It came as no surprise that the House vote to impeach Donald Trump fell almost exactly along party lines. All Republicans and only two Democrats voted against impeachment. The votes among Texas members of the House were straight party-line.

That is how divided we have become as a state and a nation. Donald Trump didn’t invent this divide, though he has encouraged, expanded and exploited it.

Democrats, Republicans — the American people — all know that Trump’s actions toward Ukraine were wrong. The evidence is overwhelming that he used his power to blackmail a foreign country to help his 2020 re-election campaign. His actions hurt Ukraine and our own State Department. From the time he was found out, he used that power to prevent Congress from investigating him fully, and continues to do so. These facts can’t be shouted out of existence despite the best efforts of Trump and his committed supporters.

It appears, nevertheless, that no amount of insurmountable truth will shake the Senate Republican majority’s intent to vote against Trump’s removal. No one expects the overwhelmingly damning facts to change the Senate outcome.

The lesson here is that holding onto power is more important to those who have it than doing the right thing. They are willing to cheat and lie if that’s what it takes.

This is not just a Republican thing. They just happen to be on the wrong side of the history currently in the making. Holding Trump accountable is the right thing to do. But, face it — for the Democrats it’s also just good politics.

And that includes the swing-district Democrats who made a big show of announcing to their purple constituencies how heavy-hearted they were about their decision. Voting against impeachment probably wouldn’t have won them any Republican votes, but it would have dampened Democratic voters’ enthusiasm. It’s to their credit that only two of them fell for the dire warnings that voting for impeachment would be their political suicide.

Why does this sound familiar?

The shoe was on the other foot two decades ago. Bill Clinton committed the impeachable offense of lying under oath, and was impeached for it in the then-Republican-majority House. Clinton was acquitted in the Senate, where the Republican majority wasn’t anywhere near the two-thirds needed to remove a president.

The issue for the Senate to decide wasn’t whether Clinton did it. He did it. He, like Trump, was a liar who abused his power. The question was whether the offense warranted removal. Clinton’s lie was about a private matter, an affair with an intern, and many saw that as not a sufficient reason to remove a president.

Clinton’s transgressions were no comparison in gravity or in danger to the nation to what Trump has done. But both presidents’ actions weakened the presidency and the nation. And both undermined trust in their parties. The Clinton outcome throws considerable shade on the current, righteous quest by his party to protect the nation from a president whose intentions and actions are a danger to it.

While the Senate’s task in the Clinton impeachment was nuanced and the outcome was probably right, the House had nothing but settled facts to consider. Despite those facts, the Democratic vote was 200-5 against impeaching Clinton for lying.

The 196-0 Republican vote against impeaching Trump is an eerily similar political transaction — another confirmation that right vs. left mattered more than right vs. wrong.

What did Texans do?

Texas House members were both a reflection and an exaggeration of the House as a whole, much like Texas is a reflection and exaggeration of the nation.

Case in point: Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, described by the Texas Tribune as “the most bombastic of all Texans,” “shouted through much of his allotted time,” asserting the disproved, discredited, Putin-invented notion that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered with the 2016 election. After Rep. Jerry Nadler called him on it, expressing deep concern “that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House,” Gohmert got back up and shouted some more until he was gaveled down.

This is where comparisons to the Clinton impeachment stop. Nothing like this happened in the Clinton hearings.

Gohmert isn’t the only Republican in the House or Senate spouting Russian propaganda in Trump’s defense. A lot of usually non-bombastic people are shouting this dangerous nonsense when their focus should be on preventing foreign sabotage of the 2020 election. They’re sacrificing the nation’s long-term best interests for their own short-term best interests.

This is what it takes to protect a president who has abused power — making America weaker. It should scare us all.

Recommended for you

(11) entries

Bulldog

What a load of horse manure. If the dimrats had even a slightly factual case they would have submitted it to the Senate. There is zero facts that President Trump did anything wrong despite the opinions of political hacks say.

Bubbatoby

Thank you for sticking to the facts and staying away from hyperbole.

Bulldog

You're more than welcome

Father of Six

Grunt. Republicans bad, democrats good!. Grunt. Democrats, the American people, and Republicans all know that Trumps action toward Ukraine were wrong. The evidence is overwhelming that he used his power to blackmail another country...blah, blah, blah. Then why didn't they indict him for blackmail? Because there is NO overwhelming evidence. The evidence is in your imagination. Ho about equal justice under the law? Shame on you Mr. Morris for printing this garbage and facilitating these lies. Where's the evidence? Not hearsay.

natives5

"These facts can’t be shouted out of existence despite the best efforts of Trump and his committed supporters." Yet they will keep trying to discredit all facts.

Father of Six

Again, please tell me what the FACTS are. I had a boss when I was younger who would follow up a comment with "its a known fact". He was wrong most of the time and so are liberal, agenda driven editorials.

natives5

Yawn......funny how everyone is wrong except Father of Six, trump, and the republicans. Give me a break, man.

Father of Six

You finally got something right.

natives5

See how you like to believe falsities over facts?!?!

PJBM626

This opinion is pure dem talking point propaganda media. Every dem witness admitted Pres Trump did NO QUID PRO QUO

His request to look into the true corruption of the Bidens is within his rights as President within the Constitution

If he wasn’t right to inquire why did Ole Joe brag about holding up money if they didn’t drop the investigation on his son???

It’s very sad the media can’t report truth or facts anymore

natives5

You do know a thing or two about talking points, don’t you?!?!

And btw, welcome to Black History month! See you at the celebrations!

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.