As long as GOP members and their families weren’t personally threatened, it was all right with them if Donald Trump betrayed everything the USA stands for. That’s one of my takeaways from Wednesday’s events at the U.S. Capitol.
Fine, then. Maybe now they’ll do the right thing, and the right thing will be on their desks tomorrow when the House introduces an Article of Impeachment. It will surely pass the House and go to the Senate, where Mitch McConnell will surely sit on it for the remainder of his party’s majority.
After that, the Democrat-led Senate will surely hold another impeachment trial. It will be done over President Biden’s objections. And there’s a good chance that, again, the Senate will not convict, because that requires a two-thirds vote, and the Democrats will only have a razor-thin, one-half majority.
So, again, the integrity of our nation will fall to the dubious care of Republican senators, those who make up the difference between one-half and two-thirds.
If I were one of the impeachment managers standing in the well of the Senate on closing-arguments day, I would present those particular senators with the reasons for why they must convict:
- The first reason is practical. A conviction (even during Biden’s term) would preclude Trump from ever holding public office again. Many, many Republicans, I’ve heard, have harbored secret wishes over the years that Trump would just go away, just return to his gaudy real estate and his morally diseased family, and leave governing to the grownups. But because of the influence he wields over voters, most have been afraid to say so publicly. Well, I would say to them, now’s your chance. Wouldn’t you like to ensure he can never, ever return to power and thus leave the paths to power open for yourself?
- The second reason appeals to their higher selves (selves I’m not convinced they possess anymore). These Republican senators whom I’m addressing, I assume, entered politics not solely for personal gain. At some point in their formation, they felt a calling to a higher purpose, to serve the country and make the world a better place. That higher calling is at the heart of what it means to be an American. During our better days, it’s a moral authority that illuminates the world, that inspires and cajoles (and often bullies) other countries to do better. But under Trump, we’ve lost that authority. He’s betrayed and perverted everything we stand for. If sedition that incites an insurrection is not a “high crime and misdemeanor,” then what is? What will it take for you to uphold your oath? If you again make excuses for the man like you did during last year’s impeachment, saying that this doesn’t rise to the level of conviction, then the United States will further lose its credibility with the world and with its own citizens. Donald Trump has led this country into chaos and evil. You must convict.