As if by design, the Senate trial of President Trump looked more farcical than serious yesterday. But contra popular belief, David Ignatius argues that impeachment actually bolsters our brand overseas:
A consistent theme through the Nixon and Clinton dramas, and now with Trump, is the presidents’ conviction that they didn’t commit any impeachable offenses and that the process is a partisan political sham.
Nixon wrote: “I never for a moment believed that any of the charges against me were legally impeachable.” Clinton declared in his memoir that his impeachment was “a politically motivated action by a majority party in Congress that couldn’t restrain itself.”
And so it goes. Impeachment is an inherently political process for resolving allegations of abuse of power, as the Founders intended. But past evidence suggests that it helps break the fever, rather than making it worse.
Meanwhile, Frank Bruni suggests we all take a moment to comfort the Whiner in Chief:
He’s always right and yet always wronged. He demands that we marvel at his invincibility even as we tremble at his degradation. He can vanquish any enemy — and his enemies are legion! — but look at how he’s pushed around. Trump takes a textbook oxymoron and gives it presidential form. Behold, at the Resolute Desk, a jumbo shrimp.
It’s disgusting. It’s also part of his political genius. He has turned himself into a symbol of Americans’ victimization, telling frustrated voters who crave easy answers that they’re being pushed around by foreigners and duped by the condescending custodians of a dysfunctional system.
Thanks to Republicans in the Senate, he’s poised to evade punishment again. We should all be such victims.
Yes, thanks to Republicans in the Senate, particularly those in diverse states who face election in a few months.