Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.
-- Occam’s Razor
The Senate is going to sell us out today.
The Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, is going to sell us out.
The Senate, now an organ of the Executive, is going to sell us out.
The Senate is going to take a pass on duty and integrity and it’s going to sell out the Republic to own the libs.
You’re disappointed, sure. But unless you’re a complete fool, you’re not really surprised.
We are all disappointed. But we knew it was coming. Didn’t we? And to be honest, I’m surprised Impeachment made it this far.
We all knew it would end this way. Sure, we did.
Still, you have to wonder: Why aren’t Republicans willing to do their duty?
Why? I asked that question on social media, on Twitter and Facebook.
If you followed those posts, stick around. This isn’t a repeat. This is the follow up.
It was a popular question, as you can see from the various likes and shares. Seems a lot of people, at least on my timelines, want to know: Why aren’t Republicans willing to do their duty? Why cover for Donald Trump? Why protect him? Why?
I mean, Trump is guilty. He's as much as admitted it. Bragged about it even…
What’s that? Oh, I see. You’ve got a problem with my assertion that Trump admitted to his guilt?
Just don’t. Trump’s going to get off, you win. You owned the libs. Good for you. You can at least be honest about it. Republicans have gone though the whole cycle: he didn’t do it; okay, maybe he did do it, maybe that’s a picture of him actually doing it, maybe there are some documents, maybe some recordings, maybe he did it; that said, we’re not admitting he did it, but even if he did do it, he’s the president so if he did do it, it would be fine; OKAY, fine! Fine! He did do it, we admit it, he did it and he’d do it again and it's not only totally fine it’s legal because he sincerely believed it was in America’s best interest, so there!
That’s the President’s own lawyer. Alan Dershowitz. And sure, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s essentially his argument: Trump did it, but it’s not a crime because he did it for America.
"If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment."
-- Alan Dershowitz, arguing before the Senate, 29 January, 2020
If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest…
He believes will help him get elected, in the public interest.
In the public interest.
Dershowitz – and by extension, the Senate, if they allow this argument to win the day, and they will – is saying that so long as the president believes his election is in the public interest, then whatever he does, up to and including coercing a foreign government to take action against his own political enemies specifically so that he might be elected/re-elected to office, cannot be considered grounds for impeachment.
He’s not saying Trump didn’t do it.
He’s saying Trump did.
And that’s okay, says Dershowitz, because so long as Trump believes his presidency is in America’s best interest, he’s untouchable, unaccountable to Congress or the American people.
It’s the second coming of the same old Republican “sincerely held beliefs” defense.
Dershowitz along with Republicans like Mitch McConnell, they know there’s more than enough cause to hold a rigorous trial. To examine all the evidence, hear all the witnesses. They know it. And as I've previously noted, if this was 1974, Republicans would have already gone to Trump and demanded his resignation rather than have that evidence made public – or more public.
But these are not the Republicans of 1974.
You didn’t have to ask what Republicans would lose back then.
Back then, Republicans knew what they would lose.
And they did it anyway.
When Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott, and John Rhodes went to Nixon and demanded his resignation, the Republicans in Congress that they were speaking for all knew what they were going to lose. And they did. They lost the White House and the next election, and a number of Republican Representatives and Senators lost their jobs.
There was no way they didn’t know that was coming.
But, still, they did the right thing.
When it came down to it, they did the right thing. They put country over party, integrity over power, duty over partisanship.
And exactly one election cycle later, they got Ronald Reagan.
And, in fact, Republicans then held the White House for twelve years.
And it seems they didn’t really lose much at all.
And so you have to wonder: What do the Republicans of today lose?
What do they lose if they stand up, declare they are putting America first, that the integrity of the office matters, that the president -- government -- must be always held to a higher standard? What do Republicans lose if they show themselves acting with courage, integrity, and a sense of duty? What do they lose if they take charge of impeachment and lead from the front? What do they lose if they demand the truth? Evidence? Witnesses? What do Republicans lose if they stand up and show America that they are willing to do the right thing? Put country over party, duty over politics, truth over lies? Do they lose their jobs, or do they earn reelection out of respect? Do they hold the White House for the next twelve years?
What do they really lose?
What do Republicans lose if they remove Trump from office for cause?
They don't lose the office. Instead they'd get President Pence, a hardcore Ultra-Christian conservative with a proven track record of right wing fanaticism. If they remove Trump, they don't lose the White House, at least not right away. They don't lose the Senate. They don't lose the Supreme Court. They don't lose any of the conservative agenda they've passed so far. In fact, they might even be able to force Democrats into passing more of the Republican agenda in exchange for Trump's removal.
