At least three major newspapers have become the first to call for Trump’s resignation over last week’s revelations concerning political extortion of Ukraine.
First, the Boston Globe, the major progressive paper in perhaps the nation’s most progressive major city, led the way:
THE VISCERAL REACTION I had to the summary of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was that he should resign the presidency. So obvious and brazen was the abuse of presidential power; so evident was Trump’s concern only for his own political interests; and so lacking was any consideration of the national interest.
The Hearst News Group of Connecticut followed course:
The Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board on Thursday called for Trump to resign from office for “conduct far outside the accepted norms of a democratic leader.” The newspaper chain’s editorial board said Trump’s request for an investigation into Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “would benefit him politically” and is a clear-cut case of an “impeachable offense.” The scathing Hearst editorial concedes “there’s almost no chance” Trump will step down and urges Congress to vote to remove him from the White House.
The calls from major Northeastern liberal establishment papers shouldn’t surprise anyone, nor should it be taken to be indicative of all that much beyond the fact that Trump remains firmly in trouble.
The other paper to call for Trump’s resignation is a horse of a different color, see the second Tweet below, regarding the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch has also called on Trump to resign from office, writing, “The time has come for Republicans to stand up for the Constitution, stand up for America, and tell Trump to step down.” https://t.co/nmeCrqWokL
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) September 30, 2019
The pitter-patter of feet scampering toward the exists can be heard if one listens closely.
Over at the mothership, the Rec-list is busy analyzing a Newsweek column suggesting that Trump will engineer a deal by which he steps down in exchange for immunity from prosecution. I saw that tweet yesterday and noted that the Newsweek column was a year old. At some point, someone at the mothership will point out that somewhat relevant fact to the others. For now, though, they’re busy rejecting the “deal,” competing as to whom can reject it most forcefully.
People are out for blood, they want Trump in prison, they want him and his family, and his dog – if he had one, which he doesn’t – locked up forever, because they’re that much cooler and clearer headed than everyone else.
I, too, want to see Trump go to prison, along with his family and court jesters.
Let there be no doubt at all that Trump doesn’t deserve to negotiate any deal, for anything.
However, before we pound our chest about our righteous blood-thirst, we need to designate our priority in the process, those elements we hope to accomplish. Are we trying to remove a dangerous president from office? Are we trying to remove a dangerous president from office and his law-breaking enablers? Are we trying to expose the entire truth regarding Trump and his crimes? Are we doing all we can to improve our position for the next election? Are we trying to exact revenge upon the person who has inflicted so much pain upon others over the last three years? Or are we committed to some notion of justice, where we will know it when we see it?
There is nothing I want more than to see Trump, his government lackeys, and his grifting family in jail. Nothing.
But, there could be a scenario upcoming where my “desire” becomes inherently selfish and contrary to what is best for my country and its future.
We cannot know ahead of time which course of action is the most responsible, and best long-term choice for the nation’s health. We can know this. We must remain firmly committed to placing the nation, first.
Nothing satisfies certain animal instincts like satiating well-earned bloodlust. It may seem like the only thing that could ever satisfy us is a dish of revenge, pureed and chilled like a slushee. But it can also be dangerous. Let’s not be like all too many of our orange brothers and sisters who “know” ahead of time what we will and will not accept with regard to Trump’s fate.
Just like the presidency was supposed to be about the nation, not Trump, any scenario whereby he steps down or is removed should be about the country’s future, not our emotional needs.
Perhaps the nation is best served by prosecuting Trump to the fullest extent of the law, resignation or not. Perhaps. Indeed, that is the most likely scenario.
But we cannot possibly know until we get to the point where the choices and the evidence are laid out. Committing ourselves to the most ruthless prosecution and punishment sure satisfies an inner fire, and it sounds cool, but it also sounds shortsighted, emotionally-driven, and dangerous.
firstname.lastname@example.org and TWitter: @MiciakZoom