Chuck Schumer Really Pissed That Most Senate Republicans Are Traitors
The one-term loser's second annual impeachment trial ended as we expected, if we've paid attention, or feared if our heads are stuck in West Wing episode. The Senate failed to convict the insurrectionist in chief, although Democrats gained nine more votes than last time. At this rate, we might finally hold him accountable at the third annual impeachment.
I'm not so cynical that I don't find it dispiriting. After too many trips on the karma-less merry-go-round with Lex Luthor, an alternate universe Superman finally cracked. President Luthor mocked his faith in the system: "You're as much responsible for this as I am. So go ahead, fix it somehow, put me on trial, lock me up, but I'll beat it. And then we'll start the whole thing all over again."
And we will.
Chuck Schumer has received a lot of criticism because he wasn't personally able to awaken consciences in 43 Republican senators. He's the Majority Leader not the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. People are also frustrated that he didn't go to the mattresses against the GOP, but he's also not Michael Corleone finally settling all family business.
Republicans and byzantine Senate rules are solely to blame for the latest and likely not the last travesty of justice related to President Klan Robe. Schumer made that very clear in his post-travesty floor speech. It was remarkably similar to one Mitch McConnell gave where he also read the defendant for filth.The minority leader was like the attorney on Law & Order who represented an obviously guilty and repulsive client. They'd admit the guy is slime but explain to the jury why it was their duty to acquit: “You don't have to like my client. I certainly don't. He makes my skin crawl. I can't even look him in the face, but the CONSTITUTION!"
Those were strawman defense attorneys, of course, designed to have copaganda TV audiences rooting against "search warrants" or any other namby-pamby legal rights that protected rapists. Schumer wasn't having McConnell's crocodile tear appeals to constitutional duty. Republicans aren't usually big on letting off on a technicality the ring leaders of gang violence and terrorist attacks. They are usually foaming at the mouth to tell a bad guy that his diplomatic immunity's just been revoked. Now they're suddenly the ACLU but just for powerful white people ... so basically the GOP as it's always existed.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: "This trial wasn't about choosing country over party, even not that. Thi… https://t.co/K2A6FqltRz— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY)1613250772.0
SCHUMER: None of the facts were up for debate. We saw it. We heard it. We lived it. This was the first presidential impeachment trial in history in which all Senators were not only judges and jurors, but witnesses to the constitutional crime that was committed.
The former president inspired, directed, and propelled a mob to violently prevent the peaceful transfer of power, subvert the will of the people, and illegally keep that president in power.
There is nothing—nothing—more un-American than that.
There is nothing—nothing—more antithetical to our democracy.
There is nothing—nothing—more insulting to the generations of American patriots who gave their lives to defend our form of government.
This was the most egregious violation of the presidential oath of office and a textbook example—a classic example—of an impeachable offense, worthy of the Constitution's most severe remedy.
In response to the incontrovertible fact of Donald Trump's guilt, the Senate was subject to a feeble -- and sometimes incomprehensible -- defense of the former president. Unable to dispute the case on the merits, the former president's counsel treated us to partisan vitriol, false equivalence, and outright falsehoods.
McConnell claimed that the twice-impeached thug's actions on January 6 didn't meet the narrow legal definition of “incitement." Schumer called bullshit:
Here's what the Republican leader of the Senate said: the mob that perpetrated the "failed insurrection" was on January 6th "was provoked by President Trump."You want another word for "provoke?" How about: "incite."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said: "The vast majority of the Senate Republican caucus, including t… https://t.co/W1Y41dfqjA— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY)1613250308.0
Still—still!—the vast majority of the Senate Republican caucus, including the Republican leader, voted to acquit former President Trump, signing their names in the columns of History alongside his name—forever.
January 6th will live as a day of infamy in the history of the United States of America. The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.
Five years ago, Republican Senators lamented what might become of their party if Donald Trump became their presidential nominee and standard-bearer. Just look at what has happened. Look at what Republicans have been forced to defend. Look at what Republicans have chosen to forgive.
The former president tried to overturn the results of a legitimate election—and provoked an assault on our own government—and well over half of the Senate Republican conference decided to condone it.
The most despicable act that any president has ever committed and the majority of Republicans cannot summon the courage or the morality to condemn it.
This trial wasn't even about choosing country over party, even not that. This was about choosing country over Donald Trump. And 43 Republican members chose Trump. They chose Trump. It should be a weight on their conscience today. And it shall be a weight upon their conscience in the future.
Schumer is rightly pissed, but he shouldn't imagine that the gaping holes where most Republicans souls are will trouble them. All they understand is power. Don't wait for history to judge them, as you drive down Confederate Slave Owner Avenue (see how that turned out?). We must extract a price from Republicans today and every day afterward. Don't give up, blame Democrats, and stay home in 2022. That's what Republicans want. That's how Republicans win. It's time to break the pattern.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."