3 Retiring Republican Senators Can Demand Fair Impeachment Trial.Why Won’t They?
There’s no good excuse for Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, or Mike Enzi of Wyoming. Not that there is for all the rest of them.
On Monday, Top Commenter Terry Moran posited that, possibly, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might play a hand in saving what’s left of American self-government from being sold off piecemeal to the Volga Bagmen. Moran’s theory is that if the Mormon hierarchy promises limitless financial and political support, it might be enough to inject steel into Willard Romney, who then could become the leader of a rump faction of Republicans who could prevent the impeachment trial of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago from being fast-shuffled out the loading dock of the Capitol. I find that intriguing, if not entirely convincing.
First of all, why should Romney need that at all? He’s richer than the president* pretends to be. He’s over 70. He can hang onto the Senate seat until two terms after he’s dead. If all that’s not enough to screw his courage to the sticking place, a few million from the LDS slush fund isn’t going to do it.
And, second, well, he’s still Willard Romney, the guy who said this to CNN’s Manu Raju:
It’s not that I don’t have any point of view, it’s just that I’m not willing to share that point of view till I’ve had the chance to talk to others and get their perspectives.
If Lewis Carroll took really boring drugs, he’d be Willard Romney.
So let’s leave him aside for a moment, and let’s give Susan Collins a good leaving alone, too. Frankly, I’m sick of writing about them, and Lisa Murkowski makes three, although she did come through on healthcare. And let’s also not consider at-risk Republicans like Cory Gardner and Martha McSally and my new best friend, Joni Ernst, whom I believe is in more trouble than she knows. I’m more interested in three other Republican guys: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
These are the three Republican senators who are retiring next year. These are the three guys who don’t even have anything theoretical to lose. If they were to band together as a block and vote, say, to hear from John Bolton, and Mick Mulvaney, and Mike Pompeo, all you would need is two more from the ranks of the Willards, the scaredy-cats, and the perennially insufferable. And, for the life of me, I don’t understand why they won’t, or why we get quotes like this from Alexander, again to CNN
We have a constitutional responsibility to have a fair trial and be impartial in our decision making and it would help if the two leaders could agree on what the procedure should be.
Except, as Alexander well knows, his party’s leader already gave up the game on live television last weekend, as did Lindsey Graham. (There ought to be howls of raucous laughter when these birds take the oath in January.) I don’t get it. I really don’t. What can the reason possibly be? They don’t even have to vote to convict the president*. Just take the lead in making sure we get a full airing of the corruption we already have in plain sight.
Pat Roberts has been involved in the intelligence committees for years. He certainly could swing some weight. Alexander is a grand old man who once ran for president in a plaid shirt. And what anyone could do to Mike Enzi is frankly beyond me. I refuse to believe that there’s kompromat footage out there on Mike Enzi, because this is my damn blog and I choose not to deal with the concept, thank you very much. One does continue to wonder, however, how much of this solidarity is being held together by Russian money filtered into various Republican campaigns over the past decade or so. It doesn’t have to be a St. Petersburg brothel. It could just be the big laundromat.
If any of these guys need a demonstration of what political courage looks like, by the way, they can cast an eye across the Capitol at the various rookie Democrats who are putting it all on the line. Anthony Brindisi of New York is the latest one to say his oath is worth more than his job. And then there is Sharice Davids of Kansas.
The evidence uncovered by the House impeachment inquiry is overwhelming. And the facts are uncontested. President Trump used the office of the Presidency to solicit foreign interference in our elections for his own personal, political benefit. He pressured Ukraine’s President to investigate his political rival, while withholding millions in taxpayer-funded aide to Ukraine. And since this information came to light, President Trump has defied congressional subpoenas, withholding critical documents and testimony. After careful deliberation, I plan to vote for the articles of impeachment that have been brought forward against the President. This is not an action I take lightly. It is not what I came to Congress to do. But I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and I take that responsibility very seriously