In impeachment on arrival | The American Conservative
We know a lot more on February 12th than on January 6th.
First, it is clear that the attack on the Capitol has become the most damaging event in Donald Trump’s political career. Combined with losing the Senate in the January runoff election, the fatal storming of federal lawmakers by Trump’s most ruthless and daring supporters the next day overshadowed a surprisingly strong performance for then-President Trump and the GOP last fall in a year in which everything went wrong.
Trump could possibly have asserted himself as the strongest Republican in the country in the speed control for the 2024 presidential nomination, as a budding oligarch with the loyalty of a large following and a stable of protégés, including several members of his own family. Even his flourishing attempts to overthrow the 2020 elections with constant hints – yes declarations – of electoral fraud could have been overlooked as the culmination of a year-long Republican whispering campaign on the subject.
But when there were deaths – and images of national humiliation broadcast around the world – everything changed. To put it lightly, January 6 raised painful questions for the conservative, nationalist, and populist movements that supported Trump’s rise, what kind of man the Oval Office had occupied for four years.
I was in Florida earlier this month. It’s a state with residents like Matt Gaetz, Tucker Carlson, Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott (all prospects for 2024), which means it’s become something of a Republican headquarters in exile. Even among some of Trump’s staunch elite supporters, there was speculation that the big man finally hung it up. Deformed, he left his office with a disapproval rate of almost 60 percent.
Trump has been silent on the radio since leaving Washington last month, with exactly zero public speeches or official statements. His descendants and relatives could carry on his legacy, or at least his brand, with former White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump considering an offer from the Florida Senate (where else?) And daughter-in-law and budding Fox News presence Lara Trump one weighs in North Carolina.
Trump did not follow the recommendation of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, whom Trump had spared from a possible stay in federal prison in his final days in power, that Trump should bring his second impeachment trial to court. “Trump is returning. Trump goes to the Capitol, the Senate fountain, to face his accusers and the jury. And he throws down hard, ”Bannon told Revolver News earlier this month. It may have been a ridiculous legal counsel, but such a gig would have been an old Trump reclaiming the limelight. It did not happen. Trump has said he will not make an appearance to honor the trial, and by the time the week ends in Washington there were no signs of the 45th president.
The second thing we know is that Trump, who tragically miscalculated on Jan. 6, politically whistled on his most astute critics. When a double-digit number of Republicans voted against Trump (again) in his final days, speculation arose that it might finally be the case. Press reports were riddled with rumors and innuendos that Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s most powerful Republican, was angry with Trump and ready to do the unthinkable – vote with Democrats for condemnation. If so, McConnell could bring the heart of the Republican Senate together and cast enough votes to condemn Trump and next, and most importantly, in a chamber where every member sees themselves as future president, stop Trump from running in 2024.
It didn’t even hit the floor.
McConnell’s Kentuckian, Senator Rand Paul, filed a motion to declare impeachment unconstitutional – an issue debated by the right-wing elite and unsettled by the Supreme Court – because Trump was out of office. Though it didn’t work, 45 Republican senators voted for it. Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, one of the impeachment executives for the House of Representatives, meticulously set out this week that the jurisdiction issue is resolved. So, Raskin’s message to Republicans is that even if you voted against the constitutionality of the process, you can still vote for condemnation.
On Friday, PoliticoThe morning playbook focused on the unlikely appearance McConnell would still have. Affiliate Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt told NBC this week that he expected none of the 45 to be defective; I am told the same. This means that Democrats are likely 13 votes shy. If so, the questions get academic: Will Utah Senator Mitt Romney vote to condemn Trump (again)? Probably. Will Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana join him? Perhaps, but the policy implications are limited to its right flank and a potential primary challenge in the bayou in 2026; he has just been re-elected.
This is important to those like Rep. Liz Cheney, who have resorted to gambling to condemn and play a power game within the party. If Trump did go under, the daughter of a notorious vice president could have played an imaginable piece for minority leaders – or the spokespersons if Republicans took power back next year. In a world where Trump was truly a persona non grata and there was no danger of self-governing, Cheney could even have weighed a run for the presidency that her father missed. Instead, she tries to fend off a primary challenge and not to evade party licensure in her large Wyoming House neighborhood. Trumpist stalwarts such as Rep. Gaetz were there and tried to pick up an internal party scalp.
Critics reported that MP Marjorie Taylor Greene was received with (literally) Republican applause behind closed doors last week after being dismissed from her committees for conspiracy, showing them a party in a death spiral, in the middle of knowing nothing. But I think that misinterprets the way and why Republicans are buried.
Many in the GOP believe that the constellation of enemies raised against them is unprecedented in American life – American corporations, the military establishment, the academy, social media platforms – and they are right about that. They see the last inmate of the Oval Office as being undermined by an investigation into Russia that produced little like a smoking gun but devoured the majority of his presidency. You feel justified. And they feel they can easily win.
I was at the White House for the first time in January when a President of the United States was indicted a second time. The attitude in the building was basically confident, yet another line of battle in what our current president would say, for the “soul of the nation” in the long war.
President Biden’s agenda can be unpopular if it can be said that he has one right. Even if the man himself is not very much. Deprived (very likely) of the Trumpian scapegoat, Americans will face the reality of the left flank on which Biden catapulted to power. That is, an administration that deals with “justice” versus the more traditional “equality”. That said, further COVID-19 lockdowns combined with a lethargic, politicized vaccine rollout. And these are clear contradictions to Biden’s promise to be a man of work.
At a time of near unanimity for democratic politics in American corporations, organized labor has apparently taken note of by including Biden in its environmental program and condemning Richard Trumka, president of the famous AFL-CIO. Whether you think criticism is legitimate or not on a warming planet, Biden failed an early test to keep his coalition together.
Add to the mix: The logical endpoint of many mainstream Democratic policies is California, where critics say state failure on the streets – or in schools – is commonplace in San Francisco or by the investors fleeing on Republicans Texas and Florida. Critics say government hypocrisy rivals the Bourbon House, as the French laundry in Napa demonstrated this summer. In what would have sounded insane a year ago, the Democratic governor of the Golden State is now fighting a recall.
Now that he’s successfully removed from office, it’s no wonder why the Democrats don’t mind keeping Trump informed.
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