Anticipating that the Republican-controlled Senate will shut down the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump without ever hearing a witness and then move on to giving him a pass despite evidence of corruption, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin declared her former party unsalvageable.
In a column for the Washington Post, the longtime political pundit suggested that Republicans could have at least gone through the motions of hearing witnesses knowing that there would never be enough votes -- a two-thirds majority -- to oust the president from the Oval Office.
"By refusing to call witnesses, by advancing a frightful theory of unlimited presidential power, by endorsing the right of presidents to enlist foreign powers, by misstating evidence and making scurrilous attacks on everyone from House manager Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) to former vice president Joe Biden, Senate Republicans have demonstrated the lengths to which they will go to hold on to raw power and to bolster a deeply unfit president who does not know right from wrong," she wrote before waring, "The insistence on not merely acquitting but acquitting without the semblance of a real trial and with a new unlimited theory of presidential power will, at the very least, be clarifying for voters and the judiciary."
She then dropped the hammer on her former party, writing, "The public should understand fully that the Republican Party has become the authoritarian party."
"They have mutilated the Constitution so they can claim its broken remains. They have been willing to sacrifice an ally to Russian domination, a signal to the Kremlin and others that we are feckless friends. Voters should be forewarned that neither the legislative branch nor executive branch can be entrusted to this crowd," she continued. "Americans who actually adhere to conservative beliefs should give up the fantasy that the GOP can be rescued. In not only electing and defending Trump but also shredding long-held constitutional principles, it poses a threat to the rule of law, equal justice under the law and the American creed."
Writing that conservatives would be profoundly better off if they back a "centrist Democrat," she added, "If nothing else, this has been a painful lesson that the Founding Fathers underestimated the power of the presidency and overestimated the good faith of its occupants, leaving us ill-equipped to fend off authoritarians and their docile enablers. The system we inherited is not suited to extreme tribalism and rampant dishonesty."
You can read the whole piece here.