For those who have not been following along today, President Donald Trump decided 280 characters of Twitter was insufficient to contain his ever-growing list of grievances even if he repeated his recent pace of posting more than 100 tweets per day. Instead, he fired-off a six-page letter addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Much like one of his campaign rallies, the letter began with a focus on a single issue. In this case, it was impeachment, instead of his all-time favorite, Hillary’s emails. And just like one of his rallies, Trump soon devolved into a hysterical rant that had many, many people (to use one of Trump’s favorite phrases) clamoring for Vice President Mike Pence to gather the cabinet as quickly and quietly as possible to consider invoking the 25th Amendment. A hashtag advocating that plan also began trending (and is still trending at this hour) on Twitter.
For those who would like to read Trump’s letter in its entirety, click here.
Look, we all knew the day would come where Donald Trump would behave like a cornered rat, scratching and hissing and baring his teeth. That describes a lot of the behavior at Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing or during Lindsey Graham’s Senate recent defense of Trump on the Senate floor. Although, with those rotten yellow teeth, that cornered rat looks a lot like Rudy Giuliani.
But here’s the thing: Donald Trump is NOT cornered. He is just thin-skinned. He is a pathetic man who cannot handle criticism. He fancies himself a god when he is more like the Wizard of Oz, all theatrics and deception, all smoke and mirrors, and hope that no one pulls back the curtain.
The letter Donald Trump penned today was not the one citizens would expect from a president who has not even been impeached yet and who is certain to not be convicted. It was the sort of letter citizens would have expected President Richard Nixon to throw on the lawn as he headed to Marine One for the final ride, pages whipped into the air by the rotors as reporters scattered after them like children at the South Lawn Easter Egg Roll.
See, winning is not enough for someone as insecure as Trump.
He was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2016 for his upset victory over Hillary Clinton and his disruption of the political establishment. Since then, disappointment. The Silence Breakers were honored in 2017, the strong women of the #MeToo movement who swept Hollywood, Washington, and other centers of power. The Guardians were honored in 2018, a collection of journalists like Jamal Khashoggi willing to lay down their lives in pursuit of the truth. This year, it was teen climate change influencer Greta Thunberg. Trump thinks he should win every year. When he does not, he often lies and claims he was offered the honor but turned it down, a lie he repeated this year.
Trump craves respect. Back in New York, he was never accepted into the elite of society. He was a thug, a pig, a grandchild of a grunting immigrant with a big, flat forehead who operated brothels and flop houses. Trump and his family were invited to their social events because he was rich and powerful and famous, but the elites always kept him at a distance, like the help that is permitted to sleep in the manor house but can only eat in the servant’s quarters.
Being president was going to show them all, finally make all these socialites and scions of Wall Street accept him as one of them. But they still don’t. And now he has been outshined for an award he covets three years in a row. First, he was bested by strong women rising and seizing power from once powerful (and often, abusive) white men, men just like Trump and the best people he surrounds himself with. Then he was bested by journalists, his mortal enemies, and worse, by a team of journalists led by a Muslim who became the sort of global icon Trump always wished he could become. Finally, he was bested by a little girl with disabilities, over an issue he claims does not even exist. Time should bestow the 2020 honor on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, even if Trump wins re-election in November, as that would be the final insult.
Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives, likely as soon as tomorrow, although the debate could spill over into Thursday. It is likely to be a party-line vote with without a single Republican breaking ranks.
The process will then move to the Senate.
The first step in the Senate is setting the rules for the trial. If the Democrats cannot wrangle enough Republicans to form a majority (they need four Republicans to join them), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can (and will) likely impose strict rules governing witnesses and testimony and the entire trial will be a quick farce.
At this point, not a single Republican Senator has shown the slightest openness to siding with Democrats on establishing fair and sensible rules, not one. Not Mitt Romney. Not Lisa Murkowski. Not Susan Collins. Not even retiring octogenarian Pat Roberts or retiring octogenarian-to-be Lamar Alexander. If each of these cowards contributed all their vertebrae, they still could not build a single spine.
The way Republicans have been heading under Trump, someone should slip a typo into the day’s schedule when it comes time to make the rules. If Republicans think they are meeting to discuss rubles instead of rules, they might be more inclined to compromise. Maybe Rudy Giuliani could try to convince Putin to come in person?
When the sham of a Senate trial is over, Republicans will vote unanimously to acquit Trump on all articles.
Then, we wait 10 months or so to see if the American electorate is as forgiving of Trump’s misdeeds as his Republican enablers in the House and Senate?
We won’t be.