“President Trump may not know a lot about the framers, but they certainly knew a lot about him.”
— Rep. Jamie Raskin, House Impeachment Manager.
That’s probably the quote that sticks with me the most through this second impeachment of Donald Trump. We don’t live in unprecedented times. History abounds with precedent. The Framers of our Constitution were smart guys who knew a lot of history. A would-be ruler riling up the mob to attack his opponents is Despot 101. The issue here is not whether Donald Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors or whether he intended to negate an election. He did. His place in history is secure. He’ll occupy a position of disgrace with the likes of Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan.
The question is how the Senate will be remembered — and, let’s be candid — how the Republicans in the Senate will be remembered. Will they, at long last, have a sense of honor? Or do they, like so many of Trump’s followers, hate liberals more than they love America? Trump hates everyone, not just liberals. And he clearly doesn’t give a shit about America. But, he’s more than willing to take advantage of a reflexive hatred of liberals to hold on to power. Hell, he didn’t think twice about putting Mike Pence’s life in danger. We saw today just how close Mitt Romney came to Trump’s howling mob. At least one Capitol Police officer died and many others were injured defending these Senators.
How will the Senators respond — will they grovel before the wannabe strongman and ask for seconds? Or will they remember their pride, maybe show some respect for themselves, for the Senate, for the Framers and for the country? I mean, I suspect I know. There will probably be something like 56 votes for conviction with most of the Republican Senators finding a way to tell themselves that this was o.k. In our state, Sen. Braun is obviously a lost cause. His obsequious subservience to Trump knows no limits. I don’t hold out much hope for Sen. Young, but I think he does have a somewhat stronger sense of honor than does Sen. Braun. In the likely event that he votes to acquit, his conscience might at least bother him a bit.
This fealty by a major political party to a man who embodies malice, ignorance, and self-aggrandizement is unsustainable. Our country depends on having two healthy, viable political parties, divided by policy differences, but united by a love of our country and its people. What we have now is not the way.
Senator Young showed more courage trying to protect his colleagues from the mob on January 6th than he’s shown since. Too bad he doesn’t feel that strongly about protecting his constituents.
“As the Senate began to evacuate, there was little evidence of a proper plan. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) positioned himself near Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to act as a guard, Collins said later.”
Jack Simmerman says
Braun posted a “long winded” statement as to why he did not believe the “trial” was constitutional. On Facebook got over 5000 responses with only a few supporting him and many very much opposed. Perhaps, he best start being concerned with Indiana voters than pleasing Trump..
Paul K Ogden says
Senator Young has his moments when it looks like he might do the right thing, but then let’s us down. Senator Braun never provides that glimmer of hope. He’s 100% Trumper.
Bob Cook says
There are many, many different polls and such (I won’t link them here — you can easily find them) showing that a large majority or merely sizable portion of the GOP base believe Biden’s election is illegitimate, QAnon is true, and the biggest threat to America is Democrats/liberals, with a response that demands direct action/violence. And, on top of this, the most active voters and contributors to the GOP are MORE likely to be OK will all these things. If you’re positive on any of these issues, you are in effect enabling the worst behavior, because you haven’t determined it’s a nonstarter, and Todd Young is well-aware that if he steps out too far he’s going to be primaried on the right. So in the end he’ll be like many GOP politicians disturbed by all this — he’ll kvetch privately, but he won’t step out and speak out.
It’s a hard place to be in for Young politically, but he swore an oath to the Constitution, not the Republican Party. If he didn’t want to be in that situation, he could have resigned.
As it is, for both Braun and Young and the rest of the GOP senators, I think the anger they are showing about impeachment has very little to do with the merits of the case and a lot more with the realization that this will hang around their necks forever. For all of them, their obituary some day will reference how they voted on the Trump impeachments in the very first sentences. I’m sure that Indiana senator Earl Landgrebe might have done lots of fine things in his political career, but what’s he remembered for? His quote of “Don’t confuse me with facts, I’ve got a closed mind” in regards to Nixon.
And they have to know that the process argument – that it’s unconstitutional to impeach a former President – is nonsense and it’s not giving them the cover they’d hoped for.
The options left for the GOP senators at this point are fulfilling their oath, getting primaried and losing their political careers while maintaining their dignity … or metaphorically eating a poop sandwich in hopes of keeping Trump happy. Meanwhile, the world is amazed at how many senators are asking for seconds and thirds on that sandwich when the first option doesn’t seem all that bad… and Trump has a record of turning on you regardless of how many sandwiches you eat for him.
What Lindsey Graham said back in 2016 rings true – they let Trump be their candidate, he’s destroyed the GOP, and they all deserve it.