moment, engaged in misconduct that makes Nixon look like a boy scout.
Despite the continued denials of the so called president’s hallelujah chorus, the evidence ever mounts that he and his campaign got lots of help winning from various Russian agents working, as everyone in Russia is, for Vladimir Putin and has continually engaged in various other variously illegal and/or unethical conduct since well before he took office.
But Republicans studiously ignore this growing, festering pile of evidence because they’re getting what they want out of Donald Trump. To some extent, they just want one of their own as president. Republicans exhibit the bad human habit of tribalism on meth. They are mean girls in power. They most want to reward all members of their in group, while penalizing anyone else, first and foremost, for no other reason than to gratify their twisted egos.
But penalizing outgroup persons is much easier with the power of government, which is almost exclusively what Republicans have done when they have held power since Nixon’s 1.75 terms in office. They are incapable of conceiving of, much less pursuing, any public good, or any good at all for anyone but themselves, or what they think is their own good, since they haven’t figured out that using the power of government exclusively for selfish ends will backfire badly in the long run.
So they finally got what they think they want – control of both Houses of Congress and a president who is the embodiment of Republican bloody-minded selfishness and who cannot conceive of other humans as anything but projections of his own sick mind.
So they’re not going to impeach the so called president. To them, he’s not much worse than Nixon. If anything, he’s much better than Nixon because Nixon had at least spent two terms as vice president to the last responsible Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, and knew how to govern.
Because they have no concern for policy, our current crop of Republicans is perfectly happy with the train wreck that is Donald Trump. They’re not going to impeach him.