The U.S. Senate voted Saturday February 13th, to acquit former President Donald J. Trump of inciting the January 6th 2021 insurrection in Washington DC, which led to five deaths, including two Capitol police officers, and an interruption of a live joint session of Congress. The incident, which mostly played out on live TV, will forever remain one of the lowest points of American democracy because it shattered one of the globally revered cornerstones of American democracy–that regardless of who wins the election, one could always bet on a peaceful transfer of power.
While generally acknowledging that former President Trump did indeed incite the violent mob that descended upon the Capitol building as alleged in his House impeachment, 43 Republican Senators still voted to acquit him, hiding behind the jurisdictional argument that because Trump was no longer in office, the U.S. Senate had no jurisdiction over his trial. In other words, they acquitted Trump because they argued that because he had already left office, his entire Senate trial was unconstitutional–a very shaky legal argument.
It bears pointing out that Trump’s impeachment by the House for inciting DC insurrection happened on January 13 2021, while he was still in office. The House sent the impeachment papers a few days later to the U.S. Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There was enough time for the Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to commence a Senate trial while Trump was still in office. Instead, McConnell made sure there would be no Senate trial until after Trump’s term expired on Jan 20, 2021. So it’s quite disingenuous and insulting for Senator McConnell and his fellow Republicans who voted to acquit Trump, to now turn around and hide behind a jurisdictional loophole that they manufactured. The fact of the matter remains that Senate Republicans knew full well that Trump’s incitement of the DC riots was an impeachable offense, so they created the jurisdictional loophole they could hide behind, as they carried out their goal from the beginning–acquit Trump at all costs.
After the Senate vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement which correctly summed up the decision by Republican Senators to acquit Trump:“Today an overwhelming bipartisan vote to convict Donald Trump speaks to the courage of the United States Senate. I salute the Republican Senators who voted their conscience and for our Country. Other Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold Trump accountable for igniting a violent insurrection to cling to power will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history.”
Because we totally agree with Speaker Pelosi that the decision by these 43 GOP Senators to acquit Trump of inciting DC insurrection “will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history“, we have to do our traditional name and shame for the sake of future generations. When our children and grandchildren read in History textbooks, that a group of U.S. Senators decided to acquit a U.S. President, even after he incited an insurrection which led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead, it is only fair that they also see the names and faces of the shameful U.S. Senators behind such a horrendous decision. Here’s a handy list of the 43 shameful GOP Senators.
Bottom line folks, as horrible as Trump’s acquittal verdict was to people who love democracy worldwide, there may be a silver lining where Democrats are concerned. Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that the increasing radicalization of the Republican party could provide an opening for Democrats to go after corporations that traditionally sponsor the GOP. A healthy two-party system is good for American democracy, but given everything we’ve witnessed so far with the GOP under Trump, it is debatable whether the GOP is even a political party anymore. This was true even before DC insurrection, but now it is totally impossible to ignore the issue. The radicalization within the GOP under Trump has gotten so bad, that some establishment Republicans are already mulling branching away to form a reasonable “center-right” party. As we approach the 2022 elections, Democrats should seriously pressure corporations that traditionally donate to Republicans, by asking them to justify their continued funding of a party that has basically devolved into a Trump cult. Maybe, just maybe, guilt tripping major corporations into starving Trump’s GOP of major $$$, especially after DC insurrection, is the best way of slapping the Party of Lincoln back to normalcy.
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