The Slow-Motion Reckoning

I wanted to let the dust settle before writing my detailed thoughts about the second impeachment trial. I dispensed hot takes during the five days of the trial. It’s time for reflection.

I’m disappointed but not surprised by some of the reactions to how the final day of the impeachment trial played out. As always, some Democrats are lost in the weeds. Details *do* matter but so does the big picture. I consider the 57-43 vote to be both a rebuke to Republicans and a moral victory. In an election, 57% is a landslide. For example, in the 1984 Reagan landslide he received 58% of the popular vote. Saturday’s vote is only a devastating loss if people allow it to be.

The “always blame Democrats” group is apoplectic about the witness kerfuffle. They say the managers should have stuck to their guns. Many of them were among the most ardent proponents of a second impeachment. They knew, or should have known, that the Senate would vote to acquit. The final vote was no surprise. The current GOP is the party of selfishness and cowardice.

The fact of the matter is that none of the potential witnesses was willing to come forward voluntarily. Subpoenas would have to be issued. That could have delayed the trial indefinitely. The House Intelligence Committee ordered Don McGahn to appear before them in April, 2019. That’s 22 months ago. It’s still in the courts. I am not making this up.

The House managers threw a Hail Mary pass on witnesses; it was not entirely a flop: they got Congresswoman Beutler Herrera’s statement into evidence. It would have been posturing for them to press on without the voluntary cooperation of witnesses, not to mention Senate Democrats. I’m not a member of the “heroes and villains” caucus, I’m a member of the “get shit done” caucus.

Delivering on the Biden agenda is the most important thing Congressional Democrats can do. When the Senate is in impeachment session, it cannot conduct any other business. In a 50-50 Senate that could have resulted in a prolonged deadlock. People are suffering: the COVID relief bill cannot wait. If Democrats don’t deliver, the 2022 mid-terms could be an undeserved windfall for the GOP. They deserve to be beaten like a drum.

It may not feel like it, but a reckoning is on the horizon. This was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment vote in American history. Senate GOPers relied on a procedural fig leaf to justify their cowardly vote. Defenses of Trump’s conduct were rare after the vote. Mitch McConnell’s speech was another attempt to have it both ways, but he denounced Trump’s actions before, during, and after the Dipshit Insurrection. He made it clear that his defense of Pennywise was over.

After the first impeachment, most Republicans defended the Impeached Insult Comedian’s “perfect phone call.” This time, they’re trying to split the difference and looking ridiculous in the process. They’re all Lamar Alexander this time.

The Kaiser of Chaos remains in serious legal jeopardy. There are criminal investigations in Georgia, New York, and the District of Columbia. There will be civil lawsuits from those harmed during the Twelfth Night White Riot. The reckoning will not come as quickly as we would like but it’s coming. A slow-motion reckoning is better than no reckoning at all.

Notice the difference in Trump’s “celebration” this time. He issued a written statement. As of yet, he hasn’t called into Fox & Friends or Hannity. His profile remains low because he’s frightened of what is to come now that he’s out of office. He incited an insurrection for purely selfish motives: to save his worthless ass from jail and/or penury.

While he’s not disqualified from running for president again, Pennywise will spend most of the next four years in court as a defendant in civil and criminal cases. The slow drip of revelations will damage his standing among his supporters. They’re not all QAnon shamen and Proud Boys. Many of them will want to get on with their lives. Donald John Trump is the past, not the future.

A reminder of why I started calling him President* Pennywise in 2019:

We recently watched the 2017 movie IT, which is based on the Stephen King novel. I wasn’t terribly familiar with that terrible tale except for the sinister clown Pennywise. I loved the movie and realized that it was remade for two possible reasons: the popularity of Stranger Things and the rise of Trumpism.

Pennywise the evil clown (is there any other kind?) thrives on fear. He gets stronger the more he fearmongers. It’s what emboldens him to get out of the gutter and come into the open. The Insult Comedian never leaves the gutter BUT he too thrives on fear. That’s why I mock him: he feeds off our fear and recoils from our scorn.

