We’ve all been looking forward to putting Trump behind us, but the plain fact now is, this still ain’t over.
I’m not even sure it would have been over had Trump been banned from ever running again, since that would just have made it obvious to his underground army that they will need to achieve their goals with guns rather than even bothering with the political route — although, let’s face it, they will probably reach for their guns anyway if they lose in 2024.
It’s also possible to interpret that part of McConnell’s speech in which he blatantly lied about it being Nancy Pelosi’s fault for not bringing the impeachment article over to the Senate earlier, as a big wink to signify that his big moral take down of Trump was not at all to be taken seriously.
But what should also be noted is the disingenuousness of Mitch and the others basing their votes to acquit on their alleged belief that this whole impeachment was unconstitutional. If they had really believed that, then the logical thing to do would not be to legitimize the vote by participating in it, but instead to refrain from voting altogether! Specifically, the way to do this would be for all of them, just before the vote, to just stand up and leave the room.
But the problem with doing that, of course, would be that this would merely alter the ratio of the quorum by reducing the number of those “present", which would, in turn, throw victory to those voting to convict, at least according to Benjamin Wofford in The Washingtonian:
In theory, a vote to convict the President (or anyone else) would count as legal with as few as 34 members, not 67, assuming the absolute minimum (51) participated.
Whoopsy! That’s not exactly the result these crafty Republicans had been looking for!
Their original scheme had not been to simply lodge some drive-by principled protest, it had been to come up with the perfect hook, some arcane-sounding jibber-jabber with just enough patina of impenetrable obscurity to dissuade close scrutiny, allowing them to register mock disgust at the totally unacceptable behavior of a guilty-as-sin president, while at the same time “accidentally” letting him off with an acquittal, and doing it in such a way that wouldn’t later give him reason to come after them.
So they did what they did, even though it made no logical sense, but as luck would have it (for them), everybody had given up expecting logical sense from Republican leadership decades ago, way before Trump even came along.
And as an added thought:
While I was never big on getting rid of the filibuster, assuming it would come back to haunt us by not being there for us once we found ourselves back in the minority, I’m starting to conclude that every time we Democrats put our ambitions on pause to do the “fair” thing and work with the folks across the aisle, it becomes a case of “Lucy and the football” — which is to say, we live to regret it.
(By the way, for Ted Rall's political take on the Lucy/football gag, see here.)
Maybe we need to temporarily put aside solving the problem of insuring minority party rights in the Senate for some other time.
In the meantime, maybe we need to enact our Democratic agenda — which, let’s not forget, is backed in most polls by a wide majority of all Americans anyway! — just to prove, once and for all, that being fair to everybody in the country works out better for everybody in the country — which includes poor people not born with the same opportunities rich folks were, but also the rich people, too.
What makes me think the American economy will do better under us Democrats, with our annoying inclination toward fairness toward everybody?
Because history shows it usually does! Seriously, you can google it! The American economy tends to do better during Democratic administrations!
(Why does that happen, you ask? These two guys came up with eight possible explanations.)
But for some reason, we keep forgetting that this country is designed to be self-governed, which is because it belongs to all of us, not just those somehow connected to power and wealth, and all of us deserve a say in what kind of a country we want it to be.
Not that demonstrating how good a self-governing country can be will necessarily stop those armed thugs from, once again, trying to turn the United States into a banana republic! Still, it’s something that, at some point, has to be done.