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January 22, 2021 01:30 PM UTC

It Sucks to be a Senate Republican

  • by: Colorado Pols


Aw, sheep!

As CNN reports, Senate Republicans are in a really bad place amid news that articles of impeachment against former President Trump will be delivered to the Senate on Monday:

CNN has learned that dozens of influential Republicans around Washington — including former top Trump administration officials — have been quietly lobbying GOP members of Congress to impeach and convict Donald Trump. The effort is not coordinated but reflects a wider battle inside the GOP between those loyal to Trump and those who want to sever ties and ensure he can never run for President again.

The lobbying started in the House after the January 6 attack on the Capitol and in the days leading up to impeachment. But it’s now more focused on Sen. Mitch McConnell, the powerful minority leader who has signaled he may support convicting Trump.
“Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone,” one Republican member of Congress told CNN. “It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?”…

The ongoing Republican whisper campaign, according to more than a dozen sources who spoke to CNN, is based on a shared belief that a successful conviction is critical for the future of the Republican party. Multiple sources describe this moment as a reckoning for the party. [Pols emphasis]

It would take 17 Senate Republicans to vote YES on to convict Trump for impeachment on the charge of inciting an insurrection. That’s probably unlikely, but we’ve reached a point where the outcome could be less important for Republicans than the journey itself.

The lobbying effort has included behind-the-scenes pressure by Republican donors, calls from former top Trump White House officials, and a set of talking points circulating among Republicans arguing for Trump’s impeachment. [Pols emphasis]

Get ready to take some more lumps, Senator

We wouldn’t say that this is a battle for the “soul” of the Republican Party, because — let’s be honest — that ship sailed a long time ago. But this sort of reporting from CNN underscores the fact that the lines of support have shifted dramatically. The bill is coming due for Republicans who embraced Trump over the years, and it’s STEEP.

There is no doubt that a contingent of powerful Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — would like to impeach Trump in order to speed the process of ridding themselves of the Big Orange Guy altogether. But there are plenty of other Republicans, including House Qaucus members like Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-Fox News) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who are diehard Trump supporters and would pounce at any sign of disloyalty from Senate Republicans. And, as CNN notes, Trump still has his backers in the Senate as well:

McConnell is also facing pressure from a faction of Senate Republicans to stick with Trump, with some telling CNN that support for conviction could threaten McConnell’s leadership.

“No, no, no,” Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and Trump ally, told CNN when asked if he could support McConnell if he voted to convict Trump, calling such a vote a “dangerous precedent” and adding: “I don’t even think we should be having a trial.”

So…you can vote to impeach Trump and help speed the process for the Republican Party to potentially return to some form of sane discussion, but doing so will infuriate Trump’s lunatic base of supporters and potentially spawn immediate leadership challenges.

— OR —

You can vote against impeachment and appease the Trumpians, but that will anger other influential Republicans because you’re kicking the can down the road on a comeuppance that will have to happen eventually anyway.

The right and moral choice is not difficult: You vote to impeach Trump. But Congressional Republicans, and McConnell specifically, have been laser-focused for years on doing whatever keeps them in power. From a political perspective, there is simply no good answer here for Republicans.

Welcome to the reckoning.


5 thoughts on “It Sucks to be a Senate Republican

  1. There apparently is an agreement the trial will begin February 8. 

    Trump found a lead lawyer (recommended by Sen. Graham) and will be fleshing out a defense team of advocates in the coming days.

    Washington Post's initial whip count is not encouraging:  it would take all 42 favoring impeachment, all 19 "open" to consider impeachment, and 6 of 11 "unknown" to reach 67.  If there is a clear money trail from Trump to sponsors to those participating in the assault on Congress, that high hurdle could be surmounted. Words and tweets alone, I'm afraid, won't do it.

    More realistic, in my view:  a resolution of censure which concludes Trump incited insurrection and thus, under the 14th Amendment, is ineligible to run. Sen. Kaine says it could work to bar Trump from office.  As I understand it, Senate rules would require 60 votes to take it up, but only a majority to pass and in the House, only a majority to pass.

  2. May I humbly suggest the Democrats offer the same level of cooperation offered to President Obama by that awful slug they call the Minority Leader these days? Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi are risking their political careers if they let McConnell off the hook and cowtow to the Treason Caucus. How many times does he get to fuck us before these people have had enough?

    You CANNOT meet these motherfuckers in the middle. Their is no honor in them and they WILL NOT do what is best for the working people and the poor in this country. Democrats across the country need to get in the face of OUR elected officials and let them know how we feel.

    The working people of America are about to get screwed again. Congress is going to let Trump off the hook and let him swim away. It will be up to the states to hold him accountable.

    1. History teaches that you can not appease a violent, right-wing authoritarian movement. They see it as weakness.

      To me, though, the real key is not impeachment. It needs to be done, but the real key is in Biden DOJ and the US Attorneys he picks. They need to go after the crimes of the Trump/Pence regime hard. Democracy requires it.

      And, that’s doubly true for anyone remotely related to this insurrection. If you let them off easy, they will come back and overthrow the government. And many of them openly state that we all should be either be killed or locked up.

  3. We need the impeachment to put these people on the record as to whether they support Trump, or the Constitution. The nation needs them to be put on the record.

    The very fact that the Republicans are doing everything possible to stall this vote, or make it go away, or say “hey, maybe we should vote on censure instead”, is a very good argument that this is good political tactics. When your opposition is doing everything possible to avoid a vote, then that’s the time to force that vote and to do it as soon as you can.

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