Partisanship, and decency

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Guilt or innocence shouldn't hinge on the "R" or "D" label.

AS THE OLD SAYING goes: "Let's not get out over our skis."

Whether it's the older issues like the Mueller report or the newer stunner with a whistleblower complaint, a national deep breath is needed - along with clear, precise evidence, followed by lawful process, rather than emotion and divisive rhetoric.

One side appears in a rush toward impeachment, while the other side seems to be in "hear no evil, see no evil" mode. Neither position is very reassuring to a nation weary of politics and politicians.

It's appropriate for both sides to gather facts and seek the truth. Right now, the only thing known for sure is that a whistleblower complaint was filed properly under the law; the Trump-appointed inspector general for the intelligence community found the complaint "credible" and "urgent"; and under the law Congress is the designated place for the inspector to make the report and begin the assessment process.

THIS IS WHAT really bothers us, and should bother all Americans of every political persuasion.

In dysfunctional Washington - and, increasingly, in state capitals - how any given issue, no matter the substance, is viewed and handled is entirely dependent on partisan loyalty.

When Republicans controlled the House of Representatives and Bill Clinton was president, it was deemed crucial to America's survival by the majority that Clinton be impeached for sexual impropriety with an intern and then lying about it. Democrats lined up behind their Democrat president and presented the entire matter as little more than a fever dream for Republicans.

With Democrats controlling the House and Donald Trump as president, failure to impeach Trump for his serial behavioral issues is presented with America's future hanging in the balance. Meanwhile, Republicans stand behind their president and suggest Democrats have lost their minds.

NOW JUST IMAGINE, if you will, that George W. Bush had fooled around with an intern and lied to a grand jury about his bad behavior. Democrats would have hollered for his head.

Likewise: Imagine Barack Obama had suggested in a phone call that the foreign leader had better get on board with digging up dirt on a Republican political rival. Republicans would have been out in the streets with torches and pitchforks.

The American people deserve better than this gaggle of political hacks on both sides whose sense of decency, of right and wrong, is totally determined by the "R" or "D" on someone's back. We teach our kids, in junior high, about America's high ideals and the lofty promises of our Founding Fathers.

Stop lying to them. Or start living up to those ideals.

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