Somewhere last week, beyond the despair I felt that Republicans were once again letting Donald Trump get away with heinous crimes against our democracy, I found a glimmer of hope for our nation. It was out there, in the performance of the House Managers, in every word they assembled, in every truth they spoke, in every principle they upheld during the former President's Second Impeachment trial in the U. S. Senate.
I watched the pundits assess their work and I read multiple editorial columnists and newsletter commentaries, and I agreed with most of them. But I still had this impulse to add my, well, my what? My words? My praise? My relief that intelligent, rational thought and honorable impulses can be brought to bear on these dire political circumstances? Yes, all of the above. But most of all, I wanted to add my thanks -- both for the Herculean effort and for the Hope it afforded me. And so, I wrote a Thank You note:
Dear Congressman Raskin:
THANK YOU — and every one of the House Managers who prosecuted the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump — for doing so with such honor and skill.
Your momentous work was a noble reflection of our democratic values and your commitment to serving them, our democracy, the Constitution, Congress, and the people of our country.
You harnessed the considerable intellect, reason, integrity and humanity of your team to explain, in a seamless and powerful narrative, the truly existential threat the former President was to our nation, and now, devastatingly, might continue to be.
While I believe the Senate found him guilty as charged 57-43, the Republicans’ refusal to convict by the requisite 2/3 super-majority perpetuates our vulnerability.
I doubt I will ever understand — and maybe I really don’t want to — how any citizen, much less an elected official serving in the U.S. Senate, could countenance this man’s assault on the very essence of our democracy — a free and fair election, the peaceful transition of power, and the Congressional branch of government itself — while “serving” as President of the United States. That 43 U. S. Senators did so is, at base, almost as terrifying as the assault itself.That they did so without regard to the truths you told, to the case you each so expertly made is not “on you”; it is totally “on them,” a permanent stain on their records, their political legacies, on their very lives.
I could despair. And I have, often, and deeply. But you and the House Managers also gave me hope. You demonstrated what it is possible to accomplish as men and women of principle and compassion; you showcased the legal, leadership and intellectual skills residing in the House; you honored your oaths, your constituents, your country. Your extraordinary work is an inspiration: If you all could and would work that hard to do what’s right for our country, the rest of us can (and should) do so, too.
Again, I thank you for your truly exceptional service.
by Ann Sentilles
February 17th, 2021