And so the questions are over, and it's time America begins to focus on the critical question of whether four Republican senators will vote that they want to hear additional witnesses and see any documentation evidence in the impeachment trial of Trump.
By now, you've likely seen that Susan Collins (R-ME) has said that she does want to hear witnesses, and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has said he doesn't -- despite acknowledging that the House Managers proved their case that Trump did what they said he did. So, the question narrows as to whether three more Republican senators will aso vote "Yes" for witness to get to that magic number of four.
Will four Republican senators vote to hear witnesses? If so, which four will be the ones who say "Yes" so that four Republicans will join the 47 Democratic senators who are expected to vote "Yes"? That's the question -- will there be four Republican who vote that there should be witness and evidence presented at the trial.? Just four, that's all that's needed.
It's an important question. It's a critical question. It is also, I believe, the wrong question.
For all the overwhelming attention on the question, something far more important in the much bigger picture is not being asked. And that question is not "What four Republicans will vote to hear witness?", but rather -- why are there only four Republicans to focus on and see if they will vote to hear witnesses and see evidence in the impeachment trial of Trump?????!!
Four? Seriously? There should be 53 Republicans who want to hear witnesses and see evidence in an impeachment trial of the president of the United States. There have only been three impeachment trials in U.S. history -- and in the other two, there were witnesses and evidence. Of course. In the one other impeachment inquiry, where Articles of Impeachment were voted but then Richard Nixon resigned, there were witness there, as well. So, paying all our attention on "four" seems an understandable, but incorrect action.
That Republicans don't even want to hear John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor, who is one of the most staunch conservative Republicans in the country, who was in the room with Trump, who said he has evidence on what Trump said, who has made clear he wants to testify if subpoenaed. We're not talking about the "will they get four" here. We're talking about the other 49.
That's the number that matters most, in the longer view. After all, it's near-certain that Trump is not going to be convicted in the Senate. And it's near-certain that John Bolton will be presented his evidence on talk shows as he goes on a book tour. And history shows that it's near-certain that most of the evidence being blocked now by Republicans will eventually get out. But in the longer run, what the 53 Republicans are doing, to keep there from being witnesses and evidence in an impeachment trail is the historical action that matters.
And it matters further because 75% of Americans say that they want to hear witness!! As a commentator noted last Tuesday, "You'd have a hard time getting 75% of Americans to agree that today is Tuesday."
For the past two years or so I've been wring that this is not about Trump, we know who he is. Rather, this is about the elected members of the Republican Party who enable him and are complicit. Well...this is what I'me talking about, the entirety of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives who voted not to impeach Trump, and the near-entirety of the Republican Party in the Senate who voted not to even hear witnesses and evidence in the trial. That's what matters. That's the question to ask and focus on. Why are they struggling to find only a paltry four to vote to hear witnesses and evidence??? Why note 53???? Why not at least just 30? !!
In the end, I think this reality is going to hurt the Republican Party badly in the general election in November. Even if it turns out that they got "four" Republicans to vote for witness. Because "four" is pathetic. And it's been clear how pathetic the Republican Party is to cover-up Trump's impeached actions.
Because this is not about Trump, we know who he is. This is about the elected members of the Republican Party who enable him and are complicit.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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