The most staggering anecdote from Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee wasn’t the shameful performance of the Republicans on that committee. It was Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House Republicans, cavalierly dismissing Cohen’s claims that Trump was a gangster and a crook.
Never mind that Trump’s former lawyer and fixer presented compelling evidence that Trump reimbursed him for the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels–thus implicating him in a scheme to silence Daniels in order to influence the election. Never mind that Cohen claimed Trump was directly involved in weaponizing leaked WikiLeaks emails. Never mind that Cohen revealed federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation of a sitting president. In the face of all of that, McCarthy said with a straight face that he hadn’t heard anything that would give him pause about Trump.
When the House leader of a president’s party casually waves off damning claims that his president may be a crook, you really have to wonder if that party is fit to govern. Those questions should grow louder in light of a recent poll YouGov conducted for The Economist, one of the leading . It shows that Republicans are not willing to support impeachment even if Mueller finds that Trump indeed broke the law.
If you’re concerned about the country coming together any time soon, the internals from YouGov’s poll will make for depressing reading. For instance, if Mueller finds that Trump obstructed justice, 62 percent of self-identified Republicans would support impeachment proceedings. By comparison, 47 percent of all respondents would support impeachment. Here’s how far out of step this is.
It gets little better. Even if Mueller finds Trump accepted assistance from Russia during the 2016 campaign, 63 percent of Republicans would oppose impeachment. By comparison, 46 percent of all respondents would support impeachment. And even if Mueller found members of Trump’s campaign team accepted help from the Kremlin, 69 percent of Republicans would oppose impeachment.
Granted, 77 percent of Republicans side with Trump’s incessant claims that Mueller’s investigation is a “WITCH HUNT!” But you would think that compelling evidence that Trump was indeed a crook would be enough to knock scales off eyes.
You would think most of them would be of the same mind as Joe Walsh, a conservative talk show host and simon-pure tea partier. Walsh was an open and unashamed Trump supporter, but was one of the few Trump supporters willing to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that Russia had a huge thumb on the scale for Trump. Last summer, Walsh made it clear that he could no longer support Trump unless Trump came to his senses about Russia.
That warning went unheeded. Three days later, Trump publicly threw his own intelligence officials under the bus simply because Russian dictator Vladimir Putin denied he hacked the election. That was the last straw for Walsh.
In contrast, it seems that based on this poll, most Republicans are more like conservative teen commentator CJ Pearson, who harrumphed that he doesn’t care about Trump beclowning himself–just about the fact that he “shows RESULTS” and is “WINNING.” Uh huh. Even if there is solid evidence that he’s a crook? Apparently so.
There’s an equally depressing contrast–the Watergate scandal. Within days of the release of the “smoking gun” tape showing that Nixon was directly involved in the effort to cover up the “third-rate burglary” at the Watergate complex, all but the most diehard of Nixon’s diehard supporters publicly abandoned him.
All of the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee who had voted against impeachment announced they would vote to impeach Nixon for obstructing justice–and not more than 75 congressmen were willing to vote against it. Moreover, not more than 15 Senators were willing to vote for acquittal.
In other words, GOP lawmakers were not willing to ignore overwhelming evidence that Nixon was indeed a crook. They put their oaths of office and their duties as Americans above their party label. Under the circumstances, Nixon had no choice but to resign.
Four decades later, it doesn’t appear that their successors are willing to take off their blinders. If this poll is any indication, then it is definitely time to ask whether the GOP in its present state is fit to govern.
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