Saturday, February 8, 2020

Trump Acquitted in Senate: Now What?

WASHINGTON — After five months of hearings, investigations and revelations about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, a divided United States Senate acquitted him on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election, bringing an acrimonious impeachment trial to its expected end.

In a pair of votes whose outcome was never in doubt, the Senate fell well short of the two-thirds margin that would have been needed to remove the 45th president. 

The verdicts came down — after three weeks of debate — almost entirely along party lines, with every Democrat voting “guilty” on both charges and Republicans uniformly voting “not guilty” on the obstruction of Congress charge.

Only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, broke with his party to judge Mr. Trump guilty of abuse of power. Democratic leaders immediately insisted the result was illegitimate, the product of a self-interested cover-up by Republicans, and promised to continue their investigations of Mr. Trump.

“The verdict of this kangaroo court will be meaningless,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said moments before the vote. “By refusing the facts — by refusing witnesses and documents — the Republican majority has placed a giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial, next to the acquittal of President Trump, written in permanent ink.”

I agreed that Trump should be impeached though I had no delusion that the Senate would vote to remove.

I always thought that the often media driven frenzy over the Mueller report, Trump's evidently corrupt and bigoted statements, and yes even the impeachment, would be better spent in registering new voters, exciting Democratic base voters, and flipping those few independent or Trump voters still reachable by reason. 

Unfortunately it seems as if some Democratic leaning people are still more interested in tilting at the windmills of abolishing the Senate, abolishing the Electoral College, or somehow eliminating equal suffrage in the Senate. It should go without saying that none of these things are possible without either Constitutional Amendments or a brand spanking new Constitution. This isn't going to happen now. It's merely the progressive version of "Ok, let's assume all the people we don't like can't vote any more!"

Trump of course wasted no time pronouncing himself utterly vindicated and taking shots at witnesses, Romney and Pelosi among others. He and his will be riding high absent new news into the November election. Of course, there's always new news, always more Trump mistakes and ****-ups. At this point do any of the Democratic contenders appear capable of taking the fight to Trump and beating him?

To do that will require someone who can win Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and/or flip Florida, North Carolina or Georgia. That's it. Running up the vote tally in New York or California is meaningless.

What did you think of the impeachment?

Did you think it was a waste of time?

Is Trump more dangerous now?

Do you see any strong Democratic candidates yet or is it still white noise to you?

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