1776 & 1787 déjà vu all over again
By Ravi Batra
Thank you, President Trump, you have succeeded beyond your wildest dreams or lies – to disrupt the status quo, and to make America great again.
American greatness does not lie in a roaring stock market, lowest unemployment rate, criminal justice reform, causing Middle East peace between Israel and some of her neighbors, or even causing peace among Arab nations. American Exceptionalism was always embedded and wedded to our Founders’ Declaration of Independence from a foreign nation in 1776, and even more so, when in 1787 they took stock of human vices throughout history, and decided that there was no power on earth to cure humanity of such vices. Accordingly, in a seminal moment of alchemy, our Founders created a regime that would permit vices to do their worst, and create the greatest Public Good achievable at any given time. That regime, that recipe, that harnessed vices – and uniquely the Lion share of our Exceptionalism – is our separated powers regime.
From an ordinary citizen to members of Congress to the President of the United States, the one thing common is that in our individual Oaths, each of us swears to defend the Constitution from “enemies foreign and domestic.” It is not the Declaration of Independence that unifies us. No, it is our oath to defend the Constitution.
General George Washington had to deal with his right hand man, General Benedict Arnold, who betrayed the American Revolution by switching sides and join Lord Cornwallis, who was seeking to destroy America at birth.
The Great Disrupter – POTUS 45 – by inciting the mob, with preplanning and apparent inside help, did not just violate his sacred Oath; he launched a frontal attack on a co-equal branch of government and worse yet, our cherished Separated Powers regime by trying to do a hostile takeover and unifying our governmental power into President Trump. No longer would we be Americans, live in the United States of America, or toil to nourish on a daily basis American exceptionalism. No, we would live in Trump country – renamed, like a cheap brass sign on a corporate building – and instead of saluting the Flag of Iwo Jima or the one kept high and flying at Fort McHenry in 1814, salute King Trump.
From having voted for him in 2016 and supported President Trump’s major accomplishments in our foreign policy, none more than standing up to CCP’s China, as we have one president at a time, on January 6 it was clear that Republicans must invite and support impeaching Donald J Trump, for he had committed the greatest sin any American can: he sought to destroy our cherished Constitution’s core genius – having one man’s vice counterbalanced by another woman’s vice, and creating greater public good from that ambitious struggle.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell needs to invite and welcome the article of impeachment that was voted up Wednesday by the House with 10 supporting votes of brave Republicans. These brave 10 are:
John Katko: “To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” he said in a statement. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President.”
Adam Kinzinger: “There is no doubt in my mind that the president of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative.”
Liz Cheney: “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing,” she said in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Fred Upton: “Enough is enough,” he said. “The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next.”
Jaime H. Beutler: “I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters,” she added. “But I am a Republican voter… I see that my own party will be best served when those among us choose truth.”
Dan Newhouse: “Our country needs a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.”
Anthony Gonzalez: He concluded that Trump “helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution.” He said, “During the attack itself, the president abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people’s lives but to the very foundation of our Republic.”
Peter Meijer: Trump had “betrayed and misled millions with claims of a ‘stolen election’” and “shrank from leadership when the country needed it most.”
Tom Rice: “I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable.”
David Valadao: “This is un-American,” he said at the time. “I denounce this behavior to the fullest extent. We are so much better than this.”
Read NYPost Tamir Lapin’s “all the Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time” for even more.
Trump’s biggest lie – “Stop the Steal” – was aided by his threatening Brad Raffensperger, Republican secretary of the state of Georgia, and Trump’s illegal demand to stuff the ballot box and fix the election. Inciting insurrection against the most loyal Vice President Mike Pence, and co-equal Senate and House of Representatives doing their job as required by the Constitution requires this Impeachment, conviction and prohibition by the Senate to send a message through the River of Time to future presidents: No. Not again; not ever.
This Impeachment, then, is Benedict Arnold Trump’s greatest gift to America and Americans: as he has energized the Oath to mean everything. While Trump will forever be worlds apart from that great American spy Nathan Hale, who in 1776 famously said: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” We now are in Trump’s ignoble debt for our joyous American Spring. We are better and stronger, and closer to our exceptional roots, thanks to Donald J. Trump.
Ravi Batra is an eminent attorney and Chair of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs.