Thoughts on the impeachment trial?


I find it hard to watch video shot by people who don’t have the sense to turn the phone sideways. You?

Honestly, I haven’t been following it that closely, because I know that no evidence offered, no matter how compelling, is likely to induce enough Republicans to do the right thing.

If they do, I’ll applaud. We’ll finally be fully waked up from the nightmare. Not holding my breath, though. Maybe I should…

But while this process is necessary — Congress has to go through this, in light of the circumstances — I find it depressing to reflect what a firm grip stupidity and shameless evil still have on half the Senate. So I keep it in the background.

That said, what little I’ve read indicates that the Democrats are going about it intelligently, and if the Senate consistently entirely of fair-minded people, conviction would be inevitable. So that’s something.

Beyond that… I just thought I’d put this up for any of y’all who want to comment. Now I’m going to go get some dinner. I’ll check back later…


31 thoughts on “Thoughts on the impeachment trial?

  1. Barry

    My favorite thing today was watching republicans ask Biden’s OMB nominee about her mean tweets.

    The irony wasn’t lost as Sen Stabenow reminded the Republican pearl clutchers that their God also had a minor habit of insulting other people via tweet that didn’t seem to cause them any concern for 4+ years.

  2. Norm Ivey

    The security camera footage presented today drove home just how close the mob came to reaching some members of Congress. The law enforcement audio is raw with fear and distress. The path traced from Trump’s lies to the rally to the storming of the Capitol would seem to be hard for an impartial juror to dismiss.

    The former president is likely to escape the consequences in this instance. However, arrests are well over 200 now with more to come, so many of his useful idiots will not be so fortunate.

    1. Barry

      I heard the audio of the police yesterday for the first time. Many of those officers were in fear of their lives. That was a bit hard to listen to.

  3. Ken

    Members of the Irresponsible Party (fmr. known as the GOP) have settled on two lines of “reasoning” to support their failure to convict:

    1) The proceeding is unconstitutional. An argument that most people who actually know stuff have rejected.


    2) The riot at the Capitol was a case of spontaneous combustion unrelated to Trump.

    1. Barry

      There is a video online where many conservatives were calling for the impeachment of Democrat officials who were NO LONGER in office.

      Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett argued in 2018 that former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump had fired the previous year, could still be subject to impeachment: “What’s the purpose of that? It would prevent him from ever holding any government position.”

      But now when it comes to Trump, Jarrett says: “Once he leaves office, there is no removal and therefore no disqualification.”

      Then we have “esteemed” law professor Jonathan Turley who voices opposing opinions daily, depending on the political party involved.

      February 2001 – JONATHAN TURLEY: “It is by no means out of the question that an ex-president could be impeached.”

      Feb 2021 – JONATHAN TURLEY: “On its face, the planned impeachment trial is at odds with the language of the Constitution.”

      Former Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn recently told MSNBC that Trump could not be tried in the senate because he was no longer in office.

      But in 2018, Epshteyn said the House should impeach then-former Vice President Joe Biden instead of then-President Donald Trump and then tried in the Senate.

  4. Dave Crockett

    I found Lindsay Graham’s tweet “The ‘Not Guilty’ vote is growing after today. I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House Managers offensive and absurd.” to be, itself, offensive and absurd. And this morning I e-mailed that notion to his office, noting that I find his defense of the totally indefensible to be appalling.

    I got the same boring auto-reply to that note as I did the last three times I’ve sent messages to his office in the past 18 months.

    But at least I feel better having vented my feelings.

    1. Barry

      Donald Trump could shoot women and children down on the street in downtown Greenville and Lindsey wouldn’t hold Trump responsible.

      We all know that.

      1. Doug Ross

        Can you imagine your life without Donald Trump? Would it still be meaningless? Would you still hide in the shadows waiting with your gun?

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Elections aren’t enough. To become a member of Congress, people should have to pass some sort of mental health test.

      Of course, I think something similar about voting. Yes, we all know the unsavory history of “literacy tests.” But I wish there was some way to ascertain that people had SOME basic knowledge (and, even better, understanding) about the country and what it’s all about before voting. Something like the test candidates for citizenship have to pass, which is super-easy, but at least establishes a floor of basic knowledge.

      So many of our problems today result from the fact that Idiots vote, and their votes count as much as yours do.

      It’s a sobering thought every time it occurs to me. Which is often…

      1. Barry

        ” To become a member of Congress, people should have to pass some sort of mental health test.”

        I think most are mentally healthy – or at least relatively healthy

        On his Sirius radio show, Michael Smerconish expertly broke down the Republican conundrum. He laid out why he thought that if the ballots were secret, Senate Republicans would overwhelmingly vote to find Trump guilty, but they don’t dare do that in public for fear of the right wing base- and more importantly- fear of right wing talk radio and tv (and he discussed why right wing radio is in trouble).

        The example he used (and he described it in detail) was the vote to keep Liz Cheney in leadership – and also the vote to keep conspiracy theory promoter Marjorie Greene on committees. The two votes taken together don’t make much sense – when privately so many
        of those same Republicans think Greene is crazy. It’s fear of the base that drives them to vote the way they do.

