''A Very Ugly Word''
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
The first line of Trump’s obituary will be: ‘Donald John Trump, the 45th US President, was impeached on December 18, 2019.’ Impeachment is for eternity, and Trump is fuming. For a while now the president has claimed that impeachment would be good for him politically and pretended that it didn’t bother him personally, but for someone who has tried his whole life to belong to various elites and always has been shunned but finally made it to the White House it is a mark that will be burned on his forehead and that he’ll see in the mirror for the rest of his days. Before the House voted on two articles of impeachment Trump tweeted that Nancy Pelosi’s teeth are falling out, giving away how scared he is of the Speaker. After meeting with the president of that country Trump said that ‘Guatemala would know how to handle Democrats.’ Also, before the impeachment Rudy Giuliani helpfully and publicly confirmed that he had convinced Trump to remove Marie Yovanovitch from Ukraine so that he could manufacture dirt on Joe Biden. Trump commented that Hizzoner is the ‘greatest crime fighter ever’ and does everything for him ‘out of love.’
On the eve of his impeachment the president sent a six-page letter to Nancy Pelosi, copied to all members of Congress, who received it in an envelope together with the White House Christmas card. The letter is a written version of a typical Trump rant that looks like a lengthy tweet, with the usual bizarre capitalization and punctuation. In a line for the ages the president blames the Speaker for having ‘cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!’ In other passages Trump complains that ‘more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials’ than to him, and states that Pelosi offends Americans of faith by saying that she prays for him. At the end of the letter the president declares that he wrote it for the purpose of history and to put his thoughts ‘on a permanent and indelible record,’ to achieve that one hundred years from now people learn from ‘this affair,’ so that it can never happen to another president. Although Trump couldn’t have written the letter himself, because he is barely literate, he clearly dictated most of it. Strategist Rick Wilson called the letter ‘pure crazy weapons-grade nuts.’
If the president thought that his Salem Witch sentence was right on target, during the debate in the House some Republicans did him one better. Trump’s impeachment was compared to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and one Representative claimed that Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats to Trump. Other terms that floated were ‘McCarthyism,’ ‘Stalinism,’ an ‘attempted coup’ and a ‘lynching.’ Commenting on the events the president said that the Democrats have been trying to impeach him from before he was elected.
Some observers noted that his impeachment marks the first time Trump is being held accountable for anything, and at a rally in Michigan his anger spilled out in an attack on Representative Debby Dingell, whose husband John, a WW II veteran who served 59 years in Congress, died earlier this year. The president suggested that Dingell might be in hell, which was too depraved even for some of his followers so that he quickly had to change the topic to the water use of dishwashers.
Trump wants a speedy trial in the Senate, where he almost certainly will be acquitted, but Nancy Pelosi may deny him that sliver of comfort. She wants to know what the rules of the trial will be before she designates her trial managers and sends the articles of impeachment over to the other chamber. Leader McConnell will have to go through her before he can start any bogus proceedings.
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