Admittedly it doesn’t take much to low-life rich brat turned Trump toady Rep. Gaetz, who stormed into the hearing rooms with a flock of other Republicans on the grounds not discussing possibly classified diplomatic material in public is an eeevil plot (being open to scrutiny does not, of course, mean support for anyone in the Executive Branch answering questions). He’s like the Spartans in 300! Except, of course, that Gaetz and his fellows are, as New Republic points out, full of shit:
“Holding the hearings behind closed doors in a SCIF—a secure room designed for discussing classified information—makes sense when questioning diplomats about national-security matters. (It also makes it harder for witnesses to coordinate their testimony.) House Republicans aren’t being denied access to the sessions. So long as they sit on the relevant committees, they can and have participated in the inquiry. Nor is any of this novel. Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News legal analyst, noted on Thursday that Democrats were operating under rules established by former Speaker John Boehner in 2015. Under those same rules, House Republicans held multiple closed-door hearings to depose witnesses during the congressional Benghazi investigations.”
At the NR link, Matt Ford speculates this is Trump pushing legislators to show their love for him, which will have the added benefit that the senators condemning impeachment now will look worse voting for it later. Though for the Representatives who stormed the hearing, I doubt Trump has to push much: here’s their story.
The real issue, of course, is that for some reason this scandal seems to be sticking. Maybe because it’s relatively clear-cut: Congress approved money for the Ukraine, Trump held it up to pressure the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s kid. So naturally they’re running around like cockroaches exposed to the light. And squealing about how impeachment violates the will of the people (which Republicans are trying to silence) Mollie Hemingway, the editor-in-chief of The Federalist (a woman who once complained women who aren’t her should stop trying to get the corner office and stay home to make babies) likewise freaks out that impeachment means government “exists to do the bidding of an unelected cabal of unelected, taxpayer-funded bureaucrats and smug partisans of the corporate media.” Well, the people spoke in 2016 and picked Clinton, but Hemingway’s A-OK with that.
Likewise pseudo-historian David Barton suddenly discovered there’s no grounds for impeaching Trump. Kevin D. Williamson has likewise changed his previous view that it’s good the Constitution is anti-democratic. And speaking of the Constitution, some right-wingers are showing their devotion to Constitutional norms by claiming an acquittal in the Senate should entitle Trump to run for a third term.
They’re scared, which is good. It won’t get Trump impeached, but it might hurt them in the fall. One reason they’re pushing to restrict voting even further (Gaetz literaly objects to counting every vote), and possibly looking at Tulsi Gabbard as a third-party spoiler (more on that here) Feeling scared they might lose is a piss-poor compensation for the pain they’ve inflicted on this country but I’ll take the partial win.
To end on a light note, my friend Jon Maki mocks the belief that Trump’s a macho badass.