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Republicans too scared to vote for impeachment are in a mess of their own creation

It seems, at this point, a foregone conclusion that at some point on Wednesday, Donald Trump will officially become the first president in United States history to be impeached twice in a single term. Whether the Senate will actually vote to convict him is a different story altogether, but the sheer enormity of his role in instigating last week's attempted coup at the Capitol — and continuing to cover for it even now — is impossible to wish away, no matter how much many in the Republican Party might wish it were so.

Despite — or perhaps because of — the undeniable fact that Trump has been directly responsible for igniting the long-simmering racism and resentment of the right-wing into this latest spasm of cultish violence, Republican lawmakers have managed to wedge themselves between a rock and a hard place, both of their own making. Here is Democratic Rep. Jason Crow (Colo.), putting that dynamic in stark terms:

"On one hand," these unnamed weepy Republicans seem to be saying, "the president is a lunatic who must be removed immediately."

"On the other," they continue, between big snotty sobs, "we're also extremely scared of the very people we enabled him to radicalize as part of our own monomaniacal pursuit of power."

It's a sentiment that's been confirmed several times, not least of all by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who reportedly told his colleagues to refrain from criticizing one another over their upcoming impeachment votes because it could put their lives in danger from the president's newly energized mob.

To which I say: Boo hoo. Tough.

Let's slice through the extremely stupid Gordian knot we've got here: Republicans who know the president is a clear and present danger to themselves and the country are evidently too afraid to remove the president because he is a clear and present danger to themselves and the country (but mostly themselves).

Tautologically dumb as that logic pretzel is, it also runs entirely counter to what's become one of the major conservative talking points of the 21st century: that you do not, under any circumstances, negotiate with terrorists. But is that not clearly what's happening here? The mob's politically orchestrated violence is being met with simpering capitulation by some of its very targets. If anything, it's not negotiating, so much as simply rolling over and letting the MAGA-addled insurrectionists have their way.

Adding another layer of irony to the GOP's pity party is the fact that, for years, Democrats have been subjected to the same racist, sexist, violent threats these Republicans now fear, but which somehow never prevented them from voting their consciences. Where were these conservative Doctors Frankenstein now terrified of their out of control monster when that same creature was threatening Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, or New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Why should their concern be given higher priority than that of the Democrats who have faced the same threats — if not worse — for years? The hypocrisy is staggering.

This is, as Omar herself would say, a perfect example of the GOP having "fucked around and found out." It's a terrible thing that people are afraid for their lives. It's awful that elected officials feel like they can't do their jobs, for fear of violent reprisals. But these are circumstances of their own making. If the Republicans can't even admit to that simple truth, then how can they be trusted to do anything else ever again?