Notice: I use the word “blind” in the following. Please allow me to apologize in advance to any who thinks I am belittling the unsighted community. I assure you I am not and am only using the word “blind” in a figurative sense.
I have long thought that no man is as blind as he who refused to see. Today I want to modernize my expression and simultaneously make it less misogynist. My new axiom is: No person is as blind as one who refuses to acknowledge the reality their eyes see.
Tuesday Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky tried to stop the second impeachment of Donald Trump by claiming that since he was no longer president it was unconstitutional. The measure was tabled – effectively defeated and killed by a vote of 55-45. 44 Republicans joined Paul. They are: John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis 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 of Indiana. Richard “Bank Run” Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, 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, Mike Lee of Utah, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran of Kansas, “Moscow” Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Rounds and John Thune of South Dakota, Marco Rubio and Rick “The Fifth” Scott of Florida, Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama along with Dan Sullivan and Todd Young of Alaska.
The Constitution and precedent are clear that a former official who committed an impeachable act while holding an office subject to congressional impeachment may be tried in the Senate subsequent to holding said office. If incitement of an insurrection isn’t an impeachable offense; I’m not sure what would be. Deciding what is an impeachable offense is the job of the House of Representatives who already spoke on that matter, hence the Articles of Impeachment. Besides the job of a juror –and after being sworn in that is exactly what each Senator is – is only to decide on innocence or guilt. If the verdict is guilty then the “penalty phase’ kicks in.
I content that the 45 acted like blind mice. Like “blind” I use the term “mice” in the figurative in that mice are portrayed as scared, spineless creatures. The reason given for many of the votes is that the Senators are afraid of Trump and/or his right wing terrorist followers. The solution to that condition is simple –resign immediately. I expect courage, wisdom and leadership from Senators. (My two, Burr and Tillis, aren’t scoring very high on those scales.)
The “sin” is especially egregious for the twenty (Cornyn, Cotton, Crapo, Cruz, Graham, Hagerty, Hawley, Kennedy, Lee, Lummis, McConnell, Moran, Portman, Risch, Rubio, Rick Scott, Shelby, Sullivan, Wicker and Young) who hold law degrees. Is it too much to expect of a law school graduate to be able to read the country’s foundational law and understand the concepts of juries and precedent?
I did find some integrity and wisdom on Tuesday. I found it in baseball. The Hall of Fame selection committee which is composed of baseball writers failed to elect Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons and Curt Shilling. Despite records that warrant admission to the Hall the writers decided that the taint of steroid use should bar them from enshrinement.
I love baseball. I have since a little boy. Despite coaching basketball at reasonably high levels for fifteen years it remains far and away my favorite sport. My regular readers know my somewhat inexplicable love of the Senate. I think it is sad when a bunch of scribes display more integrity and courage than nearly half of the sitting Senators.
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