Conservative columnist Matt Lewis has written a scathing column in the Daily Beast in which he tears apart the Republican Party's "pathetic and laughable" excuses for President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.
Lewis starts out by laughing off the notion that impeachment -- which is a process outlined in the Constitution -- is some kind of extrajudicial Soviet-style "coup" against the president.
He then goes on to tackle what he describes as the more "insidious" of the anti-impeachment arguments in which Trump is treated as too immature or unintelligent to knowingly commit crimes.
"In this paradigm, Trump is just a big kid who means well and can be forgiven for not really knowing what he’s playing with," he writes. "Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations!... Donald Trump has been president for almost three years. To suggest that he is still 'inexperienced in foreign affairs' is, itself, an assertion arguably more disqualifying than corruption."
Lewis then describes something even more disturbing: Republicans who think Trump is guilty of shaking down Ukraine to investigate his political rivals but who just don't care.
"The other day, I had lunch with a Republican friend who is not what you would call a Trump fan," he explains. "Still, when the topic of impeachment came up, he dismissed it with a yawn. Sure, he conceded, Trump is guilty, but 'so what?' All politicians are corrupt, and besides, it’s not like we were expecting Trump to be a paragon of ethics."
Lewis says he was appalled by this attitude since it will only embolden Trump to commit worse offenses in the future and will set a future precedent in which it's acceptable for presidents to extort foreign countries to investigate their rivals.