Most Republicans who spoke in Wednesday’s U.S. House debate on the article of impeachment of President Donald Trump engaged in hypocritical misdirection and obfuscation.

Democrats weren’t above criticism, but they mainly stayed on point — arguments directed to the article of impeachment.

Republican speaker after speaker, ad nauseum, engaged in the misdirection of comparing the ransacking of the U.S. Capitol with civil rights demonstrations that resulted in riots. Thus, they argued, Democrats are hypocrites.

Not one of the civil rights riots was directed at the U.S. Capitol, the very heart of democracy, in an attempt to overturn the results of a decisive presidential election. A siege that President Trump watched on television, with enthusiasm. He enjoyed the insurrection that he fomented.

There is no legitimate correlation between civil rights riots and insurrection against democracy. Republican arguments that impeachment should require hearings were essentially arguments that there should be no impeachment during the last months of a president’s term.

Republican speakers spoke to irrelevant issue after irrelevant issue. Among them was impeachment isn’t appropriate because Trump had, as they spoke, only seven days remaining in office. They spoke with confidence that the Senate won’t take up impeachment before Trump’s term in office ends.

Democrats well understand that. Impeachment alone could bar Trump from ever again holding federal political office. Trump has repeatedly stated his interest in running again for President in 2024.

There are legitimate arguments for and against Trump’s impeachment, but few relevant ones were presented by Republican representatives.

Republicans disingenuously argued that it is time to heal and that impeachment would be divisive. Talk about hypocrisy and divisiveness. Republican refusal to impeach is divisive. Legitimately so.

Impeachment is a divisive issue and it deserves to be dealt with on a level much higher than routine politics. Republicans were divisive in not addressing the substance of the article of impeachment.

Other diversionary arguments included false and irrelevant claims of censorship, Democrat hate for Trump because he is pro-life, against climate change and other political issues.

Democrat and a few Republican legislators made legitimate arguments.

But that’s not what we saw and heard from most who spoke against impeachment in the House “debate.”

Proponents of impeachment for the most part presented relevant comments, the merits of which we can intelligently agree or disagree.

Terence L. Day is a retired Washington State faculty member and a Pullman resident since 1972. He watched the entire House debate. Email to terence@moscow.com is encouraged.

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