I think that we can all agree that the second impeachment trial of one Donald John Trump has been a blowout. The House Impeachment managers have been brilliant. If this was a criminal trial, any defense attorney would be begging for some kind of an off ramp. But this isn’t a trial, it’s an impeachment.
The Trump defense has been a disgrace to the legal profession. Remember when Saturday Night Live used to call their cast the Not Ready For Prime Time Players? When it comes to the Trump defense team, the moniker is more likely to be the Not Ready For Sub Prime Lending Players. But they don’t need to be any good, because this is an impeachment, and the proverbial fix is in, right?
Or is it? Think back to the first Trump impeachment trial in the Senate. Mitch McConnell was the undisputed king of the Senate, and he set the rules in order to ensure that the outcome was nothing more than a foregone conclusion. He restricted work days, refused to allo9w the House managers to call any witnesses, and otherwise made sire that the sham impeachment was nothing more than a rubber stamp GOP majority acquittal.
What a difference a year makes, huh? Chuck Schumer is now the Senate Majority Leader, and McConnell has had his wings clipped. One thing I will say for the two old dogs of the Senate, they carved out some pretty good rules for the procedure of the second impeachment of Trump. But it’s still a rigged process, because you need 67 votes to convict, and good luck finding 17 GOP Senators who vote to convict. Which is why I say to keep both of your eyes on Mitch McConnell.
Because McConnell has, from the very start, struck a different tone this time. McConnell broke with Trump in the aftermath of the Capitol desecration, directly blaming him from the floor of the Senate for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol that day, which is exactly the charge that Trump is under. And make no mistake, McConnell honestly loves the Senate, the tradition, the rules, the solemnity. It was a personal attack on McConnell when the Capitol was stormed that day.
McConnell said before the trial started that he was prepared to keep an open mind, and wanted to hear all of the evidence and arguments presented before he made up his mind, a stark change from his position for the first impeachment hearing. And then, more recently, he said publicly that he had advised the members of his caucus that he wanted them to consider this trial as a vote of conscience, and that neither he, nor his second in command in the GOP Senate, John Thune, would be whipping votes for a Trump acquittal.
And this is why you have to watch Mitch McConnell tomorrow like a hawk. Pop Quiz! Anybody here ever been married? Yeah, me too. Twice. I’ll be 64 in a couple of weeks, and will have spent 40 of those years dealing on a daily basis with another human being, a female nonetheless. Bummer. And if there’s one thing a male learns early, it’s that you have to pick your spots carefully if you’re going to go to war with the missus.
Mitch McConnell is of course, married to Elaine Chao. Chao is no trophy wife, nor is she a wallflower. Her Chinese family is stinking, filthy rich, but she personally is also a gifted and qualified administrator. She was a cabinet secretary under GOP President George W Bush, and by all appearances, ran her department with good quality. following Trump’s election, as a sop to his Majority Leader, Trump nominated her for his Transportation Secretary, and her nomination passage was a breeze.
But here’s where the wicket gets sticky. In the days following the Capitol insurrection, Chao was one of the first cabinet secretaries to resign her position. As a proud American, she refused to be associated with a President who attempted to subvert the process of her adopted land. She made a moral judgement, less than 2 weeks before she was scheduled to leave office anyway.
And this is why you have to watch Mitch McConnell like a hawk tomorrow. He lives with Chao, what do you think the chances are that Elaine has been venting some of her frustrations about the piggishness of Trump to her husband? And just how seriously does Mitch McConnell want a happy home life going forward from this point?
The new information breaking in the media tonight about Trump’s callous disregard for the safety of his own Vice President, Mike Pence, is going to cause some trouble in the vote. Mike Pence is a sympathetic symbol for the GOP, he spent 4 long years taking more shit than any of them had to take in subservience to His Lowness. And if Trump would sacrifice him, then what about them?
Without Mitch McConnell, the whole thing is dead in the water. But if McConnell comes out tomorrow, ahead of the Senate vote, and announces that as a pure matter of conscience, with or without the urging of his wife, that he must vote to convict Trump, and especially if he can talk his number two man, John Thune to back him? Then all bets are off. Because they can drag the entire moderate conservative with of the party over with them, and provide air cover. Watch Mitch McConnell.
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