Senate impeachment trial: A Few Bad Men
As the U.S. Senate works through the Trump impeachment trial, however foregone the conclusion (total exoneration by Republicans who finger-crossed swore their solemn oaths to uphold the Constitution), I had a fever dream adapting the penultimate scene from the 1992 classic, “A Few Good Men”:
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: President Trump, did you use the power of the presidency and direct Mayor Giuliani and your other co-conspirators to shake down a desperate foreign country for your personal political advantage, and then cover up the conspiracy and obstruct Congress?
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES JOHN ROBERTS [to President Trump]: You don’t have to answer that question.
U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?
SCHIFF: I think I’m entitled to them.
TRUMP: You want answers?!
SCHIFF: I want the truth!
TRUMP: You can’t handle the truth!
Shifty, we live in a world where I define the truth. The truth is whatever I say it is.
I’m the president. Who’s gonna tell me what I can and can’t do? You? You, Cryin’ Chuck? Crazy Nancy? Fat Jerry? Mary Louise Kelly on NPR?
As president, I have greater power to say and do whatever I want than you can possibly fathom.
You weep for my abuse of power and you curse my obstruction of Congress. You have that luxury.
You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That my perfect phone call, while tragic to you, probably saved Russian oligarch lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, makes my people go crazy for me at my rallies.
You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at the Golden Globes, you want me to be Trump. You need me to be Trump.
You use words like honesty, integrity, decency, rule of law. You use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending the Constitution. I use ’em as a punchline.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to Democrats who rise and sleep under the blanket of the Greatest Economy in American History I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way.
Otherwise, I suggest you go back home and talk to my people who would let me shoot anyone on Fifth Avenue. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.
SCHIFF: Did you abuse your power and obstruct justice?
TRUMP: I did the job I needed to do for Trump.
SCHIFF: Did you shake down Ukraine?
TRUMP: You’re goddamn right I did!!!
[Trump is then found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, including by a few good Republican Senators who, while worried about the loudmouth Trump base, also feared destroying their legacies of public service to defend a ridiculous blowhard and worst president who will throw them under the bus when it serves his needs. The Senate rules Trump’s removal from office. The Sergeant at Arms moves to escort him out.]
TRUMP: What is this? What’s going on? I did my job, I’d do it again! I’m gonna get on a plane and go on back to my base.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.