I can remember the late summer of 1974 pretty clearly, considering it was 45 years ago and there are times I can’t remember why the hell I walked into the kitchen.
Watergate had been a thing on the news for some time and it was finally coming to a head that August. I sat in what used to be my grandfather’s bedroom in our two-story North Dakota house. He’d died a few days before and we were still dealing with the aftermath of that loss and his not being around. There’d been many times I’d been in his room with him, just watching his old black and white TV.
This day I was there alone, watching President Richard Nixon resign and leave office rather than face being impeached by the House and tried by the Senate. He’d broken the law and even his own party felt he needed to resign rather than put the country through what would have come if he had stayed and fought. It was the second time Nixon had chosen his country over his ambition.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy barely defeated Nixon for the White House. There was some suspicious voting in key states that swung to Kennedy that day. Nixon could have fought it. Might have proved it and won. But he realized in 1960, as he did 14 years later, the damage to the country was not worth it.
Which brings us to the impeachment of Bill Clinton nearly a quarter-century later. Like Nixon, Clinton had broken the law. He had lied under oath during a court proceeding. He was impeached once he refused to put the good of the country ahead of his ambition. He was not convicted, not because he wasn’t guilty (he was), but because by the late 1990s politicians willing to put country ahead of party was a thing of the past.
Now, we’re starting to reap what Bill Clinton sowed twenty years ago. Now, politics rules all – even areas which shouldn’t be political (sports, science fiction, the list is nearly endless) – and now its the truth be damned! It is all about saving your guy while getting their guy at all costs.
I’ve stated on Twitter that if Trump had done something I’d be driving the impeachment train myself. I didn’t vote for him or the other corrupt Democrat (I’m still not convinced he really feels he’s a Republican) from New York that the two parties put up.
But the honest truth is: There is nothing there to impeach him for. There was no collusion with Russia. There is no obstruction of justice. You can’t be found guilty of obstructing because you had the nerve to come out and say “I didn’t do this and I’m not going to help you railroad me either!”
Now we’re on to Ukraine. I’ve read the transcript – not the “parody” that Adam Schiff tried to sneak into the record (and may I say, based on about three years of working with a lawyer and writing drafts of legal briefs – the sure sign that the other side has no case is when they start off by lying about their “evidence”) – and again, there is no crime there.
Oh, there is if we’re going to play the “I’ll interpret what you said based on some non-existent code that I made up so I can say you did something that you didn’t” game. But in a court of law, that’s not a game you can play. A court deals in facts. The facts are, there is nothing there.
But again, since “party” is all, I have no doubt that Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, et al are going to march double-quick time toward impeaching Trump. And the Senate will do what the Senate did twenty years ago, return a verdict of not guilty. Only this time, the verdict will be accurate.
And as for the country? I’ve seen a disturbing hashtag on Twitter today: #CivilWarSignup. The people joking about this are the ones who run screaming for their safe spaces at the sight of a red baseball cap.
If we keep on this path, this country will fracture and it will not be insults and milkshakes being tossed about. It will be bullets. And only one side appears to be armed for that kind of fight.
So, I want our political leaders, especially those on the left tonight, to take a step back and consider what they are doing and where it will lead. I mean, really chew right down to the bone.
Because if blood is shed over this, it will all be on your hands.
Stop this insanity, while you still can.