Mitch McConnell Has a Lot of Nerve.
He voted to acquit Donald Trump, and then conceded the former President had done everything he had been accused of doing.
In a move that virtually everyone saw coming, the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on the charge of incitement of an insurrection following the January 6th riots during which his supporters raided the Capitol on his command. While a solid majority of the Senate voted in favor of conviction, the number fell predictably short of of the 2/3rd majority needed in order to convict. It’s become almost boring to discuss the true intentions and motives of the Republican senators who refused to hold Donald Trump accountable for putting their own lives in jeopardy, but one of the few exceptions is Mitch McConnell, who — after voting to acquit Trump — took to the Senate floor to essentially concede that he had done everything he had been accused of doing.
At some point, you have to sort of appreciate the nerve.
After the vote took place, Mitch McConnell used his time on the floor of the Senate to give a speech where at least at the beginning, he almost sounded as though he was one of the impeachment managers. He accused the former President of filling the heads of his supporters with wild falsehoods, called his actions before the riot a disgraceful dereliction of duty, and said the President was both “practically and morally responsible” for provoking the events that day. Of course, there’s always a “but”. McConnell went on to argue that the President was ineligible for conviction because the punishment was removal, and he was already out of office.
Convenient, isn’t it, that — even if one were to buy in to this narrative that the President is unable to be convicted — McConnell neglected to mention he was the reason the President wasn’t convicted before he left office, because he deliberately delayed the proceedings?
Ultimately, as interesting as it was to consider the possibility that Trump would be convicted, no one who follows politics should be at all surprised that McConnell would give himself a justification, no matter how weak or obvious, to avoid it. Being the coward that he is, there was no real way he would go beyond leaked condemnations in the press, not so subtle reminders for Trump to watch himself, and then a silly stunt on the floor of the Senate. He might not have intended to do so, but all McConnell did was remind the American public that the Republican party is definitively the party of Trump.
McConnell’s got the money behind him, sure. But this acquittal proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the fear and overwhelming will of the base that Donald Trump galvanized have established themselves as the greater motivating factor in the decisions of Republican lawmakers, even after he has left office. Frankly, the idea that McConnell would even waste his time trying to appear as though he has any shred of integrity or principles would be funny if the broader implications of this vote weren’t so concerning.
As Harvey Kaye pointed out, isn’t it a little scary that 43 Republican Senators couldn’t look beyond their fear to do what even Mitch McConnell ultimately admits was right?