If all has gone as I anticipated as I commence writing this, we are just into 2020 and anticipating President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Today I’d like to reflect on that, in the process make a prediction and end with a few questions and observations. Let’s explore.
The entire outcome of the trial depends on a segment of public opinion. Trump is guilty of the charges and a plethora more that were not included in the articles of impeachment. The only relevant question is: did the hearings resonate with and change the opinion of the Republican primary electorate?
The Senate split is 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats; effectively a 53-47 split. Assuming the Democratic caucus votes as a block (not a certainty, especially if the 67 votes don’t materialize) that means 20 Republicans would have to vote to remove Trump from office.
In their hearts you know that all of them know he is guilty. In fact most of them don’t like Trump and never wanted him in the first place. The issue is the base. Trump remains extremely popular with the Republican primary voting base and Senators fear a primary challenge. At this point a few are beneficiaries of the Trump’s organized criminal enterprise. Many more are willing to hold their noses because Trump is giving them some of the things they wanted (i.e. tax breaks for the rich, lax if any enforcement of pollution rules which benefits their largest financiers and radical right wing federal judges). The remainder is simply acting out of fear and in political self-preservation.
The cross tab in polling I have been watching is what self-identified Republicans (only 29% of voters so self-identify) were doing in impeachment polls. The reality is that as of this writing the needle has hardly moved during the hearings and I expect it has remained largely unchanged by the time you are reading this. If that is so, there is no way 20 GOP Senators are going to vote to remove Trump from office. Even those that are retiring will neither suddenly see the light nor summon courage. The reality is that they will be seeking very lucrative lobbying jobs (that pay much more than a Senator’s salary) and/or jobs for their kids. In this polarized environment you can only lobby one party and you can’t effectively do that if you are persona non grata.
Because of the work of the Fox led right wing mythology machine many Republican voters have been fed a steady stream of long ago debunked conspiracy theories which they believe because they have heard them so many times over. (Does this remind you of Joseph Goebbels’ theory?)
Perhaps willful ignorance is bliss – until the inevitable reckoning anyway?
Would Richard Nixon have survived if he had Fox News to help him?
If John McCain were still with us could he have influenced the GOP Senate caucus? While I often disagreed with him on policy I never questioned his patriotism or loyalty to his oath to uphold the Constitution.
Something for Trump to consider: Very few mobsters die at home in their own bed with their family at their bedside. Perhaps not now but someday it will catch up with you.
Every day it looks more and more like it will come down to “we the people” this fall. Are you ready to do your part to defend America and democracy?
This article was written well ahead of publishing in order to accommodate my year end hiatus and is the property of tellthetruthonthem.com. Its content may not be used without citing the source. It may not be reproduced without the permission of Larry Marciniak.