Republican Senators Admit Democrats proved their case against the President

But, of course, it’s purely academic now, the vote is in, there will be no actual trial in the Senate and the blameless, or blameworthy, president will be acquitted in this partisan witch hunt too [1].   The Republican position, unified as never before in our nation’s history along a hard “party line” — the president’s defense, come what may — is that a president like Mr. Trump may abuse his enormous powers and repeatedly obstruct the lawful actions of Congress to check and balance this abuse — and these are simply not impeachable offenses, as the demented argument of Alan Dershowitz contends.  

Think about his argument out of the context of the impeachment of a president accused of abuse of power: why would anyone concerned with justice ever try to prevent abuse of power?   It’s just abuse, which is only an actual crime in certain carefully enumerated circumstances.  It’s not like he was kicking a dog in a state that has specific laws against it!

The founding fathers who apparently believed that the will of 51% majority should be the final word on any democratic question, were not concerned, we are told by the president’s most famous lawyer, that a president could abuse his powers if unchecked by Congress and the Courts.   The balancing of the powers of one branch of our government against the overreach of another branch is not what “checks and balances” was intended to enforce, not at all.  There were debates during the drafting of the Constitution about the grounds for presidential impeachment at the time, notes of these debates are available. “Maladministration” was not approved as grounds for impeachment, if the president runs his administration like an inept, even corrupt, fool the remedy is for the People (by their electors in the Electoral College) to vote him out and elect a better one four years later– no harm, no foul.  

Watch this next legalistic sleight of hand carefully, you may have to read it twice to catch the subtle trick.  The same, Dershowitz insists, is true of “misconduct in office” — he claims the Founding Fathers swept this aside as a synonym for “maladministration” and “abuse of power”.   That abuse of power was part of Nixon and Clinton’s impeachments only proves that the smartest lawyers, even Dershowitz himself, at the time, were not smart enough to see through this clearly unconstitutional partisan canard until now. 

79 year-old Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, poised to retire (and who announced his decision to vote with his party for no witnesses and no evidence at trial), issued this statement:

“I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense. …The Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate. 

“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday. …Our founding documents provide for duly elected presidents who serve with ‘the consent of the governed,’ not at the pleasure of the United States Congress. Let the people decide.” – Senator Lamar Alexander 

In plain words:  he did it, it was bad, they proved it.   I still love the guy, I mean, not personally, but what he represents for my worldview and my retirement.  It would be a shame to let him get publicly embarrassed by even more evidence and testimony that could only show more dramatically how he is constantly lying about the inappropriate things he did and continues to do, and is now explicitly permitted to do.

Alexander, unsurprisingly, supports the leader of his party for re-election in 2020.

Much more to the ominous point was the statement of Florida Senator  and one of Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination in 2016, Marco Rubio (Little Marco). Little Marco wrapped his idealistic conclusions in a long, twisting legal-style argument, available at the link above (if you have the stomach for it), the gist being:

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a 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.”

The first statement translates:  just because the evidence shows somebody is guilty of committing a high crime, punishment is not always called for.  A preemptive, under-the-table pardon is sometimes better for the interests of the 51-49 majority and the higher interests they serve.

Allow me to provide a direct translation of that second part, which is much more troubling than even that first bit:

The president has the undying loyalty of a solid 40% of America, this number never changes much, no matter what.  Many of his supporters are very angry, and rightfully so, having been repeatedly screwed by the system.  Many have a lot of guns.   Most are enraged about the ongoing baseless witch hunts that have constantly tried to damage their hero, since the day he exercised his uncontested right to fire James Comey, the traitorous FBI director who would not swear personal loyalty to the president.  Would not swear personal loyalty!!!   Trump’s fans are heavily armed and easily outraged, as shown at boisterous nightly campaign rallies. Impeaching and removing their champion from office could set off a bloodbath.   I am not ready to take responsibility for a second Civil War, on the eve of the sacred Superbowl.

A little taste of Mr. Rubio’s crack legal analysis:

I also reject the argument that unless we call new witnesses this is not a fair trial. They cannot argue that fairness demands we seek witnesses they did little to pursue.

Nevertheless, new witnesses that would testify to the truth of the allegations are not needed for my threshold analysis, which already assumed that all the allegations made are true.

This high bar I have set is not new for me. In 2014, I rejected calls to pursue impeachment of President Obama, noting that he “has two years left in his term,” and, instead of pursuing impeachment, we should use existing tools at our disposal to “limit the amount of damage he’s doing to our economy and our national security.”

Screen shot 2020-02-02 at 4.34.30 AM.pngThis unified, if not 100% laudable or defendable, party line behind the president brings to mind the old Führerprinzip, the ruling philosophy of the Thousand Year Reich: the leader is always right, even when he’s shown to be completely wrong. Especially in the face of such TREASON!

Nothing to worry about here in America, though, we ain’t fucking Nazis, we’re the world’s greatest democracy.  Kick back and enjoy the Superbowl, you’ve earned it, y’all. 

 

[1] And, fuck me in the eye, it was literally by a vote of 51-49 suck it!

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