When you listen to the hearings it’s clear. Lawmakers are using the same universe of facts. There is no discussion on the most basic of facts. The president did engage in a call, and there were things said during the call. None of this is in question. However, what we have heard from members of congress are two different interpretations.
For Democrats, this is an absolute abuse of power. Under the US Constitution, it is absolutely impeachable. fun fact, you do not need an actual crime under an actual legal code to impeach a president. They will use the fact that legal scholars told them this, and that abuse of power is the worst a president can do.
Republicans are using a series of talking points that complement each other. The president did nothing wrong. It was his duty to investigate corruption, while at the same time denying he did. (Yes, at least to my ears it was bizarre.) There is no crime mentioned, therefore, this is a sham. Democrats have been searching for a crime from the moment Trump was sworn in. (Is this projection from the Clinton years? Perhaps from the swearing-in of President Barak Obama? Republicans have refused to concede the right of Democrats to hold the presidency since at least Bill Clinton was president.)
Yes, some of us are old enough to remember THAT!
At one point the Clinton impeachment came forth. The interpretation of both parties that were as different as current events are. It is as if we had a tear in the time-space continuum, where facts are different in two closely related timelines. The hole where they come in contact with each other is the United States Congress.
For the Republicans, Clinton lied to Congress and he was rightfully impeached. For Democrats, it was persecution over a personal affair. This line of thought remains from the saga that led to his impeachment.
This is a problem because the country has grown even more polarized from the days when Newt Gingrich led that crusade. We can partially blame Newt for the current state of fractured politics, where facts are not even questioned. But the interpretations are as different as they can be.
Now one especially bizarre moment came when Matt Gaetz of Florida reminded all that Hunter Biden had an issue with substance abuse. What is funny is that the representative was arrested for driving under the influence. It was bizarre since yes, both men share an issue in common. It was also an attempt to transfer the issue from the father to the son, and I suspect it will not work. We know that the whole thing was about Joe Biden.
And then there is the yelling from Jim Jordan, Gaetz, Mike Johnson, and a few other Republicans. This is hardly accidental. While Democrats are treating this as a serious matter, Republicans are in the process of producing Fox video clips. These show up on Twitter and Facebook as well, carefully edited of course. This is for the echo chamber that believes the president is under attack with a sham process.
The danger in this is clear. It will get the base onto a lather, and some of the Republican base is ready to go to literal war and pick up arms. No, this is not just limited to the armpits of the internet, where this is playing as an attack on white men. There are variations on the theme about the coup, which varies from deep state to Jews of course, but still, there are some calls to take up arms. (And I will not be surprised if we have some who do precisely that)
We also have this video from CBS News, incidentally, one of the men interviewed works for Infowars, for that is worth. Infowars has been pushing this deep state ideology before QAnon picked it up. And if you look deep enough, you can find this on twitter and Facebook as well. Then there are other media. This one should be alarming since these people state openly that a second civil war is inevitable.
This is not that uncommon of a talking point in the far right. (Some of us have followed this for so long that we even remember where it started after Clinton became president in the midwest.) So to see it in some groups is not surprising. However, the president is also using language to get his base up in a lather. It looks to me, and others, that he is trying to create the conditions where violence will become the normal response.
Republicans in the House are giving the kind of reasoning that can lead to this exact result. Why? At this moment the president could declare a national emergency and refuse to leave. This is not in the realm of fantasy. A few people who were formerly in his orbit have warned of this.
It may be part of a long term plan. Or just that some in the GOP are to the point of not caring much for the Constitution and democracy? We have increasing evidence that they don’t, nor do they believe in diversity. So the reverse loop is complete.
And indeed, we are watching two different hearings, because the motives are very different for both parties.