Fri, Jun

Shame, Shame, Shame: 'You But Indict Yourselves'


SAY WHAT? - Talk about "conduct unbecoming": A vengeful, ignominious GOP just barely passed a farcical censure resolution against Adam Schiff for doing his duty, confronting "one of the most egregious abuses of presidential power in our history," and spearheading Trump's impeachment. As furious Dems blasted the rare censure as "deflection, retaliation, and distraction" from Trump's crimes, a stately Schiff dismissed "this hollow sop to the MAGA crowd" and thanked a clownish GOP for placing him "among the truth-tellers." 

Wednesday's censure squeaked through a bitterly divided House on a 213-209 vote - with six GOPers voting present - as rowdy Democrats shouted "Shame!" and "Disgrace!" and Kevin McCarthy tried to quell the chaos by repeatedly, vainly commanding, "The House will be in order." (Warren, you are missed). "Out of order!” thundered Dems. Meanwhile, disgusted observers wondered "what the absolute fuck backwards-ass country do we live in" when the honorable Schiff is attacked for exposing Trump's collusion with Russia in 2016 while the malevolent likes of "Marjorie Shit For Brains, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, and George Santos" remain untouched. Add to the list far-right goon and freshman Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., who introduced the resolution last week not as a wacko partisan hatchet job but a "clear vote between right and wrong"; it failed when 20 Repubs failed to support it, but many of them flipped when she re-introduced it stripped of the bizarre $16 million fine she wanted Schiff to pay. Still, she was ripped by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who cited her deeply unimpressive record: "Five out of the six legislative items she’s ever introduced are about Adam Schiff. I mean, doesn’t she have anything better to do? Like, I don’t know - help her district?"

Still, here was boot-licking McCarthy, trying to look like a serious person, declaring that Schiff must appear in the House well for "a pronouncement of censure" for "misleading the American public," to be followed by an "ethics investigation" into "his falsehoods, misrepresentations and abuse of sensitive information" during what he's called "a national nightmare with the fake Russia collusion narrative." Bullshit, retorted the adults in the room. Nancy Pelosi called it "a puppet show." Hakeem Jeffries decried a "fake, phony and fraudulent" resolution from a "do-nothing Republican-controlled Congress." Noted Dan Goldman, "You are the party of George Santos. Who are you holding accountable?" Said Eric Swalwell, "It's pathetic you're doing this. Pathetic." Jamie Raskin shredded "a Lunar Resolution" that's "a weapon of mass distraction" from Trump's 37 felony charges for storing classified documents "in his bathroom, his bedroom, and beyond." (LOL). He also cited the mobster's threats to anyone who dares defy him, and the shabby relative moral universe the GOP inhabits when "they have to change the subject from one of Donald Trump's current offenses against America to one of his older offenses" - that of welcoming Russian interference in our elections.

Schiff, embraced and high-fived by fellow Dems en route to the well, offered a dignified response to the indignity of the bad joke of a censure, thanking Republicans for their "frivolous yet dangerous resolution." "You honor me with your enmity, you flatter me with this falsehood," he said. "I stand proudly before you - your words tell me I have been effective in the defense of our democracy." Noting McCarthy had spent weeks on "this paltry distraction" while ignoring his own state's millions of homeless, addicted and debt-mired students, he declared of yet "another serious abuse of power, "No matter how many false accusations, you but indict yourselves." "if there is cause for censure in this House, and there is, it should be those in this body who sought to overturn a free and fair election." His vital question to a cowardly GOP who failed to stand up with him: "Why did you cower? Why did you cower, and why do you still? Will it be said of you that you lacked the courage to stand up to the most immoral, unlawful, unethical president in history, but consoled yourselves by attacking those who did? Today, I wear this partisan vote as a badge of honor, knowing that I have lived my oath...and knowing I would do so again in a heartbeat. I thank you." And we thank you. 

"But now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law.” - John Proctor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Schiff delivers floor speech ahead of GOP-backed vote to censure him youtu.be

(Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email: [email protected].  This article was featured in CommonDreams.org.)