Watching this impeachment inquiry unfold in real time in public view fills me with a combination of anger and frustration.
I have been more or less glued to my TV in the study in our home. Today’s testimony has been just as gripping as it has been on previous days. The “best,” if you want to call it that, may still to come later in the week.
The House’s impeachment inquiry has angered me at multiple levels.
I’ll set forth my own bias up front. I believe Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses. The anger I feel comes from the testimony of witnesses who have said many things: that Trump placed an investigation by a foreign government into Joe Biden as his top priority; that he wasn’t really concerned about Ukrainian “corruption”; that he abused the immense power of his office to obtain a personal political favor from a foreign government; that those who heard him seek that favor thought it was “wrong.”
It infuriates me that the president of the United States would have so little regard for our national security that he would do such a thing.
My anger runs headlong into the frustration I am feeling that other Americans do not share my anger. They are Donald Trump’s “base” of supporters, many of whom have accepted that Trump’s behavior is “wrong,” but that it is not impeachable. This sentiment comes from those who 20 years ago said that a previous president’s lying to a grand jury about an affair he was having with a White House intern not only was wrong, but that it was impeachable.
I am not going to excuse the perjury that President Clinton committed while testifying before that earlier grand jury. I merely am expressing my frustration that the nature and context of that untruth somehow measures up to the level of what we are discussing today. That a president who lies about fooling around rises to the level of another president who has been accused of jeopardizing our national security and by seeking a foreign government’s probe into a U.S. citizen.
It might be, too, that my anger and frustration perhaps are born of the same emotion.
Whatever the case, I remain transfixed by what is unfolding. No one should take joy in what we’re seeing. Republicans surely are not kicking up their heels. Neither are Democrats, despite what those on the other side might be thinking or saying.
I’m just hoping I can keep my emotions in check as this impeachment inquiry slogs on.