Conservative columnist lays out why history will judge Trump ‘more harshly’ than Nixon
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 will go down in history as the day in which President Donald Trump was indicted on two articles of impeachment — one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress — by the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The vote, as expected, went down along party lines: not one House Republican voted to impeach Trump. And conservative opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, in her Washington Post column, emphasizes that Trump will be judged harshly by history along with all the Republicans who have rallied around him.
“Even Trump knows he will be lumped in with the ‘losers’ in the presidential history rankings such as Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson,” Rubin writes. “Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action.”
History, according to Rubin, will “regard” Trump as “a pitiful, damaged man utterly unfit for the role he won through a series of improbable events.” And the Never Trump conservative contends that history will be even more critical of Trump than it is of President Richard Nixon, who was facing articles of impeachment in the House because of the Watergate scandal but resigned on August 8, 1974 before those articles had a chance to come up for a full House vote.
“In comparison to Nixon’s impeachable acts,” Rubin asserts, “Trump’s are likely to be viewed more harshly. Trump betrayed the country’s national security and continued his affront to the Constitution by authorizing Rudolph W. Giuliani’s ongoing effort to scrounge up ‘evidence’ from Russian-backed operatives to use against a political rival.”
That political rival, of course, is former Vice President Joe Biden, who Trump might be running against in the 2020 presidential election. On July 25, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Rubin explains, “The transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky preserves Trump’s multiple references to ‘Biden’ in black and white…. It has become and will be seen historically as Trump’s smoking gun.”
The conservative columnist stresses that in 1974, many Republicans in the House and the U.S. Senate showed their patriotism by putting their country ahead of their party. But the 2019 Republicans who have rallied around Trump, she asserts, have no such integrity.
“One after another,” Rubin writes, “brave freshmen Democrats decided duty to the Constitution was far more important than political calculation and announced their support for impeachment. They put to shame Republicans such as Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) who know all too well the danger Trump poses yet cannot muster the courage to put country above party.”
Rubin cites the late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater as an example of a Republican who had the type of courage that Stefanik and Thornberry lack.
“Unlike Republicans of the past who are credited with getting Nixon to resign — including Barry Goldwater, House Minority Leader John Rhodes and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott — no Republican save for ex-Republican Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) and the Never Trumpers outside of Congress has secured a place in history,” Rubin laments.
History, according to Rubin, will view Amash and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi much more favorably than the Trump loyalists who refused to impeach him despite all the evidence presented.
“Just as Watergate figures then-Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.) and then-Reps. Barbara Jordan (D-Tex.) and Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) were lionized as defenders of the Constitution, so too will Pelosi and House Democrats Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) be among those admired for their lucidity, intellect and character,” Rubin writes. “There is no shortage of patriots, if you know where to look.