Pundits are saying that the Senate will vote to acquit former president Donald Trump at the end of his second impeachment trial, set to start on Tuesday. I’m not so sure. After the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the House of Representatives passed an article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” The article accuses the former president of engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors “by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” It charges him with lying about voter fraud, trying to get the Georgia secretary of state to falsify election results, and encouraging his supporters to attack the Capitol to stop the process that would certify Biden’s victory.
“So for a Republican senator, what’s the political calculation on impeachment?” There is part of the problem, isn’t it, Dr. Richardson? Not how to uphold the oath they swore, not how to best serve their state, not how to best serve the country, but what is the political cost. They need to have their oaths repeated to them over and over and over. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
The Republican Party is splitting in two. Republicans are going to find it more and more difficult to straddle the schism by keeping a foot on each side. The impeachment vote is going to force many Republicans to choose which Republican Party is most likely to survive, especially in light of the corporate financial backing that is no longer a sure thing. Republican senators who abstain the impeachment vote, who are not "present" that day, may be seen by the Tumpistas as de facto votes to convict, or perhaps they can claim to be boycotting an "unconstitutional" process and thus escape responsibility, and choosing sides, for the moment.
A lot depends on the propaganda wing of the party; Limbaugh, Hannity, et al. One would like to see a corporate sponsorship abandonement/boycott of these media fountains of dis-information similar to what has occurred in the political wing. That kind of financial strangling, along with pending libel lawsuits, could go a long way to setting the Republican Party on the track toward sanity and decency and honesty and integrity it used to have. Well, sort of.
Bumper sticker I just thought of; "Sanity not Hannity!"
Thank you Heather. I appreciate this dissection of the political layout.
In my opinion, this trial will render to the number of Republicans that are willing to live with the consequences of their vote. Its not about ethics, its simply a numbers game. It is sad for the Nation that the trial has nothing to do with with facts, but self preservation for members of a failing political party.
We must remember these obnoxious trump Republicans are nothing more than the loud children in class that thrive on attention to bolster themselves where they are sorely lacking substance. We truly need a teacher at the helm to wrangle these Members back in order.
As I read numerous accounts of Matt Gaetz traveling to Wyoming to piss on Liz Cheney's lawn, figuratively, I find I am more repulsed by him than any of the other attention seekers. He actually got on my radar when he forced his way into the chambers where Dr Fiona Hill was testifying on Trumps first Impeachment. My first blush of him was accurate as I thought, what an ass*hole. This still rings true today.
I wish, that the theme of the Impeachment trial would be "let your conscience be your guide".
Stay safe, stay well.
This Letter should be part of a new chapter in a revised edition of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party. It already shows a good grasp of the GOP's long-term trajectory and a sense of what may happen next. Its split is an epochal event in US history.
Clayton L. Thyne, a political scientist, is getting some exposure (e.g. Boston Globe interview) for stating that Jan 6 doesn't amount to a coup. Since Dr Richardson has stated repeatedly that it WAS an attempted coup, she should challenge him to a public debate. The public needs to be educated on America's right-wing coup d'etat, which proved that It Can Happen Here, and that American exceptionalism is a false idol.
My only quibble is that the Republicans have succeeded in tying up a whole bunch of state governments. My seat in the belly of the beast of top 50 businesses allowed me to see unbelievable resources — money — dished out by the trainload to states vulnerable to GOP takeover. The Republicans understood, and my Democrats failed to see, that control of the states yielded control of the congressional districts which controlled the Electoral College AND the House. It is a long trail, worthy of Ho Chi Minh.
If the Senate had a secret vote on whether to convict, I do believe Trump would be toast.
The Washington Post has been tracking individual senators and putting them in categories, which are:
In favor of conviction, 40
Open to conviction, 21
Opposed to conviction, 37
I believe the evidence the House managers will present will be shocking and conclusive and, for the sake of argument, assume all those open to conviction and undecided will be convinced to convict. I thought four of those opposed would have to change their minds, but Heather shows another path. If six of those opposed were absent, 63 votes would be sufficient to convict. So there are some more possibilities, certainly more than I'd thought of. Thank you Heather: as usual, you've opened a new door and given me a fresh view.
The article makes all the senators by category so we can get to work on any that we can reach, particularly if we're constituents.
Or we can invite them to go for a nice drive in the countryside.
"An ABC News/Ipsos poll released today shows that 56% of Americans believe that Trump should be convicted and barred from ever holding office again." Fifty-six percent. That, to me, is a stunningly low number.
Until now, this quasi-Pollyanna has held out some hope that Americans might finally reject the dangerous, authoritarian traitor they elected. I believed that the January 06 sedition riot would tip the balance.
