Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, step this way. The spectacle of the century is about to start, where the world’s greatest deliberative body, i.e., the United States Senate is going to perform feats of political prestidigitation. Watch them create out of thin air the illusion of a trial, right before your very eyes, knowing full well that the senators who go along to get along and vote to keep Trump around are never going to be able to escape from the trunk they’ve locked themselves in. Come November it will be glub, glub at the bottom of the lake. Rick Wilson doesn’t have high hopes for the impeachment trial outcome, which is already rigged, but he does believe that certain Republican senators will pay the eventual price, and that’s a comfort, actually. Daily Beast:
Democrats, as they so often do, believe this trial against Trump will be waged and won on facts, reason, honor, and the power of institutions to hold the line against corruption, criminality, and chaos.
But Republicans are planning a show, not a trial. The sooner Democrats start realizing this, the better off they’ll be.
Trump’s legal team, including not one but two of Jeffrey Epstein’s defenders, wasn’t selected on the basis of academic prowess, knowledge, or experience, but notoriety and willingness to work for this unapologetic criminal. Its biggest names are representing Trump not in spite of but because of the fact that they are flashy media characters.
Things are cued up in the Senate to provide a sensational, tabloid-worthy show. On that you may depend, but you may also depend that the show won’t end with acquittal. Oh, no, the curtain will continue to ring down come November.
We are well past the point where the Constitution or the rule of law matter to Republicans. They know they are close to a victory that will exonerate a guilty man, and they give zero fucks in that regard.
But they will. History doesn’t just operate with a kind of karmic justice, but also with a kind of profound ironic sensibility. Defending Donald Trump’s corruption and criminality will lead the GOP to a place in history as footnotes, as patsies, as stooges laughably committed to a man who they damn well knew was guilty. No one remembers the defenders of Nixon, or Grant, or any other corrupt leader as anything but petty henches.
Trump may avoid the judgment he deserves, but the senators will not.
I’ve taught this lesson a hundred times, but it’s going to take more, apparently, for it to sink in. Nixon’s Republican defenders were blown out in 1974. Why? They defended what the public rightly saw as corruption. In 1994, a Democratic speaker of the House lost his seat and his majority when it was clear he was a party to a scandal with the House Bank and House Post Office. Corruption kills, and it kills its defenders as thoroughly as the ones engaged in it.
The Republican senators who are going along with this farce are profiles in cowardice. They will be remembered in the history books as such. Or maybe, just maybe, because hope springs eternal, a few of them will realize that in time and do the right thing. Don’t hold your breath, but the fantasy does have some satisfaction, doesn’t it?