The GOP explanation, with an attempt at correct punctuation:
“He didn’t do it, but if he did, it was perfect; but why should we believe he did it? This is all second- and third-hand testimony, except for the transcript you might have read, and anyway he was just doing the job we elected him to do, which is to pressure foreign governments to find dirt on the offspring of political rivals.
“Oh, and what was that whistleblower up to? Who is he or she, and what was his or her game?
“And what about those diplomats? What are they trying to accomplish other than to prevent him from doing his job, which is to dangle millions in military aid before a foreign government to get the dirt that we Americans demand he obtain about the offspring of political rivals?
“And anyway, that whistleblower is a traitor, and so are those diplomats. And you know what they do to traitors.”
That explains it.
And that’s enough apparently for Republicans in Washington, except possibly for Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski.
The latter, the senator from Alaska, says she is keeping an open mind on impeachment, and offers this equation:
“If this set of facts were to be in front of me and the president was President Hillary Clinton as opposed to President Donald Trump, would I be viewing this a different way? Because if I do, that’s wrong.”
We can be assured that Lindsey Graham was not within hearing distance as Murkowski said this, for the once-principled, now dog-collared senator from South Carolina would have burst into flames.
Graham, full-throated during the impeachment of Bill Clinton, is the Prince of Equivocation now.
Graham clearly stated that evidence of a quid pro quo would arouse his dismay in the case against Trump. Since then, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has acknowledged it. Hey, it’s just standard operating procedure. Just ask him.
It is clear now that no amount of evidence of said quid pro quo – easily translated as bribery, for those Article I junkies — will sway Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Well, let’s just ignore that evidence for a moment and hypothesize with Sen. Murkowski. If President Hillary Clinton:
— Fired the FBI director because he was investigating her.
— Fired the attorney general for recusing himself from that investigation.
— Saw a raft of her associates indicted, including her national security advisor.
— Watched as her former personal attorney went up the river for the crimes of carrying out her wishes.
— Had another close associate convicted on charges surrounding his role in harvesting stolen campaign information. What if President Hillary had her own Roger Stone on speed dial?
— Offered pardons to underlings who worried she was asking them to break the law.
— Obstructed at every turn Congress’s lawful authority to investigate her as president.
— Engaged in a campaign aimed at intimidating witnesses by tweet during a lawful inquiry into her actions, and then defended herself by saying it was her right to have an opinion.
— Attempted to bribe the leader of a foreign country (she would have many from which to choose) to produce dirt on the compromising business activities of Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka or Ivanka’s husband.
— Made her personal attorney — the one not already behind bars, a person completely unaccountable to you and me — in charge of back-channel foreign policy in regard to that country whose leader was being bribed.
— Said that Article II of the Constitution means she could do anything, absolutely anything, she wanted.
To those who will explain away this president: Tell me what you’d be demanding if even one of these things were done by President Hillary Clinton.
Former newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.