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This poisonous mindset convinced Republicans that anything is justifiable

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- Commentary

On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi said she asked the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to draw up articles of impeachment. Her announcement was historic, decisive and fierce due to three simple and overlooked words: once again and enemies.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

In using “once again,” the speaker of the House signaled that the House Democrats are prepared to expand the scope of the indictment against Donald Trump to include his complicity in the 2016 assault by Russia on the sovereignty of the American people as well as his enlisting of another foreign leader to undermine the integrity of 2020.

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In using the word “enemies,” she was throwing down the gauntlet, declaring that not only does the president of the United States stand opposed to liberty and justice for all, but he stands with enemy nations, groups and people seeking ways to do us harm.

“Enemies” could also be seen as a warning to the GOP. Do not expect the Democrats to break under the weight of a mountain of lies. War is coming. The Republican have become the party of political suicide-bombers. Its reign of terror is quickly ending.

“Our democracy is what is at stake,” she said yesterday.

The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. His actions are in defiance of the vision of our founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Later she said, in closing:

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In signing the Declaration of Independence, our founders invoked a firm reliance on divine providence. Democrats, too, are prayerful, and we will proceed in a manner worthy of our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God (my italics).

To be sure, she was quoting from the oath of office all elected officials take. But “enemies” came at the end of a statement deeply reverent of American values and American ideals, and steeped in the unconditional love of one’s country. “Enemies,” in other words, was deliberate. It seems the Democrats have not only decided what to do about a criminal president. They have identified our enemies, foreign and domestic.

This should worry a lot of people. Their fates await.

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Barack Obama’s election was for some a shock akin to 9/11. After the terrorist attacks of that fateful day, some Americans said enough was enough. It was time to stop pussy-footing around with these brown infidels trying to destroy God’s chosen nation. Time to end political correctness in foreign affairs. Time to bring the hammer down. But while the context of 9/11 was overseas, the context for Obama’s victory was right here. The enemy wasn’t in Iraq or Afghanistan. The enemy was in the White House.

The Republican Party felt the change, and reacted. From the start of Obama’s tenure, the GOP pursued an agenda of what I’ll call social sabotage. This is not hyperbole. Indeed, it was an escalation of what had been conventional Republican policy.

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The Republican Party opposed plans for cleaner water and air. Sure, it hurt the environment, including lots of Republicans, but it didn’t matter. Obama was the enemy. They opposed a plan for more fiscal stimulus. Indeed, it hurt the economy, including Republicans. Didn’t matter, though. They fought the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicare. People literally died. It did not matter. The enemy was here.

For eight years, the Republicans waged a quiet campaign of social sabotage without the Democrats or the Washington press corps understanding what was happening. The Republicans attacked the media, universities, science, knowledge, and the courts—anything. They burned down norms and institutions because burning them down, they thought, prevented the black guy from getting what he wanted. And whatever he wanted, even if it was a good thing, was bad, because the black guy wanted it. The end wasn’t coming. It was here. Anything was justifiable, even Donald Trump for president.

In retrospect, it’s no surprise the Republican Party, especially leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, turned a blind eye to the Republican candidate’s conspicuous collusion with the enemy. After all, anything was justifiable. As long as the Democrats played by the established rules—as long as they sought the Republicans’ permission to act in America’s interests—the Republicans enjoyed the upper hand.

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No more. The Democrats are going alone. For our sake.

They have identified the enemy.


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This article was originally published at Salon

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