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Enough, My Beloved Colleagues

National Guard troops protecting the Capitol from more thugs. Many on Twitter blasted those who have "turned Washington into an armed camp instead of a celebration of democracy," charging, "The stink of what you've done will never wear off." Photo by Saul Loeb/AP

In a wrenching addendum to the drama of a day that saw the only president in American history commit heinous enough crimes to get impeached a second time - a year after his first impeachment and a week before the end of his term - the righteous charge to remove him was led by Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, who had just lost his 25-year-old son Tommy to suicide. Wednesday's impeachment, deemed "the strongest and most bipartisan repudiation of a president" ever, came as more federal troops were assembled in D.C. than in Afghanistan, there "to defend us against the commander in chief, the President of the United States and his mob” thanks to a complicit GOP that made a deadly deal with the devil and are now paying the cost, from calls for the resignations and investigations of state and federal enablers whose "lies cost lives" to the rounding up of hundreds of clueless MAGA hooligans now facing 10-20 year prison terms to the loss of donations from over 100, once GOP-leaning corporations, including Wal-Mart. All, writes novelist Marilynne Robinson, ultimately and pointlessly stemming from an attack that "expressed nothing but rage," along with "self-pity weaponized by white men" on behalf of the greatest sore loser the world has ever known, a "baffled outsider trying to figure out what he was getting wrong" in a world "unshakably certain he did not belong there."

Wednesday's hearing marked another sordid chapter in the debacle of his reign. "Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on the House floor. "It is what it is." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was lead impeachment manager and helped draft the resolution, called the riot "the groundwork for fascism" and named Trump "a lethal danger to the American republic." A Constitutional law professor and son of former JFK aide Marcus Raskin, he had buried Tommy, a second-year student at Harvard Law School, in a simple Jewish graveside service the day before the certification vote and riot; Tommy died by suicide New Year's Eve after struggling with depression, "a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him." "Please forgive me," he wrote his family. “My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love.” In a heartrending tribute, Tommy's parents described a beautiful "madcap boy," "a radiant light in this broken world," a gifted writer of "piercing insights," "an anti-war activist, a badass autodidact moral philosopher and progressive humanist libertarian" with a perfect heart, a perfect soul, (a) relentless sense of humor" who, as a Teaching Assistant gave away much of his salary to global groups fighting malaria and in donations in his students' names to Oxfam. His death “on the last hellish brutal day of that godawful miserable year of 2020" tormented Raskin, but he felt his son "very much with me and my heart" as he attended the vote - and received a standing ovation from members of Congress - for acting on his belief that "change is made by people who show up." In his final speech at 2:30 a.m., Raskin spoke to the House of his and so many others' pain. “Enough, my beloved colleagues," he said. "It is time for America to heal."


Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet, Further columnist

Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning print journalist for newspapers and magazines, she lived in the Maine woods for about a dozen years before moving to Portland in 1983. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues.

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