“Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Under the Constitution, these are the offenses for which presidents can be impeached.
And to hear our elites, Donald Trump is guilty of them all.
Trump’s refusal to challenge Vladimir Putin’s claim at Helsinki — that his GRU boys did not hack Hillary Clinton’s campaign — has been called treason, a refusal to do his sworn duty to protect and defend the United States, by a former director of the CIA.
Famed journalists and former high officials of the U.S. government have called Russia’s hacking of the DNC “an act of war” comparable to Pearl Harbor.
The New York Times ran a story on how many are now charging Trump with treason. Others suggest Putin is blackmailing Trump, or has him on his payroll, or compromised Trump a long time ago.
Wailed Congressman Steve Cohen: “Where is our military folks? The Commander in Chief is in the hands of our enemy!”
Apparently, some on the left believe we need a military coup to save our democracy.
Not since Robert Welch of the John Birch Society called Dwight Eisenhower a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” have such charges been hurled at a president. But while the Birchers were a bit outside the mainstream, today it is the establishment itself bawling “Treason!”
What explains the hysteria?
The worst-case scenario would be that the establishment actually believes the nonsense it is spouting. But that is hard to credit. Like the boy who cried “Wolf!” the establishment has cried “Fascist!” too many times to be taken seriously.
A month ago, the never-Trumpers were comparing the separation of immigrant kids from detained adults, who brought them to the U.S. illegally, to FDR’s concentration camps for Japanese-Americans.
Some commentators equated the separations to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz.
If the establishment truly believed this nonsense, it would be an unacceptable security risk to let them near the levers of power ever again.
Using Occam’s razor, the real explanation for this behavior is the simplest one: America’s elites have been driven over the edge by Trump’s successes and their failure to block him.
Trump is deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, appointing record numbers of federal judges, reshaping the Supreme Court, and using tariffs to cut trade deficits and the bully pulpit to castigate freeloading allies.
Worst of all, Trump clearly intends to carry out his campaign pledge to improve relations with Russia and get along with Vladimir Putin.
“Over our dead bodies!” the Beltway elite seems to be shouting.
Hence the rhetorical WMDs hurled at Trump: Liar, dictator, authoritarian, Putin’s poodle, fascist, demagogue, traitor, Nazi.
Such language approaches incitement to violence. One wonders if the haters are considering the impact of the words they are so casually using. Some of us yet recall how Dallas was charged with complicity in the death of JFK for slurs far less toxic than this.
The post-Helsinki hysteria reveals not merely the mindset of the president’s enemies, but the depth of their determination to destroy him.
They intend to break Trump and bring him down, to see him impeached, removed, indicted and prosecuted, and the agenda on which he ran and was nominated and elected dumped onto the ash heap of history.
Thursday, Trump indicated that he knows exactly what is afoot, and threw down the gauntlet of defiance:
“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”
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Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”
The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.