Of All the Hills to Die On, the GOP Picked Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, the Senate began hearing arguments concerning Donald Trump’s second impeachment and the charge of incitement of an insurrection that he faces after the riots on January 6th. In the incredibly unlikely event that the former President is convicted, he would be barred from ever running for federal office again. Perhaps that’s why the thought of conviction has reportedly been so appealing to powerful Republican lawmakers like Mitch McConnell, who have not exactly made it a secret that they would like to see him ousted from the GOP once and for all.
And yet here we are, with Mitch McConnell voting that moving forward with an impeachment against a no longer sitting President is unconstitutional, after he ensured that there would be no impeachment trial until after the President was out of office. Here we are, with Representative and House impeachment manager Eric Swalwell telling the Senate that on January 6th, a member of the far right group the Oath Keepers had breached the Capitol, was receiving messages about the secure locations of lawmakers, and was planning on releasing gas. And yet, even with all this information in front of them, the chances that enough Republicans will vote in favor of conviction are still slim to none.
Even after all this time, it still never ceases to amaze me that of all hills to die on, the GOP has picked Donald Trump.
Even after the former President’s incitement of the riot put the lives of each and every lawmaker present in the capitol, along with his own Vice President in jeopardy, they are still inevitably going to bow their heads. Frankly, it says more about these lawmakers than it does about Trump himself.
Having lived through it themselves, these Republican lawmakers are entirely aware of what took place that day, but if threats to their own lives and safety isn’t enough to get them to reflect and find it within themselves to do the right thing, then what is? When such a significant number of our elected officials value their own political ambitions and power more than they care about their own lives and safety, can we really afford to minimize any of what’s taking place?
At the riots, a Cop was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.
It’s not Donald Trump that these lawmakers are afraid of, it’s his base.
I would not be at all surprised if a good number of these lawmakers despised Donald Trump with every fiber of their being. But they would rather stand back and allow the President to avoid any and all accountability for threatening their own safety than give his supporters any reason to question them and challenge their power. Frankly, they’ve already seen the violent side, and as bizarre as it might be for us to consider I don’t think that scares them nearly as much as the threats to their political power. As much as someone like Senator Marco Rubio might dislike Donald Trump the very last thing someone like him — with their own Presidential ambitions — wants is for a primary challenger to come along and declare that Rubio was not sufficiently loyal to the man who the Republican base has come to adore.
I’m not sure that it has ever been more clear than it is now as these Senate impeachment hearings continue that Donald Trump has in all likelihood fractured the Republican party beyond repair, and I’m probably not alone in dreading what emerges from the ruins.