We should expect nothing less, and yet why are we still surprised when the bulk of limp and floppy Republicans show their true colors?
Yesterday’s opening arguments in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial — devoted purely to the procedural question of whether the Senate has constitutional authority to try him — perfectly foreshadowed that cowardly Republican Senators lack the character, fortitude and cajones to do the right thing.
No amount of sound legal arguments, emotional testimony or heart-wrenching video evidence will persuade the majority of GOP Trumpians to break with their emperor in exile. This became clear at 5 p.m. last night when only six Republicans joined Democrats to move forward with the trial in a 56 to 44 vote. The trial will now proceed over the next week, but the outcome is pre-determined … unless 11 more Republicans are persuaded to put country over party.
But this is highly unlikely, despite the Pollyanna musings of some pundits and rumored signaling by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that those who voted yesterday against moving forward with the trial could still vote to impeach. I call BS on that in particular. Progressives should not fall for this Lucy-and-the-football bit again.
The question is, what’s the point of having the trial if the outcome of acquittal is already known? The answer is there’s never been a more important trial for the American people to witness for three reasons:
- The case that Trump committed treason by inciting an insurgency and attempting to overturn a free and fair election, will be indelibly imprinted on the nation and court of public opinion. This is the court that will convict Trump and make any future run for office a humiliating impossibility.
- Testimony and evidence will be ensigned to history books and civics lessons for decades, perhaps centuries, augmenting a teaching moment of this dark stain on democracy and its fragility
- The trial will lay the foundation of future challenges to Senators and other lawmakers who will go on the record to side with an ousted, de-platformed tyrant who tried to overthrow democracy
Two recent polls find the majority of Americans support the Senate convicting Trump, including 56% with this view in one poll and 58% in another poll saying he should be barred from holding office in the future. These numbers will surely increase after the trial and presentation of further evidence.
And if you need more of a hint that Trump will be acquitted, these polls are it. Because the one thing we can count on Republican lawmakers to do, is subvert the will of the majority of Americans.