Trump’s second impeachment is over in record time, and of course they didn’t convict him. They were never going to.
Some among you are disappointed, but what’s unsettling is that a few of you are actually surprised. You seem to have been under the misapprehension that this was a trial or something instead of the latest installment of the D.C. Bread And Circus Show (Hold The Bread).
(To be fair: I also thought it was a trial. My bad. -Editor)
The first sign that this was to be a show trial that was going to be decided along party lines should have been that there was only one charge levied — and First Amendment trials are hopelessly difficult to get a conviction in. That’s what this was; Trump said some things, and a mob went off based on those things and committed some nasty crimes. But, since he didn’t explicitly say, “You should go do thus-and-such” in as many words, it’s arguable that he didn’t intend what happened. And, in a political show, all you need is “it’s arguable” to take the easy way out and vote to acquit.
As for the second: What sort of trial lasts six days? Trump’s defense could have gone on for another week at least. There could have been witnesses called, demonstrations, expert testimony. There could have been an inquiry into the reason that, on a day when almost every member of a 2600-man force was on duty and some 600 issued riot gear, only a dozen or so were at the fences and there were no reserves coming. We spend billions on bloated spy agencies that couldn’t tell there was a riot coming even though the rioters got tee shirts made saying “Revolution January 6”, and nobody asked why. There’s enough nastiness here to dig into for months, even if it turns out the explanations are somehow perfectly innocent. And yet… six days and *poof*.
The third… well, a lot can be said about how the Republicans kept a solid bloc together to defend Mr. Trump, and probably should. But to me, the most telling point is that, in a First Amendment trial, not one single Democrat defected to the side of free speech. Since when are the Republicans the champions of any Amendment but the Second? And yet, when it came to discussion of the issue, there were no stunning dissents, not even a single fracture in the party line. Were it not so transparent it’d be admirable.
No, contrary to my hopes and possibly yours, this wasn’t a trial; it was a political show piece. Even the number of Senators who voted to convict is significant: They needed sixteen; they got seven — one less than half. That’s enough dissent so the Republican Party can’t be expected to primary their own people in 2022 even while nevertheless retaining Trump supporters wherever they can.
Yes, you heard right: 2022. What we witnessed is the opening salvo in the next election, no more and no less. The Democrats will make war against the spectre of Trump (because fighting the last war always works so well); the Republicans will try to distance themselves while remaining noncommittal. After all, the Democrats are eager to pick up a Senate seat and loath to lose any in the House — but the Senator from Georgia will likely flip red and the trends are pointing toward a Republican landslide in the House as the regular anti-incumbent backlash. The race has already begun, and it could go either way.
Not that it really matters all that much. Until we get corporate money out of politics, we’re going to continue to have a Congress both sides of which remain a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street — and who has the power to change that but Congress?
All will be well, though: We here at the independent press are on the job. If there’s any more positive and inspiring news, we’ll be sure to let you know.
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PS: Happy Valentine’s Day. Let’s celebrate cutting the head off a saint by giving each other chocolate.