There’s something poetic about the rage I’m seeing from some of the more visible and vocal Never Trumpers.
In this case, I’m not talking about your family member who just doesn’t want to vote for Trump. I’m talking about the absolute crazy people who work for outlets like The Washington Post, MSNBC, and The Bulwark. These are the group of Never Trumpers who’ve pronounced they’d vote for Elizabeth Warren over Trump, because principles or something.
Over the past two months, we’ve heard a common refrain them and Democrats at large. Namely, that impeachment is a political process. This has been used to excuse all manner of dictatorial norm busting and minority crushing by Adam Schiff. Any complaints about the matter were immediately met with “but impeachment is political, not a legal process!”
Heck, just two days ago, Rick Wilson and Tom Nichols were making excuses for the majority not playing by the rules in the house.
After days of the Republicans on the committee engaging a whole variety of dilatory tactics, pranks, delays, bullshit show votes, grotesque contortions of the truth, stompy-foot temper tantrums, and spittle-flecked ranting, NOW Doug Collins demands the majority play by the rules.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) December 13, 2019
“This is a Stalinesque proceeding,” says a duly elected congressman on national television under the full protection of the laws, the constitution, and wearing a pin identifying him with all of the rights of the member of a national legislature.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) December 13, 2019
Then something amazing happened.
Mitch McConnell came out and let it be known that he was going to allow Trump to coordinate his own defense, which includes allowing the White House to decide what witnesses they want called.
CNN brings us the hand-wringing.
Some Democrats are raising concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement that he will coordinate closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial, with one House Democrat saying the Kentucky Republican should recuse himself entirely.
“He’s working hand in hand with the White House, with the President’s attorney, and yet we’re supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial trial?” said Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings when asked about McConnell’s remarks. “I think he should recuse himself.”
The irony is so thick that you could cut it with a knife. These are the same exact people who spent months insisting Democrats could do anything they wanted in the House because the majority rules. And to be clear, there’s nothing improper about McConnell coordinating with Trump’s lawyers on how they’d like to be allowed to defend themselves. That’s the very basis of our justice system, i.e. that the defense gets to call its own witnesses and present its own defense.
This sent the aforementioned Never Trumpers into an apoplectic rage. We also call it schadenfreude.
If McConnell continues to collude and four R's do not defect to demand a real trial with witnesses then peaceful, mass protest is in order. This should not stand.
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) December 13, 2019
“I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.”
— Mitch McConnell
Shouldn’t McConnell take his cues from 1) the Constitution, 2) the rules and precedents of the Senate, and 3) the requirements of a real and fair trial? https://t.co/4FjTJSfTxs
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 13, 2019
But there are other questions. The rules set by the Senate for the Clinton trial were adopted unanimously after they were worked out mutually by leaders Daschle and Lott. McConnell voted for them! There is no reason to abandon them. But there will be a Senate debate and vote
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) December 13, 2019
The worry about keeping to previously held rules in that last tweet is just hilarious.
Justin Amash, who hasn’t said one cross word about the sham process in the House, also chimed in. Apparently, he found time to Tweet between ranting on MSNBC and attending the White House Christmas party, because you know, everyone attends the Christmas party of someone they think is a “danger to our democracy.”
Senators “shall be on Oath or Affirmation.”
“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.” https://t.co/xjDj3OHvRu
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 14, 2019
Maybe I’m enjoying this a bit too much, but I just find the hypocrisy here absolutely incredible and humorous. You don’t get to assert repeatedly that anything goes in impeachment because it’s political and then suddenly expect Republicans to cower before you once it goes to the Senate. McConnell is not going to let this turn into a circus and he’s going to allow the White House the proper leeway to defend themselves the way they see fit.
That’s not “collusion,” it’s normal procedure. That’s something that didn’t take place under Adam Schiff’s rule (well, the collusion part did), yet not a single one of these Never Trumpers could find any outrage over it. In fact, most lauded Schiff’s leadership at the time. The rules don’t suddenly change now, and impeachment doesn’t become any less political the moment it doesn’t favor their narrative.
Sorry about that.