One of Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators, Sheldon Whitehouse, recently illustrated the outrageous level of partisanship that he exemplifies. Asked at a South Providence event “how long we have to wait” for the impeachment of President Trump, Whitehouse provided the following response (captured by RI Future’s Steve Ahlquist).
Sure, the blame could go around on who has contributed to the current atmosphere in the United States, and the argument would become yet another political rabbit hole. Not surprisingly, I’d fault the national Democrats and news media for stoking anti-Bush lunacy, an attitude that Barack Obama perpetuated as a theme of his presidency. But putting blame aside, what struck me is that Senator Whitehouse didn’t even give lip service to responsible rhetoric or patriotic sentiment.
- He didn’t caution his audience that investigations might produce nothing, or stop well short of the president.
- He didn’t express even superficial hope that the country could avoid something that would be so disruptive and damaging to our unity.
- He didn’t express a preference for a president who would grow in office, even if he’d find that miraculous, at this point.
- Instead, he furthered the speculation and presented impeachment as something for which we can and should hope.
That is a shocking degree of callousness. Until November 2016, we could have expected elected officials to muster at least the sense of responsibility for the health of the republic to express hope that even a horrible president wasn’t proven to have behaved in an impeachable manner and would correct himself in office, rather than drive the country to the point at which kicking him out would be the best option.
But not in 2017, apparently, and not Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.