The House of Representatives’ vote to impeach President Trump is bringing out the wost in Congressional Republicans. As they struggle to defend a wholly indefensible president they’re forced more and more to rely on faux outrage, smears, and gross exaggerations.
Already today, one Republican representative has compared the impeachment vote to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Another, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), compared the impeachment of our inarguably corrupt president to the trial of Jesus Christ at the hands of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. Apparently, Loudermilk sees some kind of similarities between the credibly accused rapist currently inhabiting the Oval Office and the man who Christians believe was God incarnate and who sacrificed himself for the sins of the world. What exactly those implied similarities are, Loudermilk failed to explain.
“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process,” Loudermilk said, without a trace of irony or shame.
The absurd statement hardly deserves an in-depth parsing, but it’s worth pointing out a few things. Many of Trump’s accusers have testified publicly and the president has, in turn, vilified them on Twitter and to reporters.
Presumably, Loudermilk is complaining about the anonymous whistleblower whose official complaint kicked off the impeachment inquiry. The reality is that there is no real need to publicly reveal his/her identity because the transcript released by the White House validated all of his/her concerns as did the subsequent testimony of numerous officials. Revealing their identity now would accomplish nothing beyond endangering their lives.
As for Loudermilk’s second point, Trump doesn’t have many constitutional rights during impeachment because it’s not a trial, it’s a political process. Once he’s put on trial in the Senate, then he’ll have more rights and the ability to more formally present his defense such as it is.
Rep. Loudermilk: "When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers." pic.twitter.com/HqlRYFMIaN
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 18, 2019
Rising Democratic star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saw Loudermilk’s disgraceful performance in the House and hit him with a simple, yet perfect response. She urged him to read Romans 1:25 in the Bible.
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen,” the passage reads.
AOC could not be more on the mark. These Republicans profess to be devout Christians and yet they’ve elevated Trump to the status of a god. They don’t think he should be questioned or be held accountable for his actions. For them, the Bible isn’t something to read, it’s just something to thump to drum up votes and push a political agenda.
Romans 1:25. https://t.co/sRtYpoTN5h
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 18, 2019
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.