Dear Sen. Enzi,
Without partisanship as a barrier, your moral compass will lead you to support removing Donald Trump. Simply apply the same principled calculation you made in 1998 to explain your vote to impeach Bill Clinton.
When a Democratic president’s head was on the impeachment block, you spoke of the presidential oath of office. Your words: “The president’s oath forbids him to selectively decide whether to follow the laws based on a calculation of political expediency or determination of personal gain or loss.”
Are we to learn that your 1998 reasoning applies only to Democrats? To any but the most partisan, what you said about Clinton falls now on Trump. “Those who violate the rule of law for their own personal or political ends must not be allowed to remain in offices of public trust.”
Standards applied to a Democrat can be cast aside only if you decide to abandon those principles in order to go full-out partisan. A lot of your GOP colleagues will be doing that. Partisans like Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have made it clear that Trump’s survival matters more to them than the survival of our Republic.
Let’s put that aside for the moment and return to the query with which this column started. How can a faith-based public servant with your moral compass support a man like Donald Trump?
Let’s be honest. There is only one thing that you and Trump have in common. You are both Republicans. Truthfully, the two of you are not even the same kind of Republicans. You are a traditional conservative who believes in reduced federal spending, fiscal responsibility, limited government, personal responsibility and accountability, and free markets. Donald Trump is not that kind of a Republican.
Donald Trump’s priority is not the GOP. It is only himself and what he can gain personally while remaining in the White House. After all, this is a man who stole money from his own charity. He was forced to pay a $25 million court-ordered settlement for defrauding people with his phony Trump University. There is no need to recount his sordid extramarital affairs and the hush money he paid to prevent the 2016 electorate from knowing the truth.
You and I know this is but a partial history of his immoral conduct.
Surely, a man like you cannot accept Trump’s vulgarity. It proved too much for Evangelicals who publish the conservative magazine “Christianity Today.” They acknowledged that which your heart knows. “(Trump) has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationships with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone – with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies and slanders – is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
Republicans have already gotten all they need from this man. As you boasted in a recent op-ed, the Senate has already packed the federal courts with conservative judges. Environmental and other public health and safety regulations have been ransacked. The wealthy had their taxes slashed.
Additionally, Trump’s replacement will be Mike Pence, a true Republican.
Senator, what reason remains for a decent man like you vote to rescue an indecent man like Trump? Oh yeah, there’s another reason to remove him. Trump is guilty as charged.
These are not Pelosi’s words, nor Schiff’s, but Christianity Today’s. “The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
This is the last of your 24 years in the Senate. How many thousands of votes have you cast? It’s fair to say this is the one by which you will be remembered. This vote will be the lead in any biography of your extraordinary career as a public servant. Will it be a story of moral courage or blind partisanship?
Rodger McDaniel lives in Laramie and is the pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne. Email: email@example.com.