Don’t Fixate on 67 As The “Magic Number” To Convict. It Doesn’t Have To Be.


Now that round two of El Pendejo Presidente Conviction Contest is almost upon us, you’re hearing the number 67 more often than you hear your own name. And that’s because every panel host and guest wants to remind you that 67 is the magic number needed to pull the plug on Trump officially.

The concept is simple. There are 100 US Senators, and the constitution says that a 2/3 majority is required to convict. And 2/3 of 100 is 67. Which is fine as far as it goes. But it’s not necessarily accurate. because the number 100 is not set in stone.

To perform any activity on the floor of the Senate, including a vote, a quorum is required. Basically that means 50% +1 of the total body, with at least 1 member from each side present. At that point the Senate is  open for business.

I thought that I had learned this previously, but was grateful to Rachel last week, when she had former Solicitor General Neal Katyal on, wh0o confirmed what I thought. Constitutional scholars are in majority agreement that when the constitution calls for a 2/3 majority to convict. It is talking about 2’3 of the members present and voting, not the total membership of the chamber. That makes 67 the optimal number, but not necessarily the only number.

See where I’m going with this? If there’s one thing everybody knows, it’s that the Republicans are a bunch of chickenshits. Most of them would love to slam Trump like a screen door, but they don’t want to be associated with the actual dirty deed of justice. Let’s say that the roll call vote is scheduled for 10 am. When 10 am rolls around, and the Majority Leader gavels the chamber into session, there are 50 Democratic Senators sitting there, and 25 GOP Senators. More than enough for a quorum, but nowhere near 100 people voting in the chamber.

The roll is called. 50 Democratic Senators all vote to convict Trump, and it really doesn’t matter how the GOP Senators vote. Because there are 75 Senators present and voting, and 2/3 of 75 is 50. The Democrats can convict Trump, and bar him from further public office, and the GOP Senators can snivel back off under their desks again.

I have repeatedly said how sneaky and underhanded McConnell is, but always staying within the Senate rules, and a,play like this fits him like a glove. Personally, I think that McConnell holds Trump personally responsible for costing him the Majority Leader position, and would like to see him convicted. This is a perfect way for him to do that, without having to risk getting any of his members bloodied up, especially vulnerable 2022 incumbents. As long as there is at least one Republican in the room, presumably McConnell himself, and no more than 25 GOP Senators, the plan comes off perfectly. Don’t touch that dial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to check out President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange . They comprise a pretty much daily report from the front of the 2016 GOP primaries, as well as the general election

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  1. I think there are pretty close to 7-8 republicans ready to convict. Romney, Lee, Murkoski, Collins, Toomey, Sasse, Portman, and if McConnell flips you get Cornyn. That is pretty close to 17 or less if you are just going by quarum.

    • I would be quite surprised if Cornyn votes to convict. He does try to stay low key and out of the spotlight, except for carefully chosen moments. So, I suppose he could.

    • Portman? PORTMAN???!!!! Seriously, you think that spineless ball of goo will put himself out front for ANYTHING other than a photo op at a factory that just created 10 jobs or posing in a city park with a marker honoring the 100th anniversary of the local Rotary Club? Ha ha. You don’t know our Robbie!

  2. Fingers crossed some of the Republicans can actually noodle that. Given that some representatives (Ted Crockett) think….wrong word, sorry – believe, you can only swear on the bible, I have my doubts. So if McConnell is truthful about getting rid of Trump, he’s got a lot of herding and kicking to do for the next couple of days

  3. Looking at the Wiki article about the 2022 US Senate elections, the GOP incumbents have a fair number of “intent unknown.” They have 20 seats up and, at present, the article lists a total of 15 “intent unknown” candidates–11 are GOPers. That list includes Richard Shelby (AL, 1986), Mike Crapo (ID, 1998), Chuck Grassley (IA, 1980), Rand Paul (KY, 2010), John Kennedy (LA, 2016), John Hoeven (ND, 2010), Rob Portman (OH, 2010), James Lankford (OK, 2014*), Tim Scott (SC, 2013*), Mike Lee (UT, 2010) and Ron Johnson (WI, 2010). The number refers to the year the person was elected to the Senate (the asterisk refers to special circumstances–Lankford was elected in a special election in 2014, and Scott was appointed in 2013, then won a special election in 2014). In addition, 2 GOP Senators have already announced they’re retiring so they won’t be running for re-election: Richard Burr (NC, 2004); and Pat Toomey (PA, 2010).