        He talks about it some in this video

  5. Doug Ross

    You all lost your last chance to have a cathartic moment of Trump Derangement Syndrome ejaculation….

    Now what do you turn your miserable lives toward? Some random congresswoman? Cheerleading for mopey Joe when he manages to read a card correctly?

    Democrats own the next four years.

      1. Doug Ross

        Ok, Guy/Barry/Ken/Bill/bud/Scout…

        Who’s the one with mental issues? Someone who posts under his own name or a frightened adult who cowers in the basement writing hyperbolic ramblings about Trump for years? Someone who wakes up in the morning to be spoonfed opinions from all their biased websites and actually believes they are the truth? Someone who makes up all sorts of phony anti-Trump blather: “he called white supremacists fine people”, “he said to drink bleach”, “he is going to pardon his family”, “he’s working for Putin”, “he only got elected because of Russia”… if you believe any of those fairy tales, you deserve to be trapped in your miserable existence.

        I’ve never been happier than I am today. Deal with it, trolls.

  6. Mark Stewart

    What we are witnessing is a GOP that would rather kill itself tomorrow than loose power today. That’s a morally bankrupt decision, so there isn’t much room for them to maneuver now. And Lindsey and his absurdities actually make it even harder for the GOP.

    My hope is that the “Republicans” take the path of continuing to rant about how this is an unconstitutional sham, which will give them a reason to boycott the proceedings – which will lead to a conviction. But this way they won’t have to actually vote YES for the base to see. Therefore, I want to see more of them harp on the untruth that this is a pointless, inconsequential exercise. In fact, I want to see more Senators enraged.

    That would be a good signal that they actually are crying out for help – out of a box of their own making.

    1. Ken

      “a GOP that would rather kill itself tomorrow than loose power today”

      Rather than decline, don’t you think it’s quite possible the Irresponsible Party will re-take control of the Senate and/or House in 2022? And maybe the White House in 2024?

      What the past five years have taught us is: negative politics sells and the politics of resentment sells very well in some quarters. It’s important to remember that Trump floated a campaign in the year 2000 that was rather progressive in tone. He even suggested he’d put Hillary Clinton in his cabinet! But the campaign was aborted before it even started. Fast forward to 2016, when he shifted hard right and peddled a raft of resentments. The outcome we all know. And that contrast says a lot about voter sentiments.

      1. Barry

        Gerrymandering will make sure republicans are in good shape to retake the house in 2022.

        The GOP is outright making an effort to appeal to more and more conspiracy theory adherents, especially on the local level.

        Several local GOP folks in my neck of the woods are 100% conspiracy theory promoters. Their social media pages are a constant stream of conspiracies and outlandish, almost cartoonish, ideas that a Republican would have thought absolutely crazy even 4-5 years ago.

        That’s the direction of the party, at least on the local level. I had one elected GOP member tell me in a text message that the local party was “crazy” but this elected member wouldn’t dare call them out. In this case, I didn’t blame the elected rep. Some of the local party folks are way out there in Lala land. It’s the pizza-gate stuff all over again.

        I know of at least 2 elected reps that won’t attend their local party gatherings because they are nothing but conspiracy meetings at this point.

        1. Mark Stewart

          It’s a self-selecting nuthouse, everyone else just walked away. That’s how volunteer organizations die – people reject the self-selected leadership and therefore vote with their feet.

          It will take longer here in South Carolina than elsewhere, but many people will learn to vote the candidate and not, reflexively, the party (either way). Big C conservative has always just been a label for white supremacy and listen to what we say/don’t look at what we do.

          1. Barry

            I agree.

            The GOP is off the rails and hopefully, eventually, they pay the price at the ballot box. I suspect it will take some time for them to pay that price. But I hope they pay it.

  7. Scout

    So I’ve heard reports that one of the President’s defenses they will put forward is that he didn’t mean for them to do that and he is not responsible for their behavior if they misunderstood him.

    This just makes me think – so does he want us to think that he is that bad of a communicator? If he is so out of touch with his listeners that he can’t tell how his words will be taken – he clearly has no business ever being in a position of power where words matter.

    But of course, he knew exactly what he was saying and how it would be taken. And of course, it’s true anyway that he should never be in a position of power where words matter, because of how irresponsibly he uses them, even though he knows exactly the effect they will have.

    I almost wish he was on twitter for a minute. He might just shoot a hole in his own defense if he hears himself being described as such a bad communicator. I’m sure his unwell psyche will not enjoy that.

  8. Doug Ross

    Insert sad trombone music. Whomp wom…

    Imagine trying to impeach a president who already left office for using the word “fight”.

    How is Mopin’ Joe doing with his transformational first 100 days?

  9. Scout

    So with a bipartisan majority -and likely more based on McConnell’s and a few others statements – feeling that Trump was responsible for inciting the insurrection, could they do a resolution invoking the 14th amendment to prevent him from running again?

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