In a harsh and uncompromising column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis ripped into Donald Trump's implied threat of a "Civil War" if he is impeached and wondered if it was posssible for the president to sink any lower.
To get his point across, Lewis made note of a notorious National Lampoon magazine cover from 1973.
"In January 1973, National Lampoon featured an infamous cover declaring: 'If You Don’t Buy This Magazine We’ll Kill This Dog.'" he began. "I was reminded of that when Donald Trump sent a similarly desperate tweet this weekend, suggesting that 'If You Don’t Stop This Impeachment My People and I Will Start a Civil War.'"
Lewis continued, "It is, perhaps, ironic that in seeking to clear himself of making an alleged veiled threat to Ukraine that he would hold up the country’s funding, Trump is now issuing a veiled threat to America: It’s a nice country we got here, it’d be a shame if anything happened to it!" before suggesting, "This also shows us that Trump isn’t just 100 percent committed to self-preservation, but that he’s willing to take hostages to guarantee it."
According to Lewis, he agrees with many Republicans -- and some Democrats -- that the impeachment of Trump might tear the country apart, but admitted that the alarms should be going off over the president's phone call with the president of Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
Lewis adds that Trump's defenders who encourage or defend the "Civil War" threat are on the wrong side of history for attacking his crticism, many of whom are traditional conservatives.
"Trump’s apologists want to scaremonger about starting a civil war, but blaming those of us who want to hold the president accountable for things he did is sort of like blaming the fire department for kicking down your door after an arsonist (who plays with matches) catches your house on fire," he wrote. "Keep in mind the 'civil war' threat is a distraction from the fundamental question, which is whether Trump used the prestige of his office to coerce a foreign leader to dig up dirt on one of Trump’s political rivals—and whether that is an impeachable offense."
Returning to his opening where he used the National Lampoon cover as instructive for what the President is threatening, Lewis suggested: "There’s an old saying that goes, when you’re right, argue the facts, and when you’re wrong, argue the law. Donald Trump and his sycophants added a third component to this formulation: When you’re really desperate, threaten to shoot the dog."
'Unfortunately, in this case, the dog is America," he lamented.
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