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Commentary: The Impeachment Inquiry Continues



With the impeachment inquiry in full swing, I thought I’d do another daily log.

Thursday, October 31: Halloween. The House voted to begin impeachment proceedings and the die is cast. Before the vote Republican Representative Steve Scalise used the Soviet hammer and sickle to make a point about process. You may remember Scalise from when he was shot and almost killed during the annual congressional softball game a few years ago. You’d think a brush with death would moderate a fellow.

I’m always fascinated with outliers in congressional votes. I think: “Do they know something we don’t?” On the impeachment motion there were three. One Democrat from New Jersey said “I don’t want to move the country further apart.” The other Democrat, from Minnesota, said he had “serious concerns with the way the closed door depositions were held.” Both are from districts that voted for Trump in 2016, so there is that. The Independent from Michigan said about his former Republican colleagues: “The president will be in power for only a short time, but excusing his misbehavior will forever tarnish your name. History will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous and false defenses of this man.”

Friday, November 1: President Trump called into a British radio talk show with his preferences for their December general election. Maybe he’s trying to normalize interfering in foreign elections prior to the impeachment inquiry?

Saturday, November 2: The financial firm Moody’s Analytics predicts that President Trump will win the 2020 election in a landslide due to today’s economic conditions. The only election Moody’s missed predicting since the 1970s was 2016.

Thursday, November 7: Mixed results for the GOP in Tuesday’s state elections, but their performance in suburbs should give them cause for concern. Apparently they lost the Kentucky governorship not because of Trump but because the Republican incumbent is a jerk.

Monday, November 3: What Senator Warren should have done with her health care proposal was say: “I hear your concerns. I will address them meaningfully. It will involve a lot higher taxes on the rich. That’s all I can say right now. I want you to trust me to come up with a plan that can actually become law.” Instead she rolled out Fantasy Island, in gruesome detail.

Saturday, November 9: Thirty years ago the Berlin Wall fell. The day before it fell the event was unimaginable. Today the West, especially the United States, is squandering this once-a-century gift.

Monday, November 11: On sale at the Trump rally in Louisiana last week was apparel with the f-word written in slogans. One of the female attendees said to an NPR reporter: “It’s okay if he’s vulgar. I’m vulgar myself sometimes.”

Thursday, November 14: My students and I watched the hearings, which is the opening act of a drama that Shakespeare would have trouble scripting. A Republican gambit may be to protract the Senate trial in order to disrupt the presidential campaigns of the Democratic senators by keeping them in Washington.

Michael Bloomberg and now former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick entering the Democratic race? Who’s next? Hillary? So much material. So little time.

Terry Smith is a political science professor at Columbia College and a regular commentator on KBIA's Talking Politics.

Talking Politics is hosted by Sidney Steele.

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