Trump’s defenders tie themselves into rhetorical knots in attempts to prove his innocence — a veritable theater of the absurd.
No 2576 Posted by fw, January 31, 2020 —
Consider this excerpt from the opening of an article in yesterday’s truthdig by columnist Sonali Kolhatkar, entitled: Trump’s Impeachment Defense Is Incoherent by Design —
The Senate impeachment trial playing out in Washington, D.C., is a history-making event, not just because it is only the third time that the Senate has ever been asked to formally consider removing a president, but also because it showcases, in stunning terms, the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party. It would be laughable, if it weren’t so tragic, to watch defenders of President Donald Trump tying themselves into knots in attempting to prove his innocence. They are forced to resort to constant contradictions of their own past statements—and of one another—at every turn, because there is no other way to defend Trump’s actions.
Chief among the embarrassing discrepancies on display is how Trump’s backers approached the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton compared with their handling of Trump’s trial today. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who may be the single most powerful enabler of Trump’s impunity with his assurances of being in lockstep with the White House, said this about the president during a closed-door testimony at Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial:
“Time after time, he had the opportunity to choose the noble and honorable path. Time after time, he chose the path of lies and lawlessness—for the simple reason that he did not want to endanger his hold on public office. … The president would seek to win at any cost. If it meant lying to the American people. If it meant lying to his Cabinet. If it meant lying to a federal grand jury. If it meant tampering with witnesses and obstructing justice.” —Sen. Mitch McConnell
More than 20 years later McConnell—now holding far more political power—has predetermined the outcome of the Trump impeachment trial in the Senate, making clear that he would violate his oath of “impartial justice.” Trump stands accused of something far more serious than Clinton was: breaking a clear law rather than lying about an extramarital affair. Trump’s constant stream of lies doesn’t appear to matter to McConnell who, once upon a time, claimed to care about the “noble and honorable path.” (Trump has also lied about an extramarital affair outside of the articles of impeachment, but again, this does not seem to matter to McConnell.)
As I read the beginning paragraphs of Sonali Kolhatkar’s article, it immediately brought back memories of John Cleese’s hilarious Dead Parrot skit.
Following is an abridged video of “The Dead Parrot” sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, performed by John Cleese and Michael Palin. Cleese portrays a customer and Palin a shopkeeper who argue whether or not a recently purchased parrot is dead.
The skit is a satire on poor customer service.
The tragic difference between the Impeachment travesty and the Dead Parrot satire is that it’s not just one disgruntled customer who is being flummoxed by poor service, it’s the millions of decent American people who are being bamboozled by truth-twisting politicians. Personally, I’m conflicted — should I laugh or weep?
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