    Of those seats, it’s probably a fairly safe bet that the AL, ID, OK, SC and UT seats will be going to a GOPer (even if the current senator chooses to retire before 2022) and I’d guess that IA, KY, LA, and ND would probably be picked up by a GOPer as well (again, presuming the incumbent does retire). Only Ohio and Wisconsin seem like real toss-ups. As to the announced retirements, both are potentially in play, especially as Democrats have proven to be pretty competitive in those states recently (though, there’s no guarantee, especially since Democratic voters are even worse at turning out for “mid-term” elections, even when we have super-fantastic candidates and the GOP is putting up someone who’d be better suited for a sewer).

    As to the other 4 “intent unknown” candidates, those are Raphael Warnock (GA; just won his special election), Chuck Schumer (NY, 1998), Patrick Leahy (VT, 1974) and Patty Murray (WA, 1992). Both Schumer and Murray were born in 1950 so another term in office would mean they’d be 78 by the end of the term; Leahy was born in 1940, so another term would mean he’d be 88 by the end. But, replacements for Schumer, Leahy and Murray would probably be safe “D” as no GOPer has held a Senate seat from VT or WA since 2001 and no GOPer has held a Senate seat from NY since 1989. Warnock will probably choose to run for re-election but he’ll probably wait until later this year (probably by October or so) before making a formal decision and, like Doug Jones, he WILL be fighting to hold that seat.

    • Portman is going down. We’re already hard at work on this.

      Also, I don’t think Warnock’s situation is remotely like Jones’ — like, no similarities at all. Alabama is deep red; Georgia is a swing state. And who will most likely be leading the charge for Democrats at the top of the ticket. Stacey Abrams running for governor. Jones was always a long shot; Warnock is more likely than not to hold his seat.

      • Actually, the irony is that the republicans in Georgia have been practising election fraud for years. (Stacey Abrams knew she was cheated out of the governorship – Kemp was SoS while he was running and he used his power to make sure he won.) Without all the manipulations, including gerrymandering and suppression laws, Georgia would have gone full blue years ago.

        This is why, when the Trump and friends accused Georgia of election fraud, specifically by machines flipping votes and miscounting, the red flags went up and panic set in among that republican group who had, in fact, been doing exactly this in several states. If Trump or any of his cronies were successful in getting machines audited, they’d be in deep shit.

        What they desperately needed to do was deflect somehow – and that’s exactly what they did. They passed on word that Dominion machines were to be singled out specifically because Dominion is a relatively new player and not a party to the “reprogramming” operation. What they had to do was keep ES&S out of it because they’ve been a part of the fraud for years.

        But Alabama doesn’t need to gerrymander or manipulate voter machine programs, they are mired up to the neck in red. Shelby’s seat is safe as is Grassley, Crapo, Paul, Kennedy, Hoeven, Lankford, Scott and Lee. Portman and Johnson are the only vulnerable ones as this stage.

        What will make a big and lasting difference to Senate composition is conferring statehood on DC and Puerta Rico. I know that’s on the Dems agenda and I hope they get it done asap.

  4. I don’t know who is more afraid of trump slipping through the consequences of his vile actions, those of us who have been screaming with pain, frustration, & disbelief for years, or the republicans.

  5. We’re already working on taking Portman down.

    I don’t think Warnock’s situation is remotely like Jones’ — like, no similarities at all. Alabama is deep red; Georgia is a swing state. And who will most likely be leading the charge for Democrats at the top of the ticket. Stacey Abrams running for governor. Jones was always a long shot; Warnock is more likely than not to hold his seat.

  6. I had heard somewhere that while 2/3 is required to remove him from office, only a simple majority is necessary to prohibit him from holding public office.
    The later is far more consequential at this stage. Can someone confirm or deny this?


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