COLUMN: Swamp drainage in progress

There is a line from the movie "My Cousin Vinny" that came to mind Tuesday while watching President Trump's defense team conclude its presentation to the U.S. Senate during the charade otherwise known as the impeachment trial.

The fact Trump's defense team was able to succinctly deliver an on-target rebuke in just two short days of the ridiculous, week-long, drawn-out, rambling, incoherent, sorely lacking-in-facts presentation by the House impeachment managers spoke volumes.

It was pretty much the equivalent of Trump's defense team pointing a finger at Rep. Adam Schiff, the leader of the Dems' impeachment circus, and essentially uttering the words of the opening argument by defense attorney Vincent LaGuardia Gambini in "My Cousin Vinny" when he told the jury: "Everything that guy just said is bull****."

But then again, that could pretty much be the rejoinder to everything that has been thrown at Trump since he was elected in 2016.

From Day 1, we've seen an all-out effort to discredit Trump and his supporters. It began during surveillance of his campaign by an out-of-control intelligence apparatus that thought it knew best how to run the country and couldn't tolerate an outsider, particularly one such as Trump who sometimes spoke in crassly unapologetic terms.

It has continued at every turn. And if it meant smearing good people along the way, such as Justice Brett Kavanaugh, it was all deemed worthy of stopping Trump and his looked-down-upon supporters.

While the Democrats have seemingly led the charge — and certainly are the most culpable for the ongoing acrimony that has gripped Washington, D.C. — they are not solely to blame. No, they have been joined by a cadre of never Trump neo-conservatives such as Bill Kristol and country club never Trump Republicans such as Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who can't stomach somebody from outside of their circles occupying the White House.

However, perhaps most damaging, have been the career bureaucrats who believe they have the right to set U.S. policy and certainly, in their minds, not the prerogative of somebody from outside the ruling class elected by a bunch of rubes.

That's what this is about. It's about thwarting the will of the people and preventing the reelection of Trump. For too many, the 2020 election can't be left in the hands of the same people who voted Trump into office. Hence, we have this preposterous impeachment proceeding.

If any doubt remained about how Trump voters are viewed, that reality was clearly visible Saturday on CNN when anchor Don Lemon engaged in mocking Trump voters along with guests, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali and anti-Trump author Rick Wilson.

Wilson got the ball rolling by discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's contentious interaction with an NPR reporter. Wilson stated Pompeo "knows deep in his heart that Donald Trump couldn't find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter U and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it. He knows that this is, you know, an administration defined by ignorance of the world. And so that's partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience. You know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump."

Then, Wilson, in a thick Southern drawl gave his impression of Trump supporters, saying "Donald Trump's the smart one — and y'all elitists are dumb."

Ali wasn't about to be left out of the fun, adding "You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling."

"Your math and reading," Wilson said. "All those lines on the map."

The video clip went viral after former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer tweeted it, saying "The arrogance, the dismissiveness, the smug cackling, the accents. If Donald Trump wins re-election this year, I’ll remember this brief CNN segment late one Saturday night in January as the perfect encapsulation for why it happened."

Lemon was literally laughing so hard he was wiping away tears. "That was a good one," Lemon told his guests. "I needed that."

You know who else needed that? The rest of America.

Despite Lemon's sad attempt at an apology, it presented a full-on view of the disdainfully dismissive and downright nasty nature of the Beltway bunch's opposition. Still unable to reconcile Trump being president, they salve their wounded over-inflated intellects by reassuring each other of their superiority over those who voted for Trump.

It all circles back to the impeachment process being nothing more than an attempt to undo an election.

Indeed, in the words of Barrister Gambini, it's all bull.

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Ruthenberg is a multiple award-winning columnist and writer for the Enid News & Eagle. Contact him at

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