…to see that he is dead right here.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 24, 2020
I thihnk it is an absolutely fantastic and moving summation. It crushes me to think of people I used to respect, like Senator Mike Lee and Senator Ben Sasse, sitting there listening to Schiff, knowing that every word he says is true, and knowing that they’re going to vote as if it’s all false.
I thought long and hard tonight about whether I still think of men like Mike Lee and Ben Sasse as good men. I have read more than one book by each man. As long as I have heard of them, I have thought of them as good men — among the few good men in Washington. Yet I believe with every fiber of my being that — unlike many of the duller and more partisan swamp creatures in Washington — the two of them know better. They know perfectly well who Donald Trump is. They know what he did was not just wrong but part of a pattern in which he elevates his own personal interests above those of the country. And yet they will support him. They are the best hope for people who still believe there are people capable of standing up for what’s right. And yet, they are going to let those hopeful people down. They are going to cravenly support a man they know does not belong in the Oval Office. A man they know has committed impeachable offenses who should be removed. And they’ll do it to save their political hides. They’ll do it out of fear, of some tweets.
I have tried to be less judgmental of my fellow man. I have. If men this good — or who at least seemed to be this good — act this way, maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s the system. Maybe it’s wrong to judge them.
I can’t see it. I can’t help myself. I can’t approve of it. I can’t.
There comes a time for a man to stand up. If they don’t stand up, all their past words are just that: words. What good are they?
Garry Kasparov explains the stakes:
I agree. Not long ago it would have made the citizens of authoritarian regimes around the world jealous. Rule of law for all. Instead, the result will make the same people nod their heads in understanding. The ruler is above the law. https://t.co/JJxWD8IeAf
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) January 24, 2020
This is how a system dies. Truly listen to what Schiff says here. If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn’t matter how smart the Founders were. It doesn’t matter how good the past words of Mike Lee or Ben Sasse were.
They had their chance to stand up when it mattered, and unless I am misreading the situation badly, they are not going to do so. They are culpable. The part of me that says not to judge them … I can’t listen to it. It may be a lack of maturity on my part, but that’s who I am, at least at this point in my life. I can’t forgive them.
It’s very, very sad to me.
[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]