Yesterday I watched the opening of the second Trump impeachment trial. I watched the house managers make their case for why the trial was constitutional and Trump’s defense lawyers make their case for why it wasn’t. It was clear that all three House managers were speaking from their hearts even as they presented a very clinical and pragmatic argument as to why the case should move forward. The defense lawyers were not as impressive but did what they set out to do, which was to present a strong enough argument against trying someone who has already been voted out and removed from office (by the electoral process he tried to subvert), to provide cover for the majority of Republicans who have already decided they are not going to vote to impeach. One thing is clear to everyone, including the American public. Even before the trial started, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind, even in those of Trump’s supporters, that on January 6, 2021 Donald John Trump attempted and failed in a coup de ta to remain in office.
Never the less, I think it is important to have the trial even though the outcome has already been decided. I think it is important to the future of this country to have a clear public record of exactly how Trump and a handful of his supporters conspired to end democracy and establish a fascist dictatorship. The evidence for his being responsible for what happened on January 6th is overwhelming, compelling and undeniable. There is no rational or logical way anyone but the most ardent Trump cultist can deny it. Furthermore, I think it is important that history documents that Senate Republicans had the opportunity to end Trump’s reign of terror once and for all and by so doing, almost immediately return politics back to some semblance of normalcy, but choose not to. The majority of them would rather hold on to the Trump base, than risk running against one of them in his/her party’s primary. I think they will regret that decision for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that as it becomes harder and harder for Americans to escape reality, that base will become smaller and smaller.
I think that in not convicting Trump, the Republicans may be giving America a blessing in disguise. It’s hard to imagine Trump ever being elected president again after what has happened so that’s not really an issue. However, he will continue to be a cult hero in the Republican Party. As time goes on, it will become more and more difficult for the Senate Republicans who believe he should be convicted but continue to enable him anyway, to distance themselves from the lunacy of the Marjorie Greene, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley types in the Republican Party. The Republican Party’s lack of a plan to do anything but suborn white privilege will become more and more costly to Trump’s base as the rest of America moves on in it’s quest to adapt to the new reality we all have to face each day in a free society. It will take a while, but Trump’s party will get smaller and smaller until it will be impossible for his supporters to get elected to any high public office. Eventually, the reality that they have been following a madman who on top of everything else, is a bit of a moron, (as one of his cabinet members once said) will sink in.
I agree with Trump’s defense lawyers about one thing. They pointed out that he is a private citizen and can still be charged and prosecuted in a court of law for his part of what happened on January 6th. As his popularity wanes, I have a feeling that is exactly what will happen eventually. When it does, we’ll all see him led into a courtroom in handcuffs like his friends Jeffery Epstein, Michael Flynn and so many others. Except in his case, there will be no presidential pardon in the offing.