The House of Representatives is holding its impeachment vote on President Trump today and for many Americans, it’s a joyous day, long overdue. Since Democrats hold a majority in this chamber of Congress it’s a near certainty that he will be successfully impeached, regardless of what ends up happening in the Senate. The testimonies gathered throughout the impeachment inquiry have made it abundantly clear that the president abused his powers of office with the goal of targeting a political rival and then subsequently obstructed Congress by ordering staff and associates to ignore subpoenas.
No civil in servant in good conscience could vote against impeachment at this point. Of course, Congressional Republicans do not operate in good conscience. Instead, one after another they are taking turns decrying the process and throwing away their last scraps of dignity and decency to defend the honor of our deeply dishonorable president. It’s painfully clear that the GOP is willing to let the president get away with anything he wants so long as he’s Republican. They have no respect for the rule of law and even less respect for democracy.
One Congressman took to the floor today to engage in one of the most ludicrous anti-impeachment screeds thus far.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (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.
Oh, and one final, small point: Jesus’s trial ended in crucifixion. The worst that might happen to Trump is that he’s removed from office and has to go content himself with his ill-gotten millions.
Loudermilk is a disgrace for making this kind of comparison. Luckily, it was caught on camera so his shame will be immortalized forever for future generations.
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
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.