About right vs. wrong
El Paso Times
It came as no surprise that the House vote to impeach Donald Trump fell almost exactly along party lines. All Republicans and only two Democrats voted against impeachment. The votes among Texas members of the House were straight party-line.
That is how divided we have become as a state and a nation. Donald Trump didn’t invent this divide, though he has encouraged, expanded and exploited it.
Democrats, Republicans — the American people — all know Trump’s actions toward Ukraine were wrong. The evidence is overwhelming that he used his power to blackmail a foreign country to help his 2020 reelection campaign. His actions hurt Ukraine and our own State Department. From the time he was found out, he used that power to prevent Congress from investigating him fully, and continues to do so. These facts can’t be shouted out of existence despite the best efforts of Trump and his committed supporters.
It appears, nevertheless, that no amount of insurmountable truth will shake the Senate Republican majority’s intent to vote against Trump’s removal. No one expects the overwhelmingly damning facts to change the Senate outcome.
The lesson here is that holding onto power is more important to those who have it than doing the right thing. They are willing to cheat and lie if that’s what it takes.
This is not just a Republican thing. They just happen to be on the wrong side of the history currently in the making. Holding Trump accountable is the right thing to do. But, face it — for the Democrats it’s also just good politics. ...
The 196-0 Republican vote against impeaching Trump is ... another confirmation that right vs. left mattered more than right vs. wrong.
Texas House members were both a reflection and an exaggeration of the House as a whole, much like Texas is a reflection and exaggeration of the nation. Case in point: Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, described by The Texas Tribune as “the most bombastic of all Texans,” “shouted through much of his allotted time,” asserting the disproved, discredited, Putin-invented notion that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered with the 2016 election. After Rep. Jerry Nadler called him on it, expressing deep concern “that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House,” Gohmert got back up and shouted some more until he was gaveled down. ...
Gohmert isn’t the only Republican in the House or Senate spouting Russian propaganda in Trump’s defense. A lot of usually nonbombastic people are shouting this dangerous nonsense when their focus should be on preventing foreign sabotage of the 2020 election.
This is what it takes to protect a president who has abused power — making America weaker. It should scare us all.
Good guys with guns
On Sunday, the kind of news no one wants to see slid across the landscape. There was a shooting at a church in White Settlement, and there were casualties. But as we delved into the details, we admit feeling at first relief that the loss of life was not larger — two innocent lives were lost along with the assailant — and then a sense of gratitude.
Our gratitude, which was also felt by Gov. Greg Abbott, comes from the knowledge this mass shooter would have likely incurred a lot more mayhem except for the fact that a good man and a volunteer member of the church’s security team immediately shot back. In response to the era of mass shootings that we are in, Texas enacted a law to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons in church (and elsewhere, unless specifically prohibited at that location). That law saved lives this weekend in North Texas. Regardless of whether people like this fact, it remains true that there have been at least two church shootings in Texas in recent years that ended because law-abiding citizens had the means and willingness to fight back. The other occurred two years ago in Sutherland Springs, and unfortunately resulted in the loss of many more lives. But as in this most recent shooting, in that incident the assailant did not survive after good men responded with force. ...