I understand the allegiance of terrorist groups to the ex-president. Those are his darlings. They're perfect for each other. As for the remainder, I find their blind loyalty deeply disturbing, to say the least. Or, in the jargon of the day, "concerning."
Stacey Abrams wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Feb. 7 entitled “Our democracy faced a near-death experience. Here’s how to revive it.” I’m quoting the the second half of it here:
“One of the first steps must be an overhaul of the Senate filibuster, which has long been wielded as a cudgel against the needs of millions who struggle. Today, the parliamentary trick creates a sinister threat to our nation: the ability of a minority of senators, who represent 41.5 million fewer people than the Senate majority, to block progress favored by most Americans. Democrats in Congress must fully embrace this mandate to fast-track democracy reforms that give voters a fair fight, rather than allowing undemocratic systems to be used as tools and excuses to perpetuate that same system. This is a moment of both historic imperative and, with unified Democratic control of the White House and Congress, historic opportunity. The agenda to restore democracy also includes passing the For the People Act to protect and expand voting rights, fight gerrymandering, and reduce the influence of money in politics; the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore full protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and the Protecting Our Democracy Act to constrain the corruption of future presidents who deem themselves above the law. These landmark bills have broad-based support, and would have passed long ago were it not for the obstructionist leaders who fear losing their influence if the American people have more power of their own. Further, fixing our democracy requires we finally allow our fellow Americans in D.C. and Puerto Rico, the vast majority of whom are people of color, to have full access to our democracy. That means D.C. statehood and bonding self-determination for Puerto Rico. In the District, as white extremist mobs destroyed the Capitol, murdered a police officer, and threatened the lives of elected officials and residents, Washingtonians were left defenseless because D.C. is not a state and it’s chief executive head had no authority to deploy the National Guard.
Time is short. The forces standing against a democracy agenda seek to preserve and expand paths to power by shrinking the voting pool rather than winning votes over. In reaction to the historic turnout of 2020 and Democratic victories in Georgia, already this year, more than 100 bills have been put forward in state legislatures seeking to restrict voting access. These efforts will not end without a fight.
We don’t know how many chances we will get to reverse democracy’s near-death experience. We must not waste this one. We must go big-the future of democracy demands it.”
One of the High Crimes and Misdemeanors in Trump's second impeachment trial that has yet to be addressed was his dereliction of duty. From the time of the election through the day he left office, Biden's predecessor did not significantly address the ongoing plague of Covid-19 that faced the country. In terms of American lives lost, the status of the virus was the biggest challenge the country was facing. But other than off the cuff remarks to reporters, Trump quite simply dropped the ball. Why? Because it wasn't about him. The accusation that he never really cared about individual citizens was in clear view. It's shocking that this presidential vacuum was not called out more pointedly as events transpired. When is it acceptable that a wartime president suddenly and egregiously drops accountability and communication with Americans because he feels wronged personally? That was the real crime.
The saddest part of Trump Impeachment 2.0 is that Republicans will once again fall into line and put party ahead of country. If inciting insurrection isn't grounds for conviction, why even have an impeachment process? If there were term limits perhaps our so-called leaders would vote their consciences, which are swiftly becoming a fading luxury of a bygone era.
I need to keep my expectations in check-- and this gives me some hope that justice might be served in this instance. The sad truth is that justice has nothing to do with the outcome. It's about power & money (the same in this instance). And so it is in our "justice" system writ large. Still I will hope because I cannot stand the thought of that man calling himself "former" and living off the dole of my tax $$ anywhere but prison!
...an attempted coup by THE president of the United States--which Trump was before, during and even for two weeks after the attempted coup; he was the POTUS AS the attempted coup was under way and made little effort to stop it once under way. We have to keep re-inforcing that. These charges have nothing to do with him as "former" president. He was acting in his official/legal capacity AS the president, leveraging the power AND the resources of his office and command.
Ready for what comes, tomorrow. We will touch base tomorrow night. Thank you for being our seamstress of history. No one does it better.
The cult members claim that the events in the Capitol weren’t violent or even actually a riot. Certainly not sedition. Just no big deal. Not like AntiFa completely burning down multiple cities last Summer. Most importantly, their strongman t****p had nothing to do with it.
How the rest of us can persuade our troubled fellow citizens that facts even exist is a challenge beyond my imagination.
Wondering what you think of the Time article? https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/
I hope your assessment is correct. A conviction could prove to be the catharsis the nation needs, even if it causes the hardcore Trump extremists to snarl and otherwise rage. (I suspect the prospect of prison has cowed them sufficiently to prevent uprisings, now that they've seen so many insurrectionists arrested and charged.) Enough Republican senators may finally decide to make a clean break from the madness that Marjorie Taylor Greene personified last week, making the GOP look positively wacko. I still see conviction as a longshot, given all the cowardice we've seen in Congress the last four years. But you've given us a reason for hope.