I waited a bit before I finally decided to weigh in on Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. My “review” will be incomplete but it sends a powerful message that the American voters must heed or they will be complicit in ending America as we know it.
I’d be remise of I didn’t comment on Trump’s legal team. If this had been a normal trial they would have gotten their behinds kicked and lost! With the rigged jury only the former happened. They looked and sounded like fools. They repeatedly and demonstrably lied which a judge in a regular trial would have quickly stopped. Unfortunately Patrick Leahy did not have the powers of a real judge. My favorite line is when one of them forcefully declared that Trump did not insight a “Resurrection”. That spurred jokes not fit for this column. It was also one of the few truthful statement made by Trump’s team.
They also played an 11-minute video multiple times in a defense that used less than four of their allotted sixteen hours. Was that the Trump version of Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida or Lynard Skynard’s Free Bird? In either event it was worth what DJs used those songs for.
Trump’s defense team with the aid of Mike Lee (impartial juror?) repeatedly interrupted the prosecution’s closing arguments. The only thing missing was Dick Vitale screaming “You better get a TO, baby”.
My deserved praise has been heaped on the House Managers. However, theirs was an easy task excluding the rigged jury which in the end prevailed. Trump’s guilt was obviously to all but the 43 willfully blind cowards who voted “Not guilty” and a minority of followers at home. Unfortunately for the purposes of the Senate trial reality and public opinion did not count. If we are to ultimately save the republic they must.
When people ask me about this site I tell them the two best features are that it is both free and searchable. With those facts in mind, I often list the individuals who take certain outrageous votes. I want this site to serve as both an opposition research source for challengers and their campaign staffs as well as a voter guide. Simply type the name of an incumbent candidate in the search box, hit enter and you will be led many of the greatest outrages in their voting record.
Here are the 43: John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummins of Wyoming, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley of Missouri, John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Mike Braun and Todd Young of Indiana, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Jim Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Rounds and John Thune of South Dakota, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, along with Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
By a quirk of the alphabet and preceding votes Rubio was the 34th or acquitting vote. His allegiance to Trump has been hypocritical – standard operating procedure for Rubio if you have followed his political career at all – but I predict will also be ironic. This verdict helped keep Trump alive as a factor in what is left of the GOP. At this point it is only a rumor but I would not be surprised to see Ivanka Trump challenge him in the 2022 Florida GOP primary. If she does I predict she will beat him. If that happens he will have played a part in his own political demise.
I’m a political junkie who especially follows the Senate and there are several of the 43 I could not pick out of a lineup. Do they all think this vote gives them immunity in a future MAGA domestic terrorist attack? Does Tim Scott think he will not by judged by the color of his skin? How many of the MAGA crowd could pick Mike Braun, Mike Crapo, Steve Daines etc. out of a crowd of guys in suits fleeing the Senate chambers? Josh Hawley may be somewhat of a known commodity to the radical right now but he certainly wasn’t on January 6th raised fist notwithstanding.
In addition to Rubio 14 of the 43 are up for reelection in 2022 and as of yet have not announced they are retiring: Blunt, Boozman, Crapo, Grassley, Hoeven, Johnson, Kennedy, Lankford, Lee, Moran, Paul, Tim Scott, Thune and Young. I won’t do a detailed analysis here but while most are in safe red states a few are in at least somewhat purple ones. The Democrats have to target them for the sake of the future of American democracy even if knocking them off is somewhat of a longshot.
I’m certainly not holding up Myanmar or Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as sterling examples but she is currently sitting in jail for possession of walkie talkies and Trump is at least temporarily free. You have to wonder about that and more so about the people who enabled that to happen.
Members of Congress need to be courageous visionaries; not people intimidated by a bully and therefore afraid to take appropriate action. I believe that in sum and total the United States is the greatest country in the history of the globe. I want to see it stay that way and together the voters can make it happen.
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