Republicans are rapidly running out of ways to defend Donald Trump in the leadup to his looming impeachment vote in the Senate. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton revealed in his forthcoming book that Trump deliberately withheld $391 million in military aid to Ukraine in the hopes of forcing the foreign nation to open damaging investigations into Democrats like Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.
Any Republican senator who votes to acquit the president at this point is tacitly endorsing corruption and authoritarianism and signaling to future presidents that they can do whatever they want, even undermine our elections, so long as their party holds a majority in the Senate. Whether or not some of them will grow spines and vote to impeach remains to be seen, but Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is making it abundantly clear that breaking ranks with Trump will be harshly punished within the GOP.
Meadows, a staunch Trump supporter who is helping with his impeachment defense, was asked during a group interview if he believes that Republicans who vote for impeachment will face “political repercussions.” Meadows answered in the affirmative.
“I do. I mean listen, I don’t want to speak for my Senate colleagues. But there are always political repercussions for every vote you take. There is no vote that is higher profile than this,” said Meadows.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), also a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team, addressed the question by shamelessly acting as if Democrats are the ones in the wrong on this issue despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary.
“The question needs to be flipped. Where is a courageous Democrat who will actually look at the facts and vote in favor of not impeaching this president? said Collins, conveniently ignoring that the “facts” show Trump is guilty of pressuring a foreign government to help him win reelection.
Unfortunately, these two disgraces represent the common wisdom within the GOP which holds that allegiance to Trump is not to be questioned. Fear is a powerful motivating force for these men and women and it’s why so few conservatives have denounced Trump even as he proves over and over again that he is fundamentally unfit for office, deeply incompetent, and truly evil by just about every metric. Republican politicians are terrified of alienating the MAGA movement even as it slowly destroys this country. They’re afraid of harming their careers and are acting out of cynical self-interest when they defend this vile president. Every senator who votes in Trump’s favor will is sending a message loud and clear: they’re a coward.
CBS NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Four of @POTUS' staunchest defenders warn there could be a price to pay for GOP senators who vote against the president; “there are always political repercussions for every vote you take,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) tells @NorahODonnell https://t.co/5SL5oQMAOH pic.twitter.com/AU8aPHhugW
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 27, 2020