By the day, it looks like Donald Trump’s Iran disaster is pushing him closer to ouster. Of course, Trump’s Articles of Impeachment have nothing to do with Iran, but the way Trump has so irritated Republican members of the Senate with his handling of the situation, it’s creating excellent fodder to justify a Senate conviction.
Most notably, Senator Mike Lee of Utah made headlines this past Wednesday for speaking to reporters in no uncertain terms about his thoughts on the Trump administration’s treatment of the Iran disaster: he absolutely ripped them a new one. Senator Lee’s castigation comes from a place of reason. The Senate is entitled to be debriefed on matters exactly like the ones that have concerned Iran the past couple weeks. I’ll let the Washington Post explain the source of Senator Lee’s frustration in more detail:
Lee, echoing the complaints of many Democrats, blasted the briefing on the intelligence behind the assassination as the ‘worst’ he’d ever seen. He also fumed that officials refused to acknowledge any ‘hypothetical’ situations in which they would come to Congress for authorization for future military hostilities against Iran.
The article then goes on to quote an NPR interview in which Senator Lee reveals more deeply troubling information regarding the briefing the senators were given:
As I recall, one of my colleagues asked a hypothetical involving the Supreme Leader of Iran: If at that point, the United States government decided that it wanted to undertake a strike against him personally, recognizing that he would be a threat to the United States, would that require authorization for the use of military force?
The fact that there was nothing but a refusal to answer that question was perhaps the most deeply upsetting thing to me in that meeting.
This is exactly the kind of chaos and uncertainty that Trump loves. This is exactly the kind of chaos and uncertainty that Senators hate. Trump is, incrementally, justifying his ouster by creating serious animosity among the last meaningful group of people in Washington who can keep him afloat.
The administration’s refusal to answer a question about the possibility of assassinating the Ayatollah is harrowing. There is little doubt that such a move would lead to all-out war, and possibly not just with Iran. Such a decision would be not just unnecessary, crass, or stupid, but violently selfish, destructive, and hateful. Republican Senators, since day one, have been wishing Trump would just be stable, but with their heretofore acquiescence, he’s brought the nation, and perhaps the world, to the brink of war.
This is an excellent reason, a virtual godsend, for Republican Senators to justify ouster. Let’s hope they realize the consequences of keeping Trump around and vote accordingly.