President Trump pursued his penchant for self-pity to a disgusting new low this morning when he took to Twitter to whine about his impeachment inquiry for the umpteenth time.
He warned that a theoretical future Democratic president will find himself or herself susceptible to impeachment the moment the GOP has a majority in the House of Representatives regardless of “due process or fairness or legal rights.” While his cynical prognostication isn’t out of the question given the Republican Party’s increasing love for lawlessness and their gravitation towards partisanship over patriotism, it isn’t an accurate description of what is happening to him.
If Trump had simply obeyed the Constitution rather than running arguably the most corrupt administration in American history, he wouldn’t be facing impeachment. If he had resisted the urge to withhold military aid to wartorn Ukraine in order to use it as leverage to strongarm their president into opening a trumped investigation into Joe Biden in the hopes of damaging his 2020 prospects, he wouldn’t be facing impeachment. If he had simply shown some respect for the rule of law for the first time in his misbegotten, gangsterish life he would not be facing impeachment. But Donald J. Trump is a crook to his rotten core, and crooks face impeachment.
After the opening complaint salvo, Trump stepped into truly dark territory with his victimhood complex.
“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” Trump tweeted, unironically comparing the Democrats trying to hold him accountable for his abuses of office to the murderous racist white mobs who used to torture and hang Black people from trees.
It truly cannot be stressed enough how deeply despicable this comparison is. There are absolutely zero similarities between impeaching this criminal president and the historic campaign of terror and bloodshed that was waged by the KKK and other white supremacist groups against Black Americans, and for Trump of all people—someone who regularly engages in racist dog whistles and who implied that some Nazis are “very fine people”—is utterly beyond the pale.
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
Responses to the president’s tweet were swift and strong, including condemnation from a former RNC Chairman, House Representatives from both parties, multiple Democratic presidential candidates, and countless upset and angry Americans.
@realDonaldTrump and @LindseyGrahamSC this is a lynching. Trump this is not happening to you and it’s pathetic that you act like you’re such a victim; but it did happen to 147 black people in your state Lindsey. “A lynching in every sense”? You should know better. pic.twitter.com/RQNQaOaLsd
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) October 22, 2019
Impeachment in the House is an indictment, not a trial. The Senate conducts the trial. President Trump constantly demands special treatment that is not afforded other Americans. And to liken the constitutional impeachment process to a “lynching” is reprehensible and shameful. https://t.co/P2nmaXiSiZ
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) October 22, 2019
Rep. Al Green: "How dare the president compare lynching to impeachment. How dare he do this! Does he not know the history of lynching in this country? Does he not know that thousands of African Americans were lynched?" pic.twitter.com/Ptdbp57OtP
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 22, 2019
Lynching is a reprehensible stain on this nation's history, as is this President. We'll never erase the pain and trauma of lynching, and to invoke that torture to whitewash your own corruption is disgraceful. https://t.co/XOlsazwwRL
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 22, 2019
Lynching is an act of terror used to uphold white supremacy. Try again. pic.twitter.com/TcDR01XelB
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 22, 2019
The history of lynching in America is one of murderous torture and violent death, motivated by white supremacy, tolerated or even celebrated by ordinary people.
To equate this with a Constitutional process, underway to hold a lawless president accountable, is disgusting.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 22, 2019
Lynching is a horrific stain on our country's history, and it is beyond disgraceful for Donald Trump to invoke one to avoid being held accountable for his crimes.
Nobody is above the law, not even the president of the United States.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 22, 2019
I am doing my best to make sure I’m not just shouting into the ether when this hellscape timeline gives us another reason to fight the air.
— brittany packnett cunningham (@MsPackyetti) October 22, 2019
Trump knows what a lynching is & what it means in this country.
And the fastest way to create a cycle of controversy is to invoke the county’s deepest & darkest racial wounds for his own ends.
It should be called out, but let’s stay focused on the facts. https://t.co/wHM5NiPELC
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 22, 2019
DESPICABLE! Trump mocks and belittles the thousands of African Americans lynched in our country by equating House Democrats following the US Constitution to a "lynching." Trump is truly vile.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 22, 2019
You need to visit The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, aka, the lynching memorial, to understand the history of actual #lynchings in the U.S. and stop misusing a word freighted with racial violence. https://t.co/LYFAwcvjyi pic.twitter.com/v1E07FS1ph
— Osha Davidson (@OshaDavidson) October 22, 2019
I’m disgusted and offended by you and your behavior.
— Kiana Ledé (@KianaLede) October 22, 2019
You were endorsed by people who've performed actual lynchings.
You're getting impeached, and History is recording your criminality. Your misdeeds will follow you the rest of your life.
I hope these three years were worth it.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) October 22, 2019
We’ve heard some outrageous and racist claims from Trump before, but to compare #Congress’s oversight to a #lynching is racist, wrong, and completely ahistorical. I can’t begin to imagine how painful this is for those Black families whose ancestors were actually lynched. #impeach
— Albert Fox Cahn (@CahnLawNY) October 22, 2019
A lynching? How dare Trump compare the impeachment inquiry to a lynching when he falsely accused the Central Park 5 of rape and paid the New York Times to publicly call for their brutal executions. That would’ve been a lynching, but I guess they just spent years in jail instead.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) October 22, 2019
Your words dishonor the memory of more than 4,000 African Americans who were victims of lynching in this country. pic.twitter.com/uiPBwDLb6p
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 22, 2019
I think he means lynching in the sense of when a lawless racist demagogue finally faces consequences set forth explicitly in the constitution.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 22, 2019
Trump praised an actual lynch mob as 'very fine people' I just want to point that out.
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) October 22, 2019
Clearly, there is no national wound that Trump won’t rip open, no divisive rhetoric he won’t employ in the service of his own self-interest. Trump is a disgrace to the Oval Office and anyone who continues to support him bears culpability for every drop of racist filth that spews from his mouth. History is watching and history will remember. Vote accordingly.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.