Impeachment Trial 2/15/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

The results of the impeachment trial are, today, probably old news. I should have written about this yesterday, but love is always more important than anger and hatred. So, I’m a day off.

So once again, the Senate voted not to impeach Trump. The first time the Senate had a Republican majority. This time, it’s evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, but with a Democratic tie-breaking vice president. The impeachment was defeated (no, not an acquittal) with seven Republicans siding with Democrats in voting for the impeachment, showing more Republican senators fed up with the direction of their party.

The division in the Republican party is probably best demonstrated by Mitch McConnell who, in a pathetic attempt to play both sides of the fence, voted against the impeachment to appease the Trump Republicans and immediately giving a speech lambasting Trump saying he is, indeed, responsible for the insurrection. Both moderate Republicans and Trump Supporters have threatened to splinter off from the Republican party to form their own parties.

What stuns me the most about this impeachment vote is that he survived it even after targeting members of the Republican party along with Democratic senators. All senators (and representatives) were huddled behind barricaded doors fearing the Trump mob will break in of both parties, as Trump himself called out Republican Vice President Mike Pence, as well as several senators and representatives by name. And yet, even after Trump called on his mob to hunt these Republicans down, they still voted against the impeachment. They are showing loyalty to a man who clearly sees them as disposable in the most horrific way.

I believe the Senators are voting to try to save their own party, but I also believe they will fail in this effort. The next several election cycles will bring a Republican divide, with some voters finding themselves with difficulty voting for a party that encouraged the insurrection, and some refusing to vote for those moderate Republicans who they view as “weak”. Mitch McConnel seems to have taken the party so far down the rabbit hole that I cannot imagine them being able to scrape together the votes for a strong showing for several election cycles. Now that he can run again, Trump will, no doubt, try his rhetoric to tear down any Republican candidates who stand against him, harming any candidate who does manage to win the Republican nomination.

What’s more, the damaging repercussions of today’s vote will echo for years to come. Any time they wish to reprimand, censure or impeach a Democratic politician, they will be subject to the observation that they found insurrection unimpeachable, but a minor sex act by Bill Clinton worthy of impeachment. This hypocrisy could haunt them for years, and they certainly will forever be known as the party that put partisan politics above accountability. I’ve no doubt that there have been, and will be again, circumstances where the Democratic party has been or will be no better, but for now, right now, the lack of action by the Republican party is in the history books. The speech by Mitch McConnell condemning Trump for his actions does not erase his vote to let Trump off of the hook, and as actions speak louder than words, his vote will be remembered long after his words have faded. He is a stain on the Republican party, the Senate and the people of Kentucky.

We need a conservative party in this nation, but we no longer need the Republicans. They have shown themselves to be dishonest, partisan, highly unethical and, frankly, anti-constitution. An increasing number of Republicans are leaving the party, as I did some years ago, in recognition that they simply do not stand for the American ideals on which this nation was founded. It’s time for a new party, and I believe it is critical to go the way of the Whigs and ditch the name “Republican” altogether. Let Trump and his terrorists have it and found a new party from scratch. It will take a considerable time to build it up to the point of being able to put forth any viable candidates, but at least it will cure the division that Trump has created.

No doubt, some of my Republican friends will think this post goes too far, but I’ve asked the question before, does the current incarnation of the Republican party truly represent your beliefs? When they throw around the word “Christian” and yet turn their backs on the needy, separate children from their parents and incite a resurrection, is this truly who you want to be? As they suppress the voice of voters, is that who you want to back? As they put partisan politics above accountability, can you really support that? Those of us who, including me, who has supported the Republican party as they slid down this moral abyss are just as responsible as the representatives that have been elected. Those in Congress are ignoring the will and the voices of their own party supporters. It’s time to throw the entire party out as we would the waste left in the cat’s litter box.

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