Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it abundantly clear over and over again just how little he cares about his sacred Constitutional responsibilities. He’s a cynical operative serving at the whims of the ultra-wealthy whose lasting legacy will be packing our courts with underqualified, regressive right-wing fanatics and enabling the worst president in American history. In order to accomplish the former, he happily does the latter, which is why he has already announced that he intends to work closely with the White House to undermine impeachment once it reaches the Senate.
“I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision,” McConnell admitted just last month.
Always a shrewd tactician, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has held off on sending the articles of impeachment passed by the House to the Senate for trial just yet. Instead, she is pushing for assurances that it will be a fair process rather than a Republican whitewashing effort.
Last month, she explained that the Founding Fathers didn’t envision a nightmare scenario in which the country would have a “rogue president and rogue leader in the Senate at the same time.” Once more details about the trial are made available, Pelosi said Democrats will be able to appoint their House managers for the case.
McConnell, a shameless man who seems to delight in hypocrisy, attacked Pelosi today for her approach. He referred to it as “the most rush, least thorough and most unfair” process possible and accused Democrats of getting “cold feet” on impeachment.
The man who has already stated that he intends to approach impeachment as a partisan went on to call it “inappropriate” and “embarrassing” for Democrats to proceed with a “partisan basis.” The Senate Majority Leader also accused Pelosi of treating impeachment like a “political toy” right after seemingly accidentally referring to her as “Madam President.”
“House Democrats say they’re waiting for some mythical leverage. I’ve had difficulty figuring out where the leverage is. Apparently, this is their proposition: if the Senate does not agree to break with our own unanimous bipartisan precedent from 1999 and agree to let Speaker Pelosi hand-design a different procedure for this Senate trial then they might not ever drop this mess in our lap,” said McConnell, completely misrepresenting the Democrats’ requests. “One cynical political game right on top of another,” McConnell added, providing a far more apt description for his own modus operandi than Pelosi’s behavior.
All of this complaining on McConnell’s part comes even as he and his Republican stooges in the Senate are working to ensure that no new evidence or witnesses are brought forward in the Senate trial. Their efforts to shield Trump and conceal the truth of his behavior from the public could not be more transparent.
Pelosi is right to stand up against the shame trial promised by McConnell. The American people have a right to hold their president accountable for betraying his oath of office. By refusing to allow it, Republicans are tacitly signaling that they think it’s acceptable for presidents to coerce foreign leaders into helping their reelection efforts. Such a precedent, if unchallenged, could very well be the death knell of our democracy. McConnell and his craven ilk have got to go.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.