Calling out the Republicans

12/20/2019, 6 a.m.
When you elect a clown, expect a circus. And this month’s impeachment hearings have been precisely that. Yelling, shouting and …
Julianne Malveaux

When you elect a clown, expect a circus. And this month’s impeachment hearings have been precisely that. Yelling, shouting and disrespectful accusing seem more the rule than the exception.

The increased volume of Donald Trump’s tweets echoes his fear and discomfort because he has been called out. Republican histrionics and obsession with “process” suggest that Mr. Trump’s party is not

especially interested in facts. Even the falsehood that Democrats have been “out to get” this president since he was elected is outright wrong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to the impeachment conclusion only reluctantly.

Democrats have been very measured in their accusations. While Mr. Trump has been charged only with two “high crimes and misdemeanors,” if Democrats wanted to throw the book at the criminal-in-chief, they could have detailed multiple high crimes and misdemeanors.

Instead, they’ve kept it narrowly focused on Mr. Trump’s behavior regarding Ukraine.

Every time some of these Republicans speak, they illustrate their hypocrisy. Thus, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz launched into a tirade about Hunter Biden’s very candid disclosure of his substance abuse challenges, some of which were detailed in a New Yorker article during the summer.

But Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson had no time for Rep. Gaetz, saying that Rep. Gaetz’s attack on Mr. Biden was like “the pot calling the kettle black.” Rep. Gaetz was charged with a DUI some years ago. The charges mysteriously were dropped, but there is evidence that Rep. Gaetz was impaired.

While Republicans are throwing mud at Hunter Biden, no one has asked for any investigation of the Trump family. Ivanka has used her father’s influence to gain coveted trademarks in China. Her brothers have used government resources and their father’s influence to feather their nest in establishing new Trump properties all over the world.

In another example, Melania Trump got outraged and agitated because Stanford University Law Professor Pamela Karlan, one of the Democratic legal witnesses during the impeachment hear- ings, made an inappropriate joke about her son, Barron Trump. The professor said that while Mr. Trump could name his son Barron, he could not make him a baron, an attack on the autocratic power that Mr. Trump attempts to wield. One might have thought that the professor had attacked the child or ridiculed him. She didn’t. She made a clumsy joke and was roundly criticized for it.

And she apologized.

Melania “Be Best” Trump played Mama Bear for her teenage son. Yet she seemed to have no words for another teen, Greta Thunberg, who was Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

Miss Thunberg, who describes herself as “on the autism spectrum” with Asperger syndrome, was lifted because of her advocacy for the planet. Time magazine wrote the young lady won the award “for sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have, for bringing to a fragmented world a voice that transcends backgrounds and borders, for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads.”

But Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in global warming or climate change, so he ridiculed the young woman in one of his many rude and bullying tweets. And Melania thinks that only her son should be protected from bullying. The pot and the kettle. If she wants to call bullies out, she might start with her husband.

There have been accusations, finger pointing, anger and deflection during these impeachment hearings. Republicans have shown that they have taken an oath, not to protect the Constitution, but to protect Mr. Trump.

As Republicans march lockstep behind a corrupt president, Congressman Hank Johnson has it right: The pot really can’t call the kettle black.

The writer is an economist, author and educator.