He wants his enemies to fear him. He feeds off that fear. It’s time to eject him from your heads and turn him into the joke that he is. He tried but failed to destroy our country for base and selfish reasons. Don’t let him do it again.

His transformation into the Kaiser of Chaos is complete. He’s an old man in exile at Mar-a-Doorn. He’ll spend the rest of his life bitterly complaining about his mistreatment. He has much to complain about but so do we. He’s a coward who threw his own Veep under the proverbial bus on that fateful day. The betrayals will keep mounting and his support will erode. Will it be as fast as we would like? No, but it’s already happening.

A slow-motion reckoning is not the most desirable outcome, but it will have to do. It’s time for the legal system to deal with Trump and for Congress to do the work of the American people.

Repeat after me: former President* Pennywise is a pussy. He should grab himself.

9 thoughts on “The Slow-Motion Reckoning

  1. LarrytheRed says:

    A hurricane should wipe out Mar-a-Lago. While Trump’s there. I don’t care about anybody else.

  2. Lex says:

    Right on target. When I was handicapping the 2020 presidential nomination, I said that the eventual Dem nominee needed to be able to move the levers of government, and call in congressional IOUs, to GET SHIT DONE so that the Dems would have a good record of accomplishment to run on in 2022 to prevent the usual losses of the party in power in a midterm.

  3. jerryy says:

    … “When the Senate is in impeachment session, it cannot conduct any other business.”

    What you said is true, but not in the way you wrote it. That means that while they are meeting during the trial portion, they cannot conduct other business in the trial session. They CAN meet outside of the trial session and go about regular business:

    https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46185#:~:text=It%20is%20possible%20for%20the%20Senate%20to%20conduct,of%20Impeachment%2C%20legislative%20and%20executive%20business%20cannot%20occur.

    See section 23.

    This impeachment trial will be studied for some time, but the Senate could easily have met and carried on the nation’s business the trial. Keep in mind during regular sessions, the place is open just about 24 hours a day.

    • cassandraisright says:

      that is true, but McConnell said he’d withhold unanimous consent to carry on regular business if the Democrats called witnesses (and he made a mistake in doing so).

      • jerryy says:

        For regular business, Vice President Harris gets to break ties, so withholding unanimous consent was a hollow threat given that all fifty Democratic Party senators were voting as one. The Republicans could only slow down regular business, not stop it.

        But then having Senator Coons come out and tell the House Managers to stop because ‘folks wanted to go home for Valentine’s Day’ destroyed their credibility, after all it was only authoritarianism vs representative democracy at stake. No biggy.

    • cassandraisright says:

      the Republicans weren’t going to let the Democrats work on regular business. that’s my point. they were going to drag everything out and paint the Democrats as hopeless and moving too slowly. it was an obvious trap and the Democrats saw it and avoided it

      and the Valentine’s Day stuff is meaningless. the Democrats were never going to call witnesses because nothing would have changed. they used the leverage they obtained Saturday morning to put Herrera Beulter’s statement into the record. the people you should be angry with are Senate Republicans who closed ranks to protect their 2024 candidate.

      • jerryy says:

        They are going to drag things out anyway. You may or may not have noticed but things like getting former Judge Garland appointed as Attorney General is not happening until March at the earliest. There is nothing major and many minor things the Democratic Party has planned that the Republican Party is not moving to delay.

        Seven Republican Senators voted to convict just on the basis on a few movies, a couple of impassioned speeches and some harrowing memories. Without testimony, we will not know whether or not any others would have changed their minds.

        Just assuming the opposition is always going to win so why bother guarantees a loss. Loss now and in the future. Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks did not give up and the odds they faced were way more powerful than what the House Managers faced. Had the Senators been at the Normandy Beach, the Nazis would have won.

        The Democratic Party did not gain momentum to score hat tricks from their maneuvers in the trial’s ending. In fact the Republicans are going for new air (already disputing the testimony from Herrera Beulter because it is hear-say not cross-examined).

        Bills like HR1 and the like are going nowhere slowly, because the Republicans are continuing to be as they have always been.

  4. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Dems should have taken up Giuliani’s call for “trial by combat”.

    Trump vs. Raskin. Baseball bats.

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