The right-wing echo chamber not amused
Today we heard testimony from two more patriots. Today, we also heard more of the same from a political party that’s out of touch and out of defenses for the President of the United States. Indeed, the last two weeks didn’t go well for him.
And frankly, the next several weeks will not go well for him either. His impeachment is imminent, though it’s not clear what the Democrats plan is for the next stage. I’m assuming it’s a work in progress, but it does appear that witness testimony has concluded today.
Of course, there’s always the chance that former National Security Adviser John Bolton might reach deep into his conscience for some patriotism and decide to come forward. But, he’s got a book deal. That’s much more important.
Former National Security Council official Dr. Fiona Hill and State Department official David Holmes answered the bell today. They were both served subpoenas, told not to testify, but did it anyway. In fact, all of the witnesses who testified over the past two weeks honored the requests of the House Intelligence Committee. They showed up, despite the President and Secretary of State’s attempts to stop them. We certainly owe them all a sense of gratitude for doing the right thing.
Nothing we heard today from these two witnesses disputes the underlying facts of what the inquiry was all about: the President of the United States used his office for personal gain. He leveraged a meeting with the new Ukrainian President in the oval office and military aid, for political dirt on a potential political rival, or, at least, an announcement of an investigation. It was damning evidence, an accumulation of facts that the Republicans on that Committee couldn’t refute.
We should be proud of those who came to testify. We should also rest a bit easier knowing that these are the people who work for us, the taxpayers. They selflessly do their jobs, many of them serving in dangerous parts of the world. They rarely seek the limelight. Most admitted that testifying before the Committee was not something they relished doing. But, they did it anyway. A sense of duty and honor, two traits all should aspire to if you happen to work for the federal government.
These people, and those like them, do not grow on trees. They’re the best of the best. These are the Ivy League and West Point folks. Some of them have Ph.D.’s–most of them have master’s degrees in areas like foreign services or Russian Studies. Many were veterans of the military; some wounded in battle.
We depend on them to carry out the policies of the United States government, no matter who the President is. Time and time again, we heard them using the same word to describe themselves: non-partisan.
But, we saw our friends on the Republican side go after a purple heart recipient, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman. They questioned his motives and allegiances, as well as his choice to wear a military uniform. While the Republican members of the Committee were somewhat restrained in how they went after Vindman, the rest of the right-wing media were less so. The attacks were vicious and despicable. You’d expect nothing less from them.
And let’s not forget to blame the one man who not only puts his stamp of approval on these types of attacks but participates in them as well: the President of the United States, their dear leader, and king. It all comes from the top.
More ugly attacks
Finally, I’d like to close with something that I’ve been grappling with all day. I wasn’t sure whether to give this person any publicity whatsoever. In the end, though, I think I need to share it with you, if for no other reason than to highlight why we’ll be in the fight for our democratic lives in 2020.
This person has well over 300k followers on Twitter. I’m one of them. There are a handful of far right-wing Trump cult members that I follow. I want to know what that side of the spectrum is talking about, and when I see something over the top, I respond. Today, it was one of those instances.
My simple response to her tweet? “She’s a U.S citizen. FYI”
It’s nothing new, of course. These are the kind of tweets that we see daily. Today though, I was struck by the irony in this tweet.
Dr. Hill is the type of immigrant whom the President and all of his faithful followers claim is the type they want in this country. She’s white, European, college-educated, and has assimilated in the way they say the ‘brown people’ have not. They want the President to build his wall to keep “those people” out. Dr. Hill, you would think, checks off everything on their list of who should be in this country.
But, Dr. Hill had the nerve to do something that none of the Trump cult can understand: she told the truth, an inconvenient truth. She’s non-partisan and merely testified to what she heard and what she saw. How dare she not get in line with the rest of them? How dare she cross the man who demands loyalty to him, not the country?
I wonder how many of her followers feel the same way. I wonder how many of them were seething at her testimony, deriding her as an elitist, leftist liberal out to get Trump. Perhaps if she just stayed home and honored Trump’s demand not to testify. Maybe then, she’d have been lionized instead of ostracized.
I’ve stopped trying to figure them out.
The point of my publicizing the tweet, however, is to remind us all that the deep underbelly of this cult-like behavior is a threat to all of us in 2020. The blind allegiance to this President is one of the scariest things I’ve seen in my nearly six decades on this planet. When they can attack a purple heart recipient or proud immigrant who chose to adopt our country as her home of choice, they will stop at nothing in defending this man.
Dr. Hill revealed to the Committee that she’d received death threats and other horrific attacks on her character. Is it any wonder when you see a tweet like this? As impeachment gets closer to reality, things are only going to get worse. It’s time to stiffen the spine and fight back.
As Chairman Adam Schiff stated at the end of his closing statement, quoting the late, great Elijah Cummings: “We’re better than this!” We damn well better be.