Come November, We Must All Remember February 2, 2020
How do you spell Stalinist/sham trial? U-S- S-E-N-A-T-E 2-0-2-0. On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Senate, a wholly owned subsidiary of Demagogue/Tyrant Donald and run completely by his five-star general Mitch Majority Leader “Ditch Democracy” McConnell (R-KY) decided not to call for any, that’s right ANY witnesses. They did not want those witnesses to counter Donald’s “fake news” that he never did anything wrong in withholding aid to Ukraine unless that country promised to investigate, read, dig up “dirt” on Donald’s key Democratic presidential political rival Joe Biden. With this vote, the acquittal of Demagogue Donald probably on 2/05/2020 has been “signed, sealed, and delivered.” And those “pesky” little facts that keep dripping, dripping, and dripping out? What do facts mean in Trump’s/GOP alternate universe land anyway? Never mind that Trump’s former National Security adviser and conservative/hawkish stalwart John Bolton was a first-hand witness, as he says in his soon-to-be released book “In the Room Where it Happened.” According to Bolton’s manuscript, Demagogue Donald personally directed Mr. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials. This instruction by Trump to Bolton occurred in an early 5/2019 Oval Office conversation, more than two months before Donald personally asked Ukrainian president Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the infamous quid pro quo call that triggered this impeachment proceeding. Besides Bolton, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal “lawyer,” and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, now leading Donald’s defense, were in the Oval “room where it happened” in 5/2019 (nytimes.com, Haberman & Schmidt). Bolton did not follow Trump’s order to call Zelensky to discuss the “investigations” that he wanted (nytimes.com). Trump, of course, refused to let Bolton testify before the House over this matter when it was drafting impeachment charges against him. Now, at his impeachment trial in the Senate, Donald’s GOP lackeys at their “Supreme Leader’s” requests, read, orders, threats and then some, voted to deny any witnesses, especially Bolton, the right to testify on this key incriminating evidence. Ever heard of a trial, let alone an impeachment one with no witnesses? Again, this is no trial. It is a farce and a sham practiced by the GTP, Grand Trump Party, on our democracy
The GOP’s excuses? Anything will do. Alan Dershowitz’s “doctrine” that whatever a president does in pursuit of re-election is “inherently in the public interest” would get him an “F” in law school, but an “A”+ in the GOP Senate (See Savage, nytimes.com, 1/30/2020). So-called “moderate” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), calls the impeachment proceedings “partisan” and an “unfair Senate trial anyway,” so why waste time hearing extra witnesses (See latimes.com., 1/30/20, Haberkorn, Wire, Megerian, & Logan)? Sen. Murkowski, had you voted for witnesses, you would have made the Senate proceedings fairer. You would not have followed your ultra-partisan leader Mitch McConnell, an impeachment juror, who from the get-go stated he was coordinating everything with defendant Trump. We also have Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Remember when Trump nicknamed him “Little Marco” during the 2016 campaign? Well, Marco sure lived up to his nickname with his little, puny, mind-blowing excuse to deny witnesses. His comment, “Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove the President from office. I will not vote to remove the President because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation (cnn.com, Cillizza, 2/01/20).” Trump has already done irreparable damage and helped divide our nation since the day he took office. Removing him, IMHO, would start the healing and decrease the divisiveness. GOPers like Barry Goldwater who told Nixon in 1974 that he had virtually no defenders in the Senate and stated he should resign did not worry that VP Ford’s taking over would divide the country. Rubio’s statements strongly indicate that impeachment is just an “empty” remedy put in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers just to give their quill pens exercise.
And then there is TN GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander. Many in the media considered him a “thoughtful, reasonable” legislator. They erred “big time.” In Alexander’s view, Donald “acted improperly and crossed a line in the Ukraine scandal but said his actions were a long way from treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors (cnn.com., Sullivan, 2/01/20).” Give me a break! Withholding nearly $400 million dollars from Ukraine, an ally of ours fighting a bitter war with Russia, unless that country gives Trump “dirt” on Democratic rival Biden, sounds like out-and-out bribery to me. It also puts what our Founding Fathers feared most front and center, foreign meddling in our democratic affairs and the ability of another country to repeatedly blackmail us over such a deal (See Katyal, “Impeach,”2019). Third-term Senator Alexander is not running in 2020. He is worth more than $22 million and has invested much of his money in real estate and food processing (opensecrets.com). I guess even that much money in GOP circles is not enough. Maybe Alexander doesn’t want to lose friends of his who are big Trump supporters. Maybe he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to join a right-wing think tank or the ability to make comments now and then on GOP propaganda channel FOX News or other hard-right shows. In any event, Alexander, like most GOPers, is putting Donald and “Team Red” over his country, a far cry from what our Founding Fathers wanted.
The GOP currently has a 53-47 majority in the Senate. Democrats needed to get four “Red” Senators to join them to get witnesses to testify. With Alexander and Murkowski showing their Trumpist loyalty, Sen. Susan “Kavanaugh” Collins (R-ME), “suddenly” decided to vote for witnesses along with elder statesman Mitt Romney (R-UT). Collins’ Democratic opponent Sara Gideon aptly stated that once Alexander joined the Trump train on calling for no witnesses, Collins got her “hall pass” from “Principal” Mitch to vote for witnesses. Collins only votes against her party when her vote is not needed. When it is needed, as in the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation fight, Collins is a loyal part of “Team Red (See email@example.com) I would not be surprised to see Collins vote for Trump’s acquittal now that she has shown she can sometimes “deviate” from the “Red” party line. And don’t count on Mitt Romney voting for conviction either. Hard liners Joni Ernst (R-IA ) are with Trump all the way as well as wacky Martha McSally (R-AZ) and disgraceful Cory Gardner (R-CO). These three first-term Senators are up for re-election in 2020 and fear the rabid Trump base.
Many of the GOPers want this trial over as fast as possible so that the public can forget about it before election time (See cnn.com). Democrats did not forget how the GOP House members voted to repeal Obamacare in 5/2017 and “Team Red” paid the price by losing that chamber in 11/2018. Come 11/03/2020, Democrats must all remember what the GOP Senate did at the start of 2020. We must come out in droves plus on 11/03/2020 to oust Demagogue Donald and take back the Senate that put loyalty to him above our country. Democracy depends on it.