Can Someone Just Lock Chris Cillizza In A Room Somewhere Until America Isn't Broken?
Chris Cillizza is exhausting. His takes, which CNN unleashes on the world, are always mind-numbingly stupid. You'd think even someone as offensively mediocre as Cillizza could "analyze" Donald Trump's sham impeachment trial without tripping over his shoelaces, but no, Cillizza offered up some GOP-enabling "both sides" garbage Thursday.
Jesus Christ. Poor middle-of-the-road, straight-shooting Cillizza hoped that he'd see some dispassionate information seeking during the 16 hours when senators could ask the House impeachment managers and Trump's Legion of Doom defense team. Instead, he was served egg noodles and ketchup with a side of partisan posturing. Why or why are Democrats so "deeply entrenched" in their view that the president shouldn't sic foreign nations on his political opponents? Why are they "so convinced of their rightness" that they won't at least "consider" the the opposing view that Donald Trump should remain president for life? It's truly "everything wrong with our politics."
CILLIZZA: But when the Q&A period actually began, it rapidly became clear that we were unlikely to get any sort of thoughtful debate regarding the case at hand.
CILLIZZA: Instead, senators on both sides asked "questions" of their preferred side -- Republicans of the Trump team, Democrats of the House managers -- designed to either a) allow riffs on preferred talking points or b) respond to talking points put forward by the other team. (There were very occasional breaks with that pattern, usually with the names of Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins attached to them.)
Predictably, Cillizza gives gold stars to the Republican senators who constantly play the "deeply concerned" card before inevitably voting no differently than Ted Cruz. If you want to know who's dumb enough to still buy their crap, just check out the preening photo next to a Chris Cillizza byline.
It's especially annoying that Cillizza singles out Susan Collins for praise when her questions were designed to poke holes in the House's case against the president. She asked why the articles of impeachment didn't include bribery when Democrats had made such a stink about Trump committing bribery. When Rep. Hakeem Jeffries argued that Trump's actions were "akin to a crime," Collins apparently looked like he'd brought her a martini with too many olives. Adam Schiff later responded that Democrats could've charged Trump with bribery but chose "abuse of power" because it was the higher constitutional offense.
Cruz asked if it even mattered whether Trump quid pro quo-ed all over the place. That led to Alan Dershowitz's bizarre argument that a president can claim his own political ambitions, specifically his re-election, are in the "public interest." That was a depressing, morally bankrupt exchange. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris asked a question that showcased how Trump considers himself above the law. (For the record, that's a bad thing.) Somehow, Cillizza shakes his damn head equally over "both sides."
You have the president's defense arguing he can do anything he wants as long as at least one of his terminal personality disorders believe it's best for the nation. Dershowitz later tried to weasel his way out of what he said, but it's on television and everything. Cillizza should spare his scorn for the active dismantling of the American experiment. He shouldn't waste our time complaining that Democrats were too intense for his tastes when trying (without success) to shame Republicans over the president's corrupt actions.
Republicans are set to vote down witnesses and likely acquit Trump by the end of the week. It'll be quite the Super Bowl Sunday for a president who broke laws, defied a co-equal branch of government, and shredded the Constitution in broad fucking daylight. The Democratic primary officially begins next week and we no reason to trust that Trump won't further abuse the power of his office to win re-election (in the public interest, of course). This is end of Revenge of the Sith bad, and we just don't have time for Cillizza's shit anymore.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).