So, what do they lose?
When I asked that question, a number of people who responded to the original thread on Twitter and Facebook said: They lose Trump’s base. They lose voters.
But do they?
Do they really?
Do they end up out of office like those who followed Goldwater?
But did you see how fast Conservatives turned on John Bolton? How fast they turned on John Kelly? Mad Dog Mattis?
They’re calling John Bolton a liberal now. John Bolton.
And maybe, if Republicans played it right, if they did it right, maybe they'd seize the moral high ground, yank the rug right out from under democrats, and take control of the situation. Maybe they’d be the leaders.
If Republicans played it right, they could own the liberals once and for all.
Sure, they’d lose some of the hardcore Stormtrumpers. Of course, they would. But, the woman with the “Trump can grab my pussy!” T-shirt? So what if they lose her vote? Who’s she gonna vote for if they throw Trump out of office, Bernie Sanders?
She doesn’t get any more choice than you do.
And so she’s gonna vote for the Republican, whether that’s Trump or Mike Pence or whoever is on the ballot. Or she’s gonna stay home. Because she sure as hell isn’t going to vote for an abortion loving’ Democrat, no matter what. And if Republicans can pick up Independents and Undecideds, they don’t need her.
Here’s the kicker: We’re going into this next election with basically the same Electoral College we had last time, that’s what matters.
Republicans know this. And if Republicans showed themselves to be men and women of courage and integrity, who put country over party, over their own jobs, then the odds are they’d win every Independent and Undecided and every swing state Electoral College vote. Especially, the people who didn’t want Trump in 2016 but really, really hated Hillary Clinton even more. The same people who this time are already pissed off at the idea of Joe Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie.
Republicans like Mitch McConnell are cold, calculating, cunning, conniving sons of bitches who plan for the long game.
They have no loyalty to Trump.
Their fealty is to power.
And if they played this right, they could turn Impeachment into a victory far beyond just owning the libs.
So why don’t they?
What do they lose?
What do Republicans lose? It's not like if Republicans force Trump to resign they are suddenly going to have to get gay married to vegetarian Muslims, have an abortion, or stop shooting down black men in the street. If they remove Trump, rich people still won't have to pay taxes, we won't melt down all the aircraft carriers into universal healthcare, and Barack Obama still won't show up on their doorsteps to take their guns.
So, what do they lose?
Because it must be something, right?
What do Republicans lose if they own impeachment and remove Trump from office?
They lose Trump.
Trump. They lose Trump. They lose an amoral bombastic fool, a patsy, that can be easily manipulated into implementing the very worst of their agenda without getting their own hands dirty.
They know this guy is a fool.
Those with their hands on the real levers of power? In this country and beyond? You know they look down on Trump with nothing but utter contempt, you can see it in every sneer, every smirk, every roll of the eyes.
But that’s the key to it.
Because Trump is so desperate to prove himself their equal, so desperate for their attention and acceptance, that he’ll do anything to get it. Trump is so pitiful, so utterly in need of praise, that he can be openly manipulated by news broadcasters and baited by a tweet.
Hillary Clinton, love her or hate her, had that part right: A man you can bait with a tweet isn’t someone we can trust with nuclear weapons.
And that’s the thing, right there.
That’s what Republican have to lose.
Trump is the guy who makes it okay to say those things out loud. They remember when they could call a black man a nigger to his face. They remember when they could tell a gay joke and laugh at the fags in the middle of a board meeting without worrying about a visit from Human Resources. They remember when, as a teacher, hating some towelheads in front of their sixth grade classroom was considered “patriotic.” That’s what they love about Trump, he says the words out loud. They remember. And they miss those days. And when Trump says “Make America Great Again,” well, that’s what they’re expecting. Those days, when they didn’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of their hate – not that many of them were, mind you, but now with Trump, they don’t have to hide it any more.
Trump is the guy who told them they don’t have to be ashamed of being a horrible person. If they lose Trump, then they lose an excuse for their hate, their selfishness, their racism, their misogyny, their homophobia, their horrible religion, their wars, their greed, their fear, all of it. Trump is the guy who makes it okay to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nazis, with Confederates, with the Klan, with the Proud Boys, and still pretend that you’re standing up for “The American Way of Life.”
