FARGO — During the week a Trump-appointed, Trump-loving, Trump-donating ambassador implicated not only the president but every key figure around him in the Ukraine scandal, and several other important figures corroborated the scummy dealings, North Dakota's congressional threesome remained in happy obliviousness, denying the existence of a quid pro quo, a pro bono or Sonny Bono.
This makes them much like their orange god, President Donald Trump, who said after Gordon Sondland's devastating testimony that he barely knew the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, even though Sondland donated a million clams to the president's inauguration.
A million used to be good enough to buy a politician. Now it buys the cold shoulder.
Sondland spent his time testifying at the U.S. House impeachment inquiry shoveling Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen under the bus, assuming the bus was the size of Delaware. Sondland was so busy trying to save his own skin he's up for the part of Buffalo Bill in the "Silence of the Lambs" remake.
Sondland said there was a clear quid pro quo directed by the president. Trump wanted to use the withholding of military aid as a way to force Ukraine into making a very public announcement that it was going to investigate the son of his political rival, Joe Biden.
"Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret," Sondland said.
It was a moment that should've shook Republicans to their souls, if they hadn't already sold them to Trump. A president of the United States used official foreign policy to further his personal political fortunes.
In America, we call this bribery. Criminal organizations call it a shakedown. Only in third-world dictatorships do they call it business as usual. Sorta tells you what Republicans think of our nation.
Yet we heard nothing but denial and defiance from the brain-washed Republicans, including the trio of chickenscratch that represents North Dakota in Congress. Actually, we didn't even hear that from U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, whose staff sent out a couple of tweets unrelated to the impeachment inquiry.
We next expect to see Hoeven on Feb. 2, when he pokes his head out of the ground hoping to see Sonny Perdue's shadow handing out more welfare checks to farmers.
The state's other two cultists, Sen. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, dutifully went to bat for their fuhrer. Cramer dismissed the testimony of Sondland and the other reliable witnesses. Kevin's impossible bar in this affair is that Trump is going to have to say, "Yes, I did it. I'm guilty." Cramer's irremediable.
More was expected of Armstrong, but so far the biggest impact he's had in D.C. is an online GIF that shows him nodding off in a meeting like a hungover frat boy. He's in lockstep with the rest of the Republicans, worried more about party and power than the republic.
The evidence of Trump's wrongdoing is overwhelming. The only thing left is for Republicans to do the right thing. Sadly, they don't know what that is anymore. Particularly here in North Dakota.