Every once in a while some vacuous elected official will spout out a general and ultimately meaningless platitude about how the president, who is the leader of our country and not a toddler waiting to be taken out of timeout, has “learned his lesson” after doing something for which he definitely not learned his lesson.
Sometimes, the vacuous elected official talking about the lessons the president has learned is the president himself, who in 2016 promised to be more restrained on Twitter (a promise that didn’t even last until the interview aired), and most recently it’s Susan Collins, who said that the president didn’t need to be impeached because he’d, you guessed it, learned his lesson.
Full offense to Susan Collins here, this wasn’t the first time she’s been wrong and it certainly won’t be the last.
While she and other “moderate” Republicans might have felt that impeachment process, which many Senators seem to have forgotten is not an arbitrary restorative justice practice so much as it is an essential component of our democracy, would push Tr**p to be more restrained and level-headed, it appears to have done just the opposite.
On Friday morning Tr**p apparently had some time to spare before applying an uneven base coat of self-tanner, and he decided to fill that time by firing two key witnesses who testified in the House impeachment hearings. Gordon D. Sondland, the now former ambassador to the European Union and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a member of the National Security Council, were both told their services would no longer be required.
“You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.” the president said of veteran Lt. Col. Vindman just hours before firing him. Technically I don’t think you’re supposed to be happy with anyone, I just think you’re supposed to exhibit basic rational decision making when running a country, but that’s just me.
“These are the actions of a man who believes he is above the law,” said Adam Schiff, whose sentiments were echoed by fellow Californian and noted speech shredder Nancy Pelosi, saying that the firing of Sondland and Vindman “goes too far.”
While I obviously totally agree with Adam and Nancy here, it’s getting pretty difficult to distinguish which things have gone too far on what day when it comes to the White House.
Republicans, naturally, have supported the president’s choice. “The president had every right to make the moves that he did today,” said Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, “Moving Lt. Col. Vindman, for example, is a good move based on the fact that there is a lack of trust. He disagrees with the president’s policies.”
It would appear there were more strict guidelines and greater accountability around termination at the Asian-fusion restaurant I worked at in high school than there are in the highest level of American government, but, at this point that’s to be expected. It’s safe to say that the only thing impeachment taught the president is that when things don’t do your way, the best way to handle it is to yell about it on the internet and then fire people anytime you’re not happy.
I can’t wait to see what lessons he’ll learn at the expense of our democracy next.