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Mary Schmich

Schmich

The members of the Adam Schiff Appreciation Society are now called to order.

But first, a trigger warning.

Do you enjoy calling the Democratic California congressman “Shifty Schiff” or “Liddle Adam Schiff” or “a deceitful little weasel”?

If so, this space will not be a happy place for you today. For your own well-being, please adjourn now to the Sports pages or to a YouTube replay of the Super Bowl halftime show.

Seriously.

If you cheered when President Donald Trump tweeted that Schiff is a “very sick man” who “has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”?

If you laughed when the president called the congressman “little Adam Schitt” or accused him of treason?

If you applauded when you heard about the Arizona man who threatened to kill Schiff (perhaps, as was reported Tuesday, because of something he saw on Fox News)?

Please, for the love of your own blood pressure, get out of here ASAP.

If, on the other hand, you’re one of the many Americans who in recent days have thought, “Thank God for Adam Schiff,” then stay awhile for our post-trial appreciation.

That impeachment trial is over, my fellow Americans, and we’re left to pick up the litter along the road to November’s election.

But first we owe Schiff a thank-you.

Even during this fractious, dispiriting trial there have been occasional moments of exhilaration, even beauty. Those long days in the U.S. Senate chamber have provided an education in American history and ideals, in how our Congress works, or doesn’t. Many of the most encouraging moments were brought by Schiff.

Before the trial, Schiff, who’s 59, wasn’t much recognized outside his Southern California congressional district.

Once described by Rolling Stone as “mild-mannered, judicious, vegan,” he was, at best, more widely known only as a talking head, almost always wearing a neat blue suit, the nerdy guy dispatched to one wonky news show or another to represent Team Democrat.

But as the lead prosecutor in the impeachment trial, Schiff summoned a different side of himself.

He stepped up to the front of that big, wood-paneled chamber and, time and time again, displayed the force of his eloquence, intelligence, logic, passion, persistence and valor.

He laid out complex information clearly. He often spoke with no script. His words were made more powerful by the contrast they presented to the gleefully crass president on trial.

“Schiff made me proud to be American,” I heard someone say.

He made lots of us feel that way.

Even one Republican senator, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, remarked, “Schiff is very, very effective.”

In the end, of course, he wasn’t effective enough. Republicans, who hold the majority in the U.S. Senate, couldn’t be persuaded to convict Trump of abusing his power or obstructing the investigation into his dealings with Ukraine. Only two Republican senators defied their party to vote in favor of witnesses at the trial.

“History will not be kind to Donald Trump,” Schiff warned them in his final remarks before the final vote. “If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him ... your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath.”

Goliath wins, for now. We move on. November and a new election will be here soon, and, to use the language of Trump’s lawyers, the people will decide. Unless, of course, we’re sabotaged by Russian bots or nefarious schemes that won’t be uncovered until later.

How this trial is remembered by future generations isn’t known yet, but it’s a safe bet that when it’s recorded for posterity some of Schiff’s remarks will be highlighted in the official record.

His reminders that a single vote can change the course of history will be there. So will his reminder that “real political courage doesn’t come from disagreeing with our opponents but from disagreeing with our friends.” So will his exhortation that “truth matters.”

For all of that, and for being a good representative of the subset of Americans who believe as he does, we thank him.

Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich can be reached at mschmich@chicagotribune.com.

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(14) comments

Hive

When discussion drops to Zero-sum...we all lose. POTUS is an on His sleeve zero-sum bully who cries wolf when in need of atttention.

We elected this dinger, rejecting HRC...a choice We made. POTUS has proven time after time he is a common ding-ding, and those we elect time after time support him in a suicidal, tunnel vision-driven game.

These elected dingers and voters who put them there forget "what goes areound comes around...always." The sad part is voters are dim too and expect change from sacks who have no more gonads than the dinger we elected to lead us...

Not stupid? You the voter have choices. Make 'em.

Geez! it could not be plainer!

jdinfinity3

Extreme tunnel vision is nothing to be proud of. It's ignorance. Which is stupidity. Which allows one to skew the truth for themselves, to make something true when it's not. Which brings out the worst in humanity.

Trump was guilty of abusing power and obstructing, but his party made him above the law.

Leading to who the real prostitutes are, cajoling to his delight...

Along with every other idiotic, misinformed, ignorant white male, following a tyrant under a despicable, spiteful, hateful, nationalistic banner.

Those people end up on the wrong side of history.

Every time...

Nothing to be proud of.

jdinfinity3

Extreme tunnel vision is nothing to be proud of. It's ignorance.

Which allows one to skew the truth for themselves, to make something true when it's not.

Trump was guilty of abusing power and obstructing, but his party made him above the law.

Leading to who the real prostitutes are on their knees, and also to who they are cajoling for his delight...

jdinfinity3

I don't remember posting this before I edited it and removed the 'on their knees' part. Swear to God. Anyways, I reported it, as to have it removed...

Mr.Johnson

Mr. jdinifinity3, prostitute banging??? I thought Democrats were trying to make that legal.

Mr.Johnson

My "extreme tunnel vision” let’s me focus on what is important. A Partisan impeachment serves no one other than the egos of those trying to impeach. Partisan impeachment is wrong, has always failed and need not be repeated.

Mr.Johnson

Mr. jdinifinity3, I live in a world surrounded by incompetent Democrats and despciable Republicans.

Hive

Much so!

Hive

Forgot - insert "we" instead of "I"

Hive

All Bo, Duh!

jdinfinity3

Ignorance is bliss.

Not only those that are incapable of seeing the truth, but unwilling.

POTUS is a crimelord, prostitute banging, law breaking, loud mouth idiot (the short list).

And that's ok?

So...What world do you people live in Johnson?

Because I find people that support such, themselves, to be arguably despciable human beings as well...

You sir, are the sucker....

Hive

Mr J suffers "extreme" tunnel vision...and this author is a "Janey come lately.!"

As voters, no! let's say citizens snore!

Mr.Johnson

The Democrats thoroughly demonstrate “There’s a sucker born every minute .” Three years and countless times Mr. Adam Schiff has told them, he has the Smoking Gun, Bomb Shell Report, Overwhelming Evidence, Concrete Proof, etc, etc, that will be Trump’s downfall. Really? I’m still waiting. Lol

Mr. Adam Schiff saw his shadow yesterday and now we will have 5 more years of Trump.

jdinfinity3

The republicans thoroughly demonstrated the ultimate downfall of all political structures throughout the entirety of history.

That it is more important to have one person be above the law, than everyone to abide by it.

Because such, is so, so much better, in our own self interest. As they would tell it and have you believe.

Dark paths begin here. And they end in bloodshed down the road.

Welcome to the discussion.

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