One of the curses of our political system is that we are beset and besieged by a political punditry that is both profoundly stupid and which thinks that any bit of numbskullery they come up with is “thinking outside the box.” When I want examples of this, I usually go to David French who never disappoints:
Political Trumpists and their media defense lawyers masquerading as “pundits” or “analysts” are actively cultivating an idiocracy. They deceive Americans about the constitution and history just to defend a man they’d impeach in a heartbeat if he was a Democratic president. https://t.co/MCFO4YZ0yS
— David French (@DavidAFrench) November 11, 2019
Let’s pause here and consider a president who overthrew a US ally in the Middle East, who turned a neutral nation over to al Qaeda and permitted the massacre of a US ambassador and staff at a US consulate, who set off a vicious regional war complete with chemical weapons and ethnic cleansing in order to prove that he could topple dictators on the cheap, who used the IRS to hunt down his enemies, who illegally sold weapons to Mexican narcotraficantes in order to try to justify stronger gun control at home, who encouraged a riot in a US city by sending White House staffers to attend the funeral of a thug who was killed while trying to take a police officer’s weapon, who…dear Lord, the list is never-ending and yet, and yet, a GOP-led House of Representatives never attempted to impeach him.
But this isn’t about French or his ongoing jihad to elect a Democrat as president because his principles are far too precious for mere mortals to understand. This is from some has-been GOP consultant writing in Politico: There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office.
To be properly understood, take every story you’ve ever read about a “brokered convention” (ask yourself, the next time you’re about to read one, a) when was the last time such a thing happened, b) do they think I’m stupid enough to read this article?) or “faithless electors” voting for the righteous Democrat over the evil Republican in the Electoral College and apply the same underlying principle and motivation to impeachment.
By most everyone’s judgment, the Senate will not vote to remove President Donald Trump from office if the House impeaches him. But what if senators could vote on impeachment by secret ballot? If they didn’t have to face backlash from constituents or the media or the president himself, who knows how many Republican senators would vote to remove?
A secret impeachment ballot might sound crazy, but it’s actually quite possible. In fact, it would take only three senators to allow for that possibility.
There’s already been some public speculation that, should the Senate choose to proceed with a secret ballot, Trump would be found guilty. GOP strategist Mike Murphy said recently that a sitting Republican senator had told him 30 of his colleagues would vote to convict Trump if the ballot were secret. Former Senator Jeff Flake topped that, saying he thought 35 Republican senators would vote that way.
GOP strategist Mike Murphy…Jeff Flake…LOLOL
A secret ballot might get Trump out of office sooner than everyone expects: The sooner any three Republican senators make clear that they will support nothing short of a secret ballot, the sooner Trump realizes his best course could be to cut a deal, trading his office for a get-out-of-jail-free card—a clean slate from prosecutors—just as Vice President Spiro Agnew did. And if Trump were to leave office before the end of the year, there might even be enough time for Republicans to have a vibrant primary fight, resulting in a principled Republican as the nominee.
So, we are to believe, that if there is a secret ballot, enough GOP senators will vote to convict Trump to remove him from office? We’re supposed to believe that no one would hold the GOP Senators who voted for a secret ballot responsible for the outcome? We’re supposed to believe that there would not be a backlash that would hand the Senate to the Democrats in 2020? We’re supposed to believe that the GOP establishment, regardless of their feelings about Trump, is just waiting breathlessly to remove a president AFTER the filing deadlines to appear on state ballots has passed and make the ensuing primary a write-in election–in fact, the vote, if it happens, could very well take place after Iowa and New Hampshire have voted.
This, just like the brokered convention and faithless elector stories, resembles nothing more than a pagan priestess explaining to her worshippers how the blood of virgins will make the sun come back again (wait…did I confuse that with Pope Francis’s Amazon Synod?).
Removing a president from office is not a trivial affair. Trying to engineer such a removal, in an election year, by the artifice of using a secret ballot is not something any responsible senator should be considering. This move is nothing more than a NeverTrumper’s wet dream as it would accomplish exactly none of the things the author claims and most senators have a sufficiently developed sense of self-preservation and recognition that being in the minority sucks to realize that it won’t work.
If there were truly a case for impeachment, then senators should be proud to stand up to and be counted. It wouldn’t rely upon schemes and cowardice. But we all know this is simply a Democrat-inspired and -led coup and this idea appeals to those shriveled souls who could be convinced to dishonestly vote for impeachment simply to remove a president they do not like.
— streiff (@streiffredstate) November 12, 2019