I doubt anyone in my true target audience for today (the 53 Republican senators) will read this article. However it is my analysis of exactly what is going on at the moment. The event that dominated the political news last week and will continue to for at least this week is the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The main reason it is coming into this week is the endeavor to please Trump. That is coupled with a hunger for TV time. I suspect, and time will tell, that it also may include the fact that Midnight Mitch McConnell is much smarter than Trump. That is an indisputable fact; I just don’t know if it is a factor yet. Let’s explore.
If Trump and his defense team were smart they would have ended the impeachment trial Saturday afternoon. They would have simply said the House Managers failed to prove anything impeachable, and therefore demanded a dismissal of the charges. I find it difficult to believe that at least 51 Republican Senators would have defied Trump’s defense team especially if Trump put the word out that he wanted their votes.
Americans are busy with their lives on Saturday afternoons and would not have been glued to their TV sets; not watching political telecasts anyway. Trump’s base watches Fox News and they, with the possible exception of their lone legitimate journalist, Chris Wallace, would have spun the news to make it look like a prudent use of taxpayer funds. Trump is best served by a speedy conclusion for one extremely important reason – the longer it takes the more truth that comes out and the truth is not Trump’s friend.
Another reason the trial didn’t end on Saturday is because the members of Trump’s defense team wanted TV time. Most Americans have this strange obsession with being on TV. Years ago there was a late night weekend TV show in New York City that was almost entirely based on the camera crew coming up to average people in the street and offering to put them on TV if they would take off their clothes. It was amazing how many people did.
Trump is obviously guilty of the impeachment charges and a great variety of other transgression, most of which are crimes. Despite that fact I predict that willful ignorance will prevail and all 53 GOP senators will vote to leave Trump in office. Trump’s defense team is basically offering the same arguments that the House Republicans did. As the days go by those arguments are continually refuted; not that that matters in the current fact free sycophant Republican congressional caucus.
Allow me to just review a few Trump and minions denials of the recent past.
During the campaign debate opponents questioned Trump about the pending Trump University litigation. Trump boasted that he could very easily win the case anytime he chose to. Interestingly shortly after the election Trump settled the case for $25 million. I know a lot of people and corporations choose to settle nuisance lawsuits just to make them go away. $25 million is a lot of going away money!
Asked about the Stormy Daniels payoff Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he knew nothing about it and to ask his attorney, Michael Cohen. Subsequent Cohen testimony, bolstered by physical evidence, proved Trump was personally involved and knew about the plot from its inception.
The latest example arose in the last few days. Lev Parnas claimed that Trump removed Maria Yovanovitch from her post as American ambassador to Ukraine for personal political reasons and that Trump decided to do so at a small dinner party of six that included Parnas and Trump. Trump claims to not know Parnas. CBS claims to have tapes of the dinner conversation. As of Sunday morning’s newspapers video evidence supporting Parnas’ claim became public knowledge.
If the Republican Party and individual Republican senators are to survive long-term they do not want to be on the wrong side of history. As the information keeps coming out sooner or later even core Republican primary voter support for Trump will take a precipitous drive. Already non-core Republican voters are overwhelmingly distrustful of Trump and association with him is a negative to them. Trump may help you survive a 2020 primary but the 2020 general and beyond looks to be a different story.
Midnight Mitch has so far run the impeachment basically at Trump’s directive. Could it be that Trump is little more than a useful idiot for McConnell? One that Mitch feels can be discarded at the appropriate time while his involvement and complicity will be lost in the shuffle? McConnell’s only two concerns are political self-preservation and maintaining his majority in the Senate. If he stays with Trump too long he may lose on both counts. In addition he very much risks the long term viability of the Republican Party.
Trump has never cared about the GOP; he only uses it. Trump is not “one of the boys”. In fact most Washington Republicans hate him. Can’t 20 or more GOP senators simply turn on him and rid themselves, the Party and the country of him? Sadly, I think the answer is “No”. They lack the courage, foresight and patriotism that would entail. I think the task of saving America – and possibly the planet – will fall to “we the people” this autumn.
If the Republican Party goes the way of the Whig Party in the process those most hurt will be the Trump sycophants. The ordinary citizens who so vehemently support Trump today can burn their MAGA hats, throw their Trump lawn signs in the trash and claim they never supported Trump. The sycophant senators are on tape for all time. There is a market for a center-right Party in America, not a fascist Party blindly devoted to one person.
The fate of the GOP is at stake and it appears its elected “leaders” will kill it.
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