Donald Trump is finally getting used to the idea that he is actually being impeached. He was in denial over it for a long time, but in just the past week or so, what he’s seen on television has apparently pierced his bubble and he knows that this is real. He tried to blow past it, like he did the Mueller report, but for whatever reason, this impeachment business seems to be sticking. First order of business, assert his innocence and purity and second order? Adopt for himself the same playbook he recommended to Bill Clinton, when it was his time in the barrel. Politico:
“Everybody knows I did nothing wrong,” he told the Washington Examiner in a recent interview. “Bill Clinton did things wrong; Richard Nixon did things wrong. I won’t go back to [Andrew] Johnson because that was a little before my time,” he said. “But they did things wrong. I did nothing wrong.”
As Trump told the New York Times in September, 1998 Bill Clinton was playing it all wrong by admitting fault and apologizing. That is not the way. At least it’s not Trump’s way.
“Mr. Clinton’s latest attempts to grovel and continuously apologize to anyone willing to listen are demeaning both to himself and his country,” he wrote. “How many times does he have to say ‘I’m sorry’?”
Trump had a better game plan for Clinton: go on the attack.
“I’m not even sure that he shouldn’t have just gone in and taken the Fifth Amendment and said, ‘Look, I don’t get along with this man Starr. He’s after me. He’s a Republican. He’s this, he’s that,’ and, you know, just taken the Fifth Amendment,” he told Lauer. “It’s a terrible thing for a president to take the Fifth Amendment, but he probably should have done it.”
Trump already knew how to define his enemies with vicious descriptions, calling Starr a “total wacko” in a Geraldo Rivera interview in November 1999. “There’s the guy. I mean, he is totally off his rocker,” he said, sympathizing with Hillary Clinton, who he called “a very, very good person.”
He saved his harshest verbiage for Clinton’s accusers. “It’s like from hell, it’s a terrible group of people,” Trump told Neil Cavuto on Fox News in August 1998. “The whole group, Paula Jones, [Monica] Lewinsky, it’s just a really unattractive group. I’m not just talking about physical,” he said. When Cavuto asked if Trump’s opinion would change if any of the women were “supermodel”-level attractive, Trump responded: “I think at least it would be more pleasant to watch.” […]
Cumulatively, all of Clinton’s errors — borne, Trump believed, out of his impulse to be “too much of a nice guy” — had placed him in an “embarrassing, compromising position,” he told Matthews on Hardball.
Interestingly, Trump wouldn’t have impeached Clinton for lying, but he would have impeached Bush.
“Look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant. And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense,” he said. “And yet Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true.”
Bill Clinton chose to ignore following the Donald Trump playbook, for reasons known only to himself, but lucky us, we’re going to see what we missed in the 90’s up close and personal in the very near future — and then some. It didn’t occur to Clinton to use Kremlin manufactured propaganda and rely on conspiracy theory as defenses — although in fairness, Clinton’s transgressions didn’t lend themselves to the extreme measures Trump’s do. Clinton wasn’t answerable to Vladimir Putin.
Remember how shocked and outraged the Republicans were back in that day and age as they assured us the moral fiber of the country had been irreparably rent? Oh, they were beyond consolation. Trump selling out the country, on the other hand, they manage to live with very comfortably. It’s going to be an interesting holiday season and early 2020, I think it’s safe to venture that much.