On Wednesday, during an otherwise pointless vote in the Senate, Mitt Romney voted to convict Donald Trump.
That decision, Mitt explained, is down to concerns about exposing his “character to history’s rebuke” and also to worries about whether his “own conscience” will “censor him”.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Pretensions to the moral high ground and appeals to the Almighty aside, Mitt is voting to convict because, like everyone else with working eyes, functioning ears and a brain, he knows Trump is guilty and has absolutely no business being president of anything, let alone the United States.
Almost everyone accepts that Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Gordon Sondland, Mick Mulvaney, Rick Perry and a cast of other characters, including Giuliani’s indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, carried out a laughably flagrant, not to mention wholly buffoonish, pressure campaign aimed at compelling Ukraine to interfere with the 2020 election.
That ceased to be in doubt months ago, after nearly a dozen current and former officials (including Sondland) testified both in private and on national television about their experiences.
Just about the only person America hasn’t heard from is John Bolton, but he wrote a book about the whole thing and “somebody” leaked the manuscript to The New York Times. Not surprisingly, Bolton says Trump did it – where “it” means leveraged nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid to try and compel a foreign government to launch investigations into his political rivals.
The only question in the Senate was whether Republicans would retrieve their spines from the coat room where they’ve been checked for more than three years, but even that wasn’t in question thanks to Mitch McConnell, who (literally) said he had no plans to be impartial.
Romney – God bless him – decided to take a stand. “[The President] delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. [His] purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, [he] is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault of our electoral rights”, Romney declared.
Thanks, Mitt. We know.
He continued: “Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censor of my own conscience”.
All of that is correct. The problem is that the rest of the GOP has no character and no conscience.
So, acquittal it is. The president was subsequently acquitted on both counts.
Trump can now get back to unfettered grifting, free of this meddlesome “Congress” which, by the time he finishes his fifth term and hands power to Don Jr., will consist of Sean Hannity, Candace Owens, Lou Dobbs, Herman Cain, the “My Pillow” guy and Grimace.