We need an embattled president—being unpopular isn’t enough.

I was one of those last week who supported Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s claim that Senator Al Franken should resign his Senate seat. I said at the time that I like Franken and that there needs to be gradations of meaning on what constitutes a fireable offense, that there are substantial differences between Roy Moore’s pedophilia and Al Franken’s comedic bad taste.

A week has passed and I feel the same. Meanwhile many gutless Republicans have shown their true selves, continuing to push for Moore’s election while downplaying Texas Republican Blake Farenthold’s malfeasance—the use of $80,000 of taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim from a former staffer. And of course the Abuser-in-Chief, fresh from a Florida speaking engagement over the weekend, continues to promote Moore on the phones of every Alabama Republican.

Business as usual, though there are changes in the air.

I suppose I’m annoyed at Gillibrand the way I would be annoyed at any bearer of bad news. It’s always easier to shoot the messenger. And though she owes me nothing, Senator Gillibrand can make up for any disappointment I feel over Franken’s resignation by redoubling her efforts to get Trump out of the White House.

So far she seems up to the task. She has already angered the easily flappable president into slut-shaming her. (Ah, yes, slut-shaming—another beautiful addition to the Trump-era vernacular.)

I can’t imagine that anyone goes into politics to deal with an idiot like Donald Trump, or to endure salacious and dispiriting accusations on a daily basis. But if Gillibrand is up to the task, we have to be up to the task of supporting her, as well as the claims of the legion of women calling attention to Trump’s abuse, most of whom have been shunted aside for a year or more.

Today 56 members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group called on the House Oversight Committee to launch an investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Trump. For his part, Trump compares this to the attacks on Roy Moore: fake news. But if estimates are accurate and 45% of Republicans are willing to vote Moore (if elected) out of the senate, drawing a comparison between the two miscreants will become even easier: Trump’s own words will link them. If Moore goes, Trump goes.

We need an embattled president. I’ve heard him called unpopular too many times—it doesn’t seem to accomplish anything. I prefer “embattled.” Embattled people generally wind up losing the battle.

But first someone literally has to battle him. If it’s Gillibrand or Jackie Speier or anyone else, let’s support them. And don’t dismiss impeachment as being too extreme—some dangerous, desperate act. It’s happened twice in the past fifty years: we’ve all recovered and the nation has survived.

Surviving Trump, though….

“Embattled president faces impeachment.” Yes, I like the sound.

 

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