News & Politics

Trump Angers GOP Congressman With 'Civil War' Retweet

President Donald Trump waves after speaking with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Pratt Industries, Sunday, Sept 22, 2019, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A Republican congressman called out Donald Trump for retweeting a post that mentions “civil war” if Trump is impeached.

In an appearance on Fox News, Pastor Robert Jeffress predicted national catastrophe if the Democrats succeed.

We could say that presidents don’t usually go there, but we’ve said that so often about Trump that it doesn’t matter. What matters is the response.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger represents the 16th district in Illinois. He is one of the few congressmen who refused to support Donald Trump for president in 2016, claiming he didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either.

Lately, he’s been keeping his anti-Trump rhetoric to a minimum. But his angry response to Trump’s retweet of Jeffress’s comment on “civil war” went a little too far.

In his eagerness to show his political independence, Kinzinger made an error. As Pastor Jeffress pointed out, he never predicted a civil war if Trump were impeached. He said there would be a “civil war like fracture” in America.

The Hill:

“I was not predicting and certainly not advocating an actual civil war,” Jeffress said on Todd Starnes’s Fox News Radio program, “but what I am saying is this: if President Trump, for whom 63 million Americans voted, if he becomes the first president in history to be actually removed from office I believe that’s going to create a long lasting wound in this country, just like the Civil War did.”

Kinzinger’s sense of outrage may be misplaced, but only because Trump didn’t explicitly say that “civil war” would occur if he was forced out. The congressman’s point, however, is well taken. For Trump to approve of some sort of connection between his political fate and peace is indeed “repugnant.”

I think it’s not much of a prediction that we would see violence in the streets if Trump were impeached and convicted in the Senate. Trump would see to that. Since he has no moral center, no sense of history, no respect for the office he holds, there is nothing that would constrain him from hinting at violence. He may even claim the entire impeachment process was illegal and refuse to leave.

We are entering uncharted territory in America, where a president can’t separate his personal political fortunes from the national interest. Trump’s call to Ukraine’s president was probably not illegal, and may not be impeachable. But that doesn’t make it right — not by a long shot. Politicians go to great lengths to dig up dirt on their opponents but there are and must be limits. Trump constantly violates those limits, claiming that as president, he can do anything. Down that road lies madness.

The time is coming when Republicans are going to have to judge Trump in his entirety — the man, his administration, and his presidency. I’m not one who believes Republicans need to redeem themselves somehow or “save their souls.” Politics isn’t a religion and in these hyperpartisan times, you dance with the guy who brung ya. To many Republican politicians, it’s a matter of survival to stick with Trump, so you can hardly cast blame on them for defending the president from the extremely partisan nature of the political attacks.

Voting for or against impeachment and conviction should be entirely a matter of conscience. That it won’t be is a travesty and tragedy for America.

(Note: Rep. Kinzinger represents my district and I have supported him in the past.)