One-Term Loser’s Impeachment Defense: Maxine Waters Is Mean, Also Black, Very Scary
The one-term loser's second annual impeachment trial starts this week, and as "Law & Order" DA Adam Schiff said, the defense is like a grandmother's nightgown: It covers everything. Republicans had hoped the insurrectionist in chief would keep his mouth shut and let his latest “elite squad" argue for acquittal on process: He's no longer president (as if he ever really was), so leave him alone already.
Former President Klan Robe prefers that Republicans see all “five lights" and agree that his bogus claims of a stolen election weren't a deliberate "Big Lie." He was just expressing himself. GOP Senator John Cornyn feigned some more deep thoughts on the subject this weekend.
"Can the Senate convict based on speech protected by the 1st Amendment? Maybe, since impeachment is political, not a strictly legal, proceeding. (See Federalist 65)."
Cornyn is a goddamn lawyer. He was a judge, an associate justice on the Texas Supreme Court, and the state's attorney general. He knows there are categories of speech the Supreme Court has determined that the First Amendment doesn't protect. This includes incitement, false statements of fact, and “fighting words." You also can't threaten the president-elect, the vice president, anyone next in line to the presidency (i.e. Speaker Nancy Pelosi), or the vice president-elect (Kamala Harris was on the Capitol grounds during the siege).
The insurrectionist-in-chief is up to his filthy neck in this, but Cornyn plays a sleight of hand with the law so soft-on-coups Republicans can argue impeachment is a partisan witch hunt.
Cornyn does concede, however, that impeachment means whatever 67 senators say it means, but that apparently deeply concerns him.
"Should it? That is the question that should trouble every patriotic American."
No, it should trouble actual patriots when a sitting president refuses to concede an election he clearly lost and spends two months undermining democracy before unleashing a violent mob on the Capitol. It doesn't trouble us if ex-presidents are held accountable for at least their most egregious crimes while in office.
Meanwhile, the one-term loser's lawyer, Bruce Castor, was a guest on Laura Ingraham's white power hour Friday, and he declared his bonkers plan to counter his client's unhinged rhetoric with past statements from Democrats your conservative relatives hate the most.
"Will you then respond with Maxine Waters, a number of other Democrat officials not speaking out about the Antifa and other extremist rallies over the last summer?" Ingraham asked.
"I think you can count on that," Castor said. "If my eyes look a little red to the viewers, it's because I've been looking at a lot of video."
That's irrelevant, of course. Maxine Waters isn't on trial. Also, Waters never organized an Antifa rally with the specific intent of overturning an election she lost. But these subtleties are lost on Castor, who as a Pennsylvania prosecutor tried his best to keep Bill Cosby out of jail. (He did not succeed.)
The previous White House was actively involved in hyping and coordinating a rally that led to literal murders. Waters suggested that we shame and shun officials who volunteered work for an administration that separates children from their families.
"If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere."
Pelosi quickly rebuked Waters's comments. Chuck Schumer criticized Waters on the Senate floor and said her remarks were “not American." Republicans were uniformly silent for weeks as the MAGA mob was fed vicious lies.
It's easy for Republicans to claim Waters promoted violence, but it's harder to actually prove anyone acted violently at her direct urging. However, MAGA mob members have said they attended the rally because their mad king asked them. Calls for “civil war" on Parler increased during the insurrectionist-in-chief's speech.
Castor's proposed defense is indefensible because there is no defense for the one-term loser's actions. He can try to drag the 82-year-old Black woman through the mud as a diversionary tactic, but she's not afraid of these scumbags.
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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."