The Republican Party has yet to mount anything even approaching a cogent defense of Donald Trump’s now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s clear from the transcript that Trump sought to leverage the unparalleled powers of the Oval Office to coerce Zelensky into investigating Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the hopes of damaging the former’s 2020 election prospects.
Left with no other choice in the face of such blatant corruption, the Democrats are moving forward with an impeachment inquiry. The GOP is still insisting Trump did nothing wrong but seems completely incapable of anything beyond transparent efforts at deflection and distraction. There is simply no good-faith reading of the phone call that doesn’t conclude that Trump was acting way beyond the legal and moral bounds of the presidency. He’s been caught red-handed thanks to the brave whistleblower and the Republicans know they’re in deep trouble. Their options are grim: circle the wagons around their crooked leader and forever tether themselves to his toxic legacy or break ranks and denounce him, risking the loss of their base in the process.
Now, a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee has taken a mocking shot at the GOP’s behavior. Michael Steele, who served as RNC Chairman from 2009 to 2011, tweeted out a viral GIF of a woman sweeping back waves with a broom, a fitting visual metaphor for the kind of futile public relations battle the Republicans now find themselves mired in. Steele captioned the clip, “On this particular day, the GOP decided on a new strategy to address the #WhistleblowerComplaint.”
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) September 30, 2019
Steele has been an outspoken critic of Trump and has publicly identified him as racist in the past. Clearly, he hates what his party has become and has little confidence that the GOP will be able to pull itself out of the Trumpian mess it now finds itself in. Hopefully, he proves to be correct.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.