If they lose Trump, they lose a chump to blame for it all when the bill comes due.
That’s what they lose.
Now, when I said this on social media, things went sideways.
It wasn’t Republicans I got pushback from.
The responses from conservatives were mostly: Yeah, so? Not, “you’re wrong!” But rather, “So, what? Suck it, lib!” They didn’t dispute what I’d said about Trump, or about the failure of a Republican dominated Senate, or even the integrity of the office. Essentially it was the same response Dershowitz gave the Senate, so? So what?
I called Republicans horrible people and they didn’t dispute it. Instead they reveled in it. Ha ha, suck it, losers! MAGA!
No, it was liberals who told me I was wrong.
It was liberals who told me Republicans in congress weren’t really that bad.
Oh, they’re bad, sure, said my lefty responders, but there has to be more to it. They can’t be just horrible people. They can’t just be racists, or sexists, or religious fanatics, or homophobes, or jingoistic xenophobes. No. There has to be more than just that.
They think it means “blackmail” and they’re pretty sure that’s what’s going on.
See, Trump has something on Republicans, all the Republicans, every Senator, every Representative, the Russians hacked the RNC server, goes the theory, and Putin gave Trump Kompromat on all the Republicans, child porn, gay sex, dirty money, something, on every single Republican and now Donald Trump, the guy who can’t work a toilet and thinks wind turbines cause cancer, is actually some master manipulator of such astounding skill that he’s somehow managed to blackmail hundreds, maybe thousands, of people in the House, Senate, various government agencies, the US Intelligence Community, and the Press, etc., into unquestioning obedience, all without leaving a trace. Or, alternatively, he paid them. Trump, the guy who doesn’t even pay his own contractors, paid off the whole Republican party with Russian money … or something, I’m a little vague on the details.
And if that doesn’t work, well, then a Russian assassination squad will show up to take Republicans window shopping in Moscow. And, according to my Twitter, Vladimir Putin himself called each Republican personally to threaten them, probably in an ominous Hollywood Russian accent.
Because it’s easier to believe that the people who are right now selling out the Republic are doing so because of some vast complex invisible multinational conspiracy, than to believe they are just … bad people.
As if the Nazis needed to blackmailed into being genocidal monsters.
As if the Confederacy or the Klan needed be blackmailed into racism.
As if the Proud Boys had to be blackmailed into hating women.
As if all the people who’ve listened to Rush Limbaugh for the last 20 years only did so because Vladimir Putin threatened to kill their kids.
As if human nature wasn’t enough.
I don’t know.
Maybe it speaks well of you that you believe these are decent people who have to be blackmailed into doing terrible things.
Maybe you’re a better person than me, probably you are, in that you believe there has to be more than just hate and fear, ignorance, deliberate stupidity, greed, selfishness, and lust for power.
Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, it’s over today one way or the other.
Because the Senate is going to sell us out.
Mitch McConnell now has the votes to lock out witnesses and evidence -- and thus, there's not much point in dragging this out any further. It's essentially over. And they’re going to acquit Trump.
You knew this was coming.
You knew. I knew. We all knew this was how it was going to end. There was never any chance that the Republican Senate was ever going to do its duty. All those things I said up above about integrity, duty, courage, we all all knew they would never embrace those traits.
Because the Republicans of today are not the Republicans of 1974.
And Trump isn’t Nixon and he’s not going to be held to account by Republicans. He’s going to weasel out, as he always does. As the rich and privileged and powerful always do. You knew it. You said so, right here, on my Facebook page, in my Twitter timeline. You knew. So did I. So did we all. Of course, we foolishly let ourselves hope it would be different, sure we did. We got excited there for a minute. Maybe this time Susan Collins and Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski would actually stand up and … well, yeah, like I said, foolish.
So, naturally, now you're feeling let down and disappointed and disgusted and depressed. Because, for a moment, for a bare moment, you dared hope that Republicans might not be terrible.
But you knew.
You always knew.
And so, inevitably, here we are.
And it’s damned depressing. Because we shouldn’t be here. We should have done better. We should have been better citizens. Elections have consequences.
You can thank 2014 for this one, we handed the Senate to Mitch McConnell. And six years later, here we are.
Elections have consequences.
Even the ones you don’t show up for.
Don't get me wrong here: it had to be done.
It had to be done.
Because if you want to hold the moral high ground, then you have to first climb the hill. Even if you end up dying on it.
History judges us by what we do.
And by what we don't.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
-- Hanlon’s Razor