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Senate Republicans Must Save American Democracy

U.S. Capitol

This sham impeachment is an assault on the democratic norms of our great republic. The GOP must crush it.


Tomorrow, in the United States Senate, Democrats will launch one of the most cynical attacks on democratic norms our nation has ever endured. That may sound severe, especially given the farcical nature of the impeachment of Donald Trump and the laughable odds that the Senate may remove him. But it’s true. For all the years of breathless accusations that Trump is the norm-breaker in chief, what we will see Tuesday morning is the shattering not just of a norm, but of the very basic notion that Americans are a free people who elect their own leaders.

I entered the period of Trump’s presidency not just as a critic of his, but deeply worried about what harm he might cause the country. Three years later, not only do I support the president, but I have come to see that it is the Democratic Party, not Donald Trump, which seeks to undermine the Constitution, defy the will of the voters, and usher in an age in which Congress can remove an elected president for spurious reasons with absolute impunity.

It is imperative that Republicans and, if any of them have enough courage, Democrats come to the defense of the American people and send this sham impeachment where it belongs, into the depths and dungeons of the dustbin of history. This effort to remove the duly elected president of the United States must not only be defeated, it must be mocked, humiliated, and shown for the embarrassment it is.

Last month, when the articles of impeachment were voted on, Trump said at a rally that it didn’t really feel like he had been impeached. It was an astute observation. In fact, nothing feels very real these days. The news cycle takes its predictable perambulations each day, stories here today, gone tomorrow. Outrage and umbrage signifying nothing. A stunned, woozy country pays vague attention as all the stories pass by.

But what must not be lost, what must stay in the focus of the American people and the historians who chart this lowly enterprise is just how despicable this impeachment is. When we step back from the fabulist tales of the Lev Parnases of the world, when we get some distance from the helter skelter back and forth, what we see is a Congress trying to remove a president for delaying aid to a foreign power, a common practice, and then releasing it. That’s it. That’s what happened. Everyone agrees.

For three years now, the Democrats and their communications teams at CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have painted Trump and his supporters as degenerates who would take this country back to the bad old days because for them, America is nothing but the bad old days. They have held themselves on high as the defenders of a country they don’t even like. And all the while, they have been undermining the most sacrosanct element of our great experiment, the vote itself.

It is not enough for Republican senators to vote against this assault on democracy. They must, rather, fully expose its treachery. We need Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and even Mitt Romney and Susan Collins to be lions, not apologists. They must stare in the eyes of Nancy Pelosi and her minions and forcefully condemn this effort to thwart what lies at the heart of our nation, this foul breech of conduct in which Democrats seek power they cannot gain by votes with chicanery and deceit.

The future of the United States lies in the hands of the Senate, and the fictions of the House Democrats must be held aloft and shown. Let the GOP be clear, this assault on the right of the American people to self-determination will not stand. The impeachment battle is not merely about Donald Trump; it is about the nation itself. It is about who and what we are.

Those who would take away our freedom must never win, and win they will not. When the dust settles, Donald Trump will still be president, and a humiliated Democratic Party will have to answer for why they ever took us down this road to begin with.