Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Impeachment did not prevail, but Trump still lost

David Frum writes:

In 1955, a junior United States senator named John F. Kennedy published Profiles in Courage, a collection of short essays about eight of his predecessors who had risked their careers for their ideals over the previous 150 years.

In one single day in 2021, that many senators showed courage worth enduring historical honor. Seven were Republicans: Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey. The other was Joe Manchin, a Democrat from a state where nearly 69 percent of the voters chose Donald Trump for president in 2020.

Thanks to their integrity, a clear majority of the Senate voted to condemn the former president as an insurrectionist against the United States. The 57–43 margin wasn’t enough to convict under the Constitution. It wasn’t enough to formally disqualify Trump from ever again seeking office in the United States. But practically? It will do as a solemn and eternal public repudiation of Trump’s betrayal of his oath of office.

You say that you are disappointed? That a mere rebuke was not enough? That justice was not done? It wasn’t. But now see the world from the other side, through the eyes of those who defend Trump or even want him to run again. Their hope was to dismiss this impeachment as partisan, as founded on fake evidence, as hypocritical and anti-constitutional—to present this verdict as an act of oppression by one half the country against the other. That hope was banished today.

It’s not half against half. It’s a clear American majority—including a sizable part of the Republican Senate caucus—against a minority. And even many of the senators who voted to acquit went on record to condemn Trump as an outlaw and a seditionist. [Continue reading…]

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