The outcome of the impeachment trial is not in doubt. One day in the not-too-distant future, the Republicans will vote to acquit the President, and when he does something even worse than using a foreign government to influence our own election, the Republicans will cover for him again.
But it’s important here to go through the motions, not because of the outcome, but because one day, how the Republicans vote will be held against them, just as how Congresspeople voted on the Iraq War has been held against them. That vote has cost a lot of people their jobs, caused a lot of grief for many others. While the history books will certainly hold these votes against Republicans, voters are likely to do the same in November, or two years from now, four years from now, or even 16 years from now.
CMT — the country music channel — promised yesterday to give equal plays to both men and women. I mention this in the context of the impeachment trial because it illustrates that while 35-40 percent of the voting population — predominantly old white folks in rural America — are clinging to the past, social progress still inches forward, even under a Trump Administration, and even on a cable network that appeals to many of those very people who vote for Donald Trump.
The Republican votes — many registered in the dead of the night — to refuse documents, to refuse witnesses, to refuse anything approximating a fair trial, and eventually to acquit President Trump will one day be an embarrassment to them, and to their families. Sixty percent of the country already sees the Republicans for what they are: Cowards, unwilling to break with a mentally unstable, unqualified, insanely amoral man with whom many of these same Republicans in the Senate have little respect. There’s a Goebbels, a Goering, a Himmler, and Bormann among them: Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Jim Jordan, Doug Jones.
The Democrats aren’t going to win this thing, but 24 hours into the trial, they’ve done a solid job of characterizing this trial for what it is: A sham. The acquittal that eventually arrives will only confirm that, and the 53 Republican men and women in the Senate will forever be remembered as moral cowards.
Speaking of which, here’s where you can donate to Sara Gideon, who is taking on Susan Collins in November. And make no mistake: Any small concession in the rules that Susan Collins has been able to weasel out of Mitch McConnell were built in for this very reason: To give Susan Collins the appearance of a shallow victory. Susan Collins is the least popular Senator in America (although, Mitch McConnell is a close second), and she may be worse than McConnell because McConnell doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what he is: A stooge for the President.