America in microcosm: the parallel realities of a fateful impeachment debate

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 6:31 AM ET, Thu December 12, 2019

(CNN)The House Judiciary Committee, on a sprint to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as early as Thursday, is a perfect metaphor for America’s estranged political moment.

Meeting under the eye of history in a rare evening session Wednesday, Democratic and Republican lawmakers spoke past one another, unable to coalesce even on a common set of facts.
In a hearing that was more surreal than somber despite its grave intent, they might as well have been talking about a different President, a different Constitution and a different nation.

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Democrats at least operated from the evidence unearthed by the impeachment inquiry as individual members took advantage of a prime-time spotlight to claim their moment for posterity and to accuse Trump of violating his oath of office in Ukraine.

“How would you be remembered?” Democratic Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, asked his colleagues, beseeching them to examine their consciences and the record.

History may record that while both sides were playing to the political gallery, only the Democrats appeared willing to go into any details on Trump’s alleged conduct and its consequences.

Republicans mostly disregarded the mountain of evidence offered by former Trump appointees and foreign policy and military officials of the President’s political motivations in Ukraine.


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