As more and more pieces of the Russian collusion puzzle fall into place — was Trump negotiating a real estate deal with Moscow as he locked up the presidential nomination? Did Paul Manafort meet with Julian Assange in London? Did Roger Stone sanction the document dumps from WikiLeaks? — even those skeptical of the Mueller investigation have to start wondering if a foreign power tipped the presidential election.
But as guilty pleas pointing toward Russian influence mount, history teaches us that Republicans already have a reason to investigate Donald Trump for possible impeachment: sexual misconduct.
Let’s time-tunnel back twenty years to those more innocent days when Republicans threatened a Democratic POTUS with impeachment for … receiving out-of-wedlock oral sex. If Russia’s meddling in our nation’s most sacred event — the election of the Leader of the Free World — can’t set the impeachment gears grinding, surely the confessions of an extramarital genital grabber and twice-divorced sexual braggart should be cause enough for the GOP family-values crowd, right?
Wrong. On the September 29, 1998, cover of the Voice, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, a master of bullshit detection, dove into a dank witches’ brew brimming with Newts, Drudges, Tripps, and Starrs. What came bubbling up to the surface then was the Republican party’s hypocrisy, grown into a torrent today.
For example, why doesn’t former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, advocate of Clinton’s impeachment and current superbooster of Trump, blanch at our president’s sexual predation? Perhaps it’s because, as Tomorrow points out in one panel, Gingrich also had a penchant for extramarital oral pleasure — “so that he could say he had not had ‘sex.’ ” And what about conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, also featured in Tomorrow’s cartoon? He believed Clinton’s sexual transgressions were impeachment-worthy back then, so how about Trump’s nowadays? Not so much.
For those who think Donald Trump has debased the Republican Party — this great Voice cover from two decades ago makes it clear that, on the contrary, he has set the GOP free.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 3, 2018