Impeachments, acquittals, heroes, villains, votes — what a week!
That was quite the week.
It began with a Super Bowl in which the New England Patriots were not participating. How weird was that? The Kansas City (politically incorrect) Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49’ers 31-20 for KC’s first Super Bowl title in 50 years. I remember the last one. That’s how old I’m getting.
Monday brought the start of the great race to the Democratic nomination for president: the Iowa caucuses. But it didn’t bring a result. Neither did Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. By Friday a completed vote was announced and either Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg won, depending on how the votes were counted.
By Saturday it appeared they might count again. Democrats, infamous for disorganization, outdid themselves.
Monday also brought final arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald John Trump. In a real trial it would have been a moment of high drama. It wasn’t a real trial.
On Tuesday, President Trump delivered his State of the Union Address, also known as the Trump Variety Show, featuring a wide variety of guests in the gallery. This tradition started in 1982, when President Ronald Reagan introduced Lenny Skutnik to the Congress and the nation. Skutnik, a 28-year-old federal worker, had jumped into the icy Potomac River to pull out a woman after a passenger plane skidded into the water.
It was heartwarming, but it set off the years of exploitation that followed as presidents used teachers, soldiers, heroes, doctors, moms, dad, kids, first responders, llamas — OK no llamas — as props. I wish you hadn’t gone there, Ronny.
Trump topped all his predecessors in showmanship by awarding conservative radio talk show flamethrower Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Limbaugh, who once said...
“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.”
"If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it's Caucasians. The white race has probably had fewer slaves and for a briefer period of time than any other in the history of the world.”
And this, about Barack Obama...
"A veritable rookie whose only chance of winning is that he's black."
Limbaugh now joins past Medal of Freedom recipients such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel and Jonas Salk.
Wednesday featured the acquittal of President Trump on the impeachment articles of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. It also brought the integrity of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who stood alone among Republicans in recognizing that trying to force another country to dig up dirt on your political opponent, by withholding military aid approved by Congress in the nation’s interest, made Trump unfit to remain president.
“The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did,” said Romney.
Romney was the only senator to vote as our editorial urged: convict Trump for abuse of power, acquit on obstruction. All other Republican senators voted to acquit Trump on both articles, all in the Democratic caucus to convict on both articles.
In Romney, we had good company.
Finally, on Thursday, Trump apologized for having overstepped his bounds in pressuring Ukraine, leading to the impeachment process. He called for unity.
Nah, that didn’t happen.
“We went through hell, unfairly, did nothing wrong. Did. Nothing. Wrong,” said Trump, adding later. “They're vicious and mean, vicious, these people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.”
I guess Trump won’t be giving them medals. But maybe the next president should.
Paul Choiniere is the editorial page editor.
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