“Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need of
some strangers hand
In a desperate land” — Jim Morrison
The impeachment trial begins today. Depending on the number of witnesses, the arguments could be done by the end of the week. So, it is highly probable that we will know Donald Trump’s fate in the next week and a half. I think most of us know his fate by now. That leads us to the overwhelming question on everyone’s minds: why are we still doing this?
I think it’s a fair question just in the sense that we already know the outcome. Except we don’t necessarily know the outcome for a fact. Sports fans certainly are familiar with this phenomenon. We’ve watched 100s of games where the outcome was all too obvious. Except occasionally it’s not. We have to allow for the opportunity for a piece of evidence to be so incendiary that even the GOP can’t ignore it. Political winds could also shift significantly in the next week. It’s doubtful, but there is always a chance.
However, let’s assume that the outcome is what most people would predict. He gets acquitted. So, what is the point? Well, there are three benefits to going through the process. I’ll address those in order of real importance in lieu of perceived importance or political importance.
This is simple. A public trial puts evidence out in the open for the public to see. While the senators are the jury members, the public also gets to weigh in unofficially. Public opinion on this will be important. What we noticed last time is that public sentiment was against the first impeachment trial until information began to come out. It wasn’t an overwhelming majority, but a majority were in favor of his removal last time.
Yet, attempting to strongarm a foreign leader and inciting insurrection are two entirely different things. I have to imagine that public opinion will be more one-sided this time around. A full-throated telling of the facts could also expose all of those that helped Trump in his quest to overthrow a legal and overwhelming election result. Some of those people will be sitting in that room.
Those facts will lead to further court and legal proceedings. Maybe a senator or two will be forced to resign. Maybe some of those that worked for the ex-president will be identified and brought under investigation. Maybe the Justice Department will pick of the mantle and start throwing more people in jail for the events of January 6th.
We talked about history a few posts back. Everyone is entitled to their own view of history and certainly every impeachment trial has people that weigh in on both sides. However, you can’t deny that it happened and there is no denying the overwhelming nature of a president being impeached twice. As someone joked on Twitter, we should all get a free taco.
Certainly, there are risks to going through the process multiple times. We already saw the notorious MTG file articles of impeachment on Joe Biden’s second day in office. There are obviously people in office that see tit for tat in lieu of looking at the actual merits of anything. Yet, these events are etched in stone permanently.
When you combine the fact finding with the historical angle you get narrative that someone pushed back against the ex-president. They didn’t just stand around and shrug their shoulders while he attempted to overthrow the government. The biggest mistake people keep making with the ex-president is that they think he should be excused because none of his attempts to subvert democracy have worked. We don’t excuse the madman that shot aimlessly at your house because he’s a horrible shot. Eventually intent has to enter in here.
Make them Choose
People typically remember results. Aaron Rogers played better than Tom Brady in the NFC Championship game. Brady had three interceptions to Rogers one. Rogers also completed a higher percentage of passes. No one cares. The Bucs won the game and the Super Bowl. In a similar way, no one is really tracking the GOP vote on stripping MTG of her committee assignments. It ended up happening, so people were more concerned with the result.
With the last impeachment trial and this one, We need at least 17 GOP senators to vote for conviction in order for their to be one. Now, I would contend that Senators Hawley, Cruz, and Graham are co-conspirators and should not be allowed to sit on the jury. Of course, I’d be in the minority there. However, by going through the process you are making all 50 GOP senators publicly choose sides.
Are they for the United States of America or are they for Trump? We’ve already seen a number try to walk this tightrope. They say that Trump is the leader of the party and yet they hold him partially responsible for the event. It can’t be both ways. Your leader can’t commit seditious acts against the United States. He is more than capable of voicing his opinion even without social media, but we don’t get to foment violence against anyone. Now, I can honestly say I hope that they step up and defend the country, but I’m not holding my breath. I can also honestly say that this vote should be used by the Democratic party to defeat every damn one of them coming up for reelection in 2022.