There is no way to start out this post concerning the impeachment trial of Donald Trump with anything other than the harsh truth.
It is a very sad statement for the nation as we absorb the low regard Senate Republicans have for democracy, decency, political institutions, and the common sense values they purported to have on the campaign trail. All those things they wish to be associated with as they seek votes, are the same ones they now find so hard to embrace at this most critical juncture in our nation.
Readers know where I stand on the matter. The same place as the majority of the citizenry, according to the polls. Trump should be convicted in the United States Senate.
The evidence from January 6th has been most clear and obvious. We watched it minute-by-minute play out on the live television feeds on every major network. Trump used violent rhetoric to foment anger in his base of supporters, urging them to march to the Capitol. He knew the type and caliber of people who had streamed into Washington. These were not the valedictorians of their classes. These were the dregs of society who bitch and complain about every facet of life and claim no responsibility for their own destiny. Trump knew exactly what type of person he was addressing with his words. These were not the type who would grasp nuance of any kind.
As a result of the rampage at the Capitol three law enforcement officers died and over 140 were injured.
This ramped-up anger was all created in the weeks leading up to the coup attempt as Trump lied, continuously, about a stolen election. So when the cretins he manipulated so easily with his lies showed up in D.C. he lit the fuse by inciting a riot. Clearly, this was treasonous behavior and must be dealt with in a mature and reasoned fashion as the Framers laid out with an impeachment process. The evidence is solid and sadly, voluminous. But the partisan stripe that runs deep and wide up and down the backs of Republican Senators will result in no willingness to convict.
Ethical behavior is something most Americans want in their elected officials. Yes, in some cases over the decades we are let down by the lapses in judgment, the power of greed, or the dark character that lurks in some who served in that chamber. But those times and this moment are starkly different. This is not a dark night with ginned-soaked lobbyists pushing some money in an envelope. Instead, what is presenting itself is front and center with the whole world watching. There is no doubt about the ethical road to take.
Rarely does such a hugely consequential vote on a matter that is so lopsided with evidence demonstrating unacceptable and seditious behavior present itself for a vote by a senator. When this vote can not be correctly exercised by a senator one must then conclude there is a moral vacuum; an ethical chasm that can only be dealt with by voters forcing a recall.
When any elected official, and certainly one dealing with treason by a president, can not and will not show courage and vote for a conviction then how can anyone fathom they will make the correct call about any other issue facing our nation? If Republican Senators can not and will not convict Trump then, they too, are needing to be held for their culpability in the coup attempt on January 6th.
Let me end with something I have mentioned often with commenters on Facebook. When it comes to any senator–regardless of party–who votes to acquit they will then have broken their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
And so it goes.