Saturday, December 21, 2019

On a partisan impeachment: Sham and shame

How will history look at this impeachment process?. History will take note of partisanship involved, but it will also note a trial took place in the hands of a Senate majority that blocked facts and witnesses.The acquittal of Presdent Trump will be both a sham and a shame. The Republican partisan Senate is relying solely on party discipline to save their president. It has little to do with the merits of the accusations. Such an acquittal of the President will be viewed as a sham. since it would have no basis in fact. and evidence. History cares about facts and evidence even if the GOP does not.That does not seem to bother the GOP leadership. They most likely have a greater fear of an informed electorate in 2020. A public trial with witnesses and evidence would put the spotlight on the facts and evidence and illustrate the GOP's lack of any fact-based rebuttal...
It the GOP claims the House was partisan in their impeachment process, the GOP will look even more partisan. Inquiry and impeachment by the House were at least based on facts, direct testimony, and evidence and the GOP were given equal time to orate and cross-examine witnesses and even to call a few of their own to testify. The GOP was the one that relied on party loyalty to succeed in the Senate trial.
Instead, the GOP has shrilly claimed the process was not fair and it was motivated by partisanship. .Given the opportunity to present their own facts and witnesses, the GOP chose to bang the table instead, shouting how unfair it all is while relying solely on party discipline, threatening primaries and denial of campaign funds, forcing all of their party members to toe the line. If the Senate, in theory, is sitting as a jury in a trial, but witnesses and testimony are not permitted, what kind of a trial is that?  It is a shame.  Pelosi is right: unless the GOP permits witnesses and presentation of evidence, the Senate's "trial" is a worthless exercise. She should stick to her guns to refuse to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate so long as they refuse to run a trial the public sees as fair and is simply not a partisan whitewash of the President.


.  The case the GOP is making instead is that the Democrats are the partisan ones   Here is their pitch: Democrats always wanted to impeach Trump from day one so therefore just ignore any facts, evidence, or self-incriminating words. . either have no evidence to refute the facts and they want to make sure facts are buried. In the inquiry process, nothing was done in secret; both party members of the committees involved attended the depositions and cross-examined the witnesses.  In the hearings, both parties had equal time to orate and to cross-examine witnesses...and they even called their witnesses.  When the White House was invited to participate in the Judiciary committee decision making regarding the articles of impeachment, they declined the opportunity. Where their arguments fall flat is 1) until the Ukraine scandal, only about 30% of the House Democratic Caucus favored impeachment; 2)House leadership dampened impeachment talk until the Ukraine scandal emerged with its blatant evidence of presidential misdeeds; 3) F.ollowing that logic, only when the President's party held the majority of the House, could the President fairly be impeached., There is nothing fair about that because the majority would never let their party leader be impeached;  5) The ultimate hypocrisy: The GOP Senate is maintaining party discipline and will use every bit of its power of threatening to primary anyone who fails to jump ship or withhold their war chest of unlimited dollars, firm in the knowledge that it would take 20 of their caucus to vote to convict the president and remove him, given the 2./3 super-majority vote needed.

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