“In this evil world of sin, I am used to seeing the villains win.” –Killer Mike
That was tweeted by the Run the Jewels man on Saturday, February 13, shortly after the vote to acquit former President Trump was confirmed. And many of us could relate. Despite the fact that the writing was on the wall for a long while before the senate trial even began — in that it looked certain that the house managers wouldn’t be able to convince 17 republican senators to convict and secure the two-thirds majority necessary — it still felt desperately disappointing.
Perhaps it shouldn’t. By convincing seven republican senators to vote “guilty,” Jamie Raskin, Stacey Plaskett, and the rest of the team presided over the most bipartisan impeachment trial in US presidential history. Those seven senators are taking all manner of heat, including threats of censure, and opposition in the primaries. So while parades shouldn’t be thrown for people who are simply doing the right thing, some recognition for their bravery when party backlash was inevitable seems appropriate. Those seven senators are: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana (who had been on the fence), and Richard Burr of North Carolina (the biggest surprise).
Minority leader Mitch McConnell voted “not guilty,” hanging his hat on the jurisdictional issue of whether the whole trial was constitutional (which the senate had already voted on and said it was, at the start of the trial). McConnell tried to have it both ways but ended up having it no ways, upsetting both parties by voting like a coward and then slapping Trump on the wrist with a speech:
“There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President. And their having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated President kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth. The issue is not only the President’s intemperate language on January 6th. It is not just his endorsement of remarks in which an associate urged ‘trial by combat.’ It was also the entire manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe; the increasingly wild myths about a reverse landslide election that was being stolen in some secret coup by our now-President.”
His speech would have been powerful in normal circumstances but when McConnell literally voted against the senate’s vote, kept on with the disproven notion that the trial wasn’t constitutional, then his correct claim that Trump is guilty of the charges amounts to little.
At the very least, everything is on record. Thanks to Raskin and his team, the terrible events of January 6 have been well documented and, as McConnell himself pointed out during this same speech, Trump is now open to legal proceedings, “He hasn’t gotten away with anything, yet.”
Questlove (photo: Joe Mabel)
There’s a lot to be thankful for following the trial, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Perspective is required here, and it was provided by a tweet from Questlove.
Lol this frustration yall feel? Imagine centuries of that. Imagine. Exhausting right?
“Lol this frustration yall feel? Imagine centuries of that. Imagine. Exhausting right?”
Yup, many white people are feeling what they perceive to be mass injustice on an executive level for the first time. But we have to put our hands up and admit the privilege in that. As Quest says, people of color have been feeling these feelings for their entire lives. This writer is exhausted after four years of Trump — the thought of a lifetime is unfathomable. Comedian Wanda Sykes knew where to place the blame:
“Mitch McConnell is a snake. Don’t ever play Among Us with that sneaky mufucka.”
“This lopsided vote is an American tragedy of monumental proportions, one we made all by ourselves. The consequences of this travesty have yet to be known, but I predict they will be uglier than even the last four years have been… #MitchMcConnell makes a lot of sense until he gets to the point where he explains the technical aspect of why he is voting not guilty, even though he just spent ten minutes telling us he knows without a doubt that Trump is completely and thoroughly guilty. The head spins.”
Bless Yoko Ono, she did her thing and tried to inject from hippie-hope:
“Let’s just remember that 99% of the human race is us. WE are all together. We are peace and love. The other 1% is talking and acting loud. The battle at dawn is the fiercest, as they say. Let’s wait for the sunrise, together.”
But DJ The Blessed Madonna was a little more succinct: “All Republicans are racist traitor c**ts.”
That tweet was later removed — not sure who removed it. But it’s hard not to agree, when 43 republican senators either ignored the vote that the trial WAS indeed constitutional, or decided that Trump’s actions were appropriate. Either way, the trial has put the nation at risk of going through the same thing again. As house manager Ted Lieu said during the trial:
“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose. Because he can do this again.”
Hopefully more republicans will locate their spine before then.