So Congress has revealed the two charges against the 45th President of the United States. These are obstruction of Congress and Abuse of Power. This means they chose to keep it very narrow and focused on the Ukrainian matter. There were a few other charges that could have been leveled, including bribery and under the 18th-century definition in the Constitution perhaps treason.
Incidentally, treason is hard as nails to prove now, or in the 18th century. Why? The Founders were afraid of the abuse, which happened with King George III. The king could file those charges against me, for even writing this piece. It was that easy. So the Founders placed real limits and required two people to serve as witnesses.
They could also have gone after the emoluments clause, though that is indirectly related to some of the matters at hand. Why did they chose this narrow path? There are several reasons, all of them valid.
First off more Americans favor impeachment, due to the Ukraine matter. However, less do in critical swing states. The matter is narrow and easy to understand. Second, many of the Democratic Representatives came in favor of impeachment only after the Ukraine matter came into focus.
From the behavior of Republican leadership, that continues to argue process, we can expect no Republicans to vote for this. However, this is a vote of conscience. So we may still be surprised, and none will tell others in the party if they plan to break. With Democrats, we know two representatives in ruby-red districts already said they plan to vote against them.
This is not surprising since some people still want to keep their jobs. And rightfully so, some people know that this vote will cost them their jobs. It may anyway, but that is another matter. And this goes for both parties, however, Republicans are acting as if power is more important than their oaths of office.
in the meantime, the President continues his defense, if you can call it this way, on Twitter. He still claims he did nothing wrong, and in his mind, he probably believes this. This is also the first time, as far as I can tell, that he faces any kind of real accountability in his life. He is a man who believes he is above the law, and this is one reason for the impeachment. It is some form of accountability.
This is a historic event. We are watching the melting of Democratic norms in the country, and a point where our vote matters less. It is also clear that about one-third of Americans are fine with that, and would prefer an authoritarian in office. Many Americans have lost trust in a democratic form of government and scarcely understand their civic duty or responsibilities.
We also know that one-third of Republicans favor leaders who would be unchecked by either Congress or the Courts. This is dangerous and reflects how members will likely vote. The oath they took to defend the Constitution, which includes those checks, means little to people who believe in strong men.
Will the president face removal in the Senate? For the same exact reasons that Republican representatives will likely vote against the Articles in the House, most Senators will also refuse to indict. Partly they are afraid of him. They are also afraid of their voters, who would punish them. However, a few of the Senators are already vulnerable in 2020. So perhaps they will make a different political calculation and stand up to the president.
Is this the way a Jury Pool should work? No.
A jury should consider the evidence, and rule according to the evidence presented. Democrats have gathered enough to show corrupt intent. Moreover, the obstruction of Congress is transparent to even the daftest among us. The House refused to play the game of delay in the courts, which may, or may not have been a bright move. However, they are committed to the present course.
Will the president change his behavior even after a trial in the Senate? He lacks that self-awareness. He will see it as a victory and will continue to abuse his power. I predict that he will try to get foreign governments to interfere in the 2020 cycle because he does believe he can. He has also faced very little consequence that he understands as such.
If a few Republicans vote to convict, and all Democrats do as well, it will be a strong signal that a majority of the Senate finds the behavior wrong. However, it would be a pleasant surprise if a supermajority did. Does one wonder what behavior would have to come from the president to make his party reach their fill?
For the moment Republican Senators, such as Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana continue to spread Russian propaganda. No, Ukraine did not interfere in the 2016 election. A few people writing editorials in Kyiv papers is not the same as active measures on Facebook. If that was the case, many politicians around the world did the same. This benefits the Russians and confuses American voters. This is hardly accidental.
And it is not just Kennedy. House Leader Kevin McCarthy has done the same, as well as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. One most wonder if they are even self-aware enough to understand they are repeating foreign propaganda? And one must also ask if they are compromised by a foreign power?
I have written this before. The party of national security has become the party of the Russian oligarchy. Partly they like the white supremacy and Christian values emerging from the former Soviet Union. That Donald Trump has conflicts of interest is clear, but now this extends to the whole party.
Somewhere Ronald Reagan, a cold warrior par excellence, is doing summersaults. His party is gone and has been replaced by people willing to sell American interests to Russia.