Always so many political events coming so fast in Trumptopia and this week the whirlwind is swirling even faster than usual. The Democrat’s first primary in Iowa today, tomorrow Trump’s state of the union speech and then the rest of the week finishing up the details of Trump’s impeachment acquittal.
What to take away from the impeachment proceedings. Well, first of all Trump’s acquittal in the Senate was preordained as it requires two-thirds of the Senators to convict him, something that was never going to happen given that 53 of the Senators are Republicans.
Of course “everybody” knew this, but the Dem’s were pretty much forced to impeach Trump because there was so much evidence showing his abuse of power (and obstruction of Congress) that they had to take a shot at it in the hope their charges would sway that slice of American undecided voters along with firing up their base.
Frankly, I don’t know who was swayed where, though I give praise to the House Democratic efforts as being far more persuasive than those of the Republicans. The Democrats relied on convincing witnesses and records while the Republicans relied on procedural arguments, distortions and distractions. Because they had little in the way of evidence to back them up. Really, Trump did something wrong and it was obvious if you paid close attention to the proceedings.
Republican Lamar Alexander admitted as much late in the Senate “trial”. He dismissed the arguments of the Trump team saying he was convinced that Trump abused his power regarding pressuring Ukraine to provide dirt on the Biden’s. He called Trump’s actions “inappropriate,” but he asserted they did not rise to the level of impeachment. He thought it best to leave that issue to Americans at the ballot box.
A clever position to be sure, but his conclusion that the charges did not reach the level of impeachment is debatable. However, that debate has been squelched by the Republican majority. New evidence keeps coming forth, much of it as snippets from a book by former Trump top security adviser John Bolton that contradict many of the claims of the Trump team. Bolton has offered to testify, but the Republicans have closed down the option for any more records or testimony, so this will have to move to the court of public opinion.
More information is likely to come out (and eventually Bolton’s book), a continuing thread from the impeachment hearings that I will return to in my next post.