If The Senate Trial Doesn't Blow Up The GOP's Big Lie — Democracy Is Doomed

Thom plus logo It's about more than just the impeachment of Trump

Republicans are arguing today that impeaching Donald Trump after he has left office is unconstitutional and makes no sense…because he's left office.

This just proves that they're operating in the interest of politics rather than the United States, and a couple of simple data points blow their argument all to hell.

First, Donald Trump was in office when he was impeached, and the House tried to send the impeachment to the Senate for trial while Trump was still president. Mitch McConnell refused to accept the referral then, saying he wouldn't hold the trial until the day after Trump left office.

Now McConnell is saying that because Trump has left office the trail shouldn't happen at all, a situation himself himself set up!

That is such a clear demonstration of bad faith, of cynical manipulation, of politicians unwilling to do what's best for our nation, that it's laughable.

That the Republicans in the Senate are even making such an argument seriously should shock Americans.

It definitely demonstrates that most Republicans in the Senate would rather throw in with a fascist cult leader than with the bedrock principles of the Constitution and the needs of the American people, who were largely ignored while almost a half-million of us died unnecessarily in a pandemic that Donald Trump out of laziness, stupidity or malice totally botched.

And impeachment is about more than just removal from office: it's about justice, accountability and deterrence of future criminality or treason in the White House.

Second, the trail being held in the Senate this week will determine if the crimes that Donald Trump committed while he was in office are so egregious that he should be officially identified as a criminal and barred from holding future political office.

Let's be clear: Donald Trump created a Big Lie, saying that he actually won an election that he lost by over 7 million votes, because, he said, of "voter fraud," based on the Big Lie of voter fraud that the GOP has been pushing for 40 years.

This "voter fraud" Big Lie is quite simply a covert way of maintaining modern-day Jim Crow voter-suppression techniques against African-Americans and other people of color, young people, and Social Security voters because all these groups tend to vote Democratic rather than Republican.

And they haven't let go of it yet: over 200 pieces of voter-suppression legislation have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in state capitols across the country just in the past few weeks since Trump lost the election.

Third, a number of the Republican senators and members of the House explicitly or implicitly supported Trump in both his Big Lie and even his exhortation to march on the Capitol.

Many of the people who committed treason by trying to overthrow our government as the electoral vote was being counted have openly proclaimed under oath in court that they only did so because they believed Donald Trump told them to.

Many also believed he would legally protect them if they succeeded in taking down our current government and replacing it with Trump as a strong-man dictator-for-life.

This was explicitly an attempted coup, and needs to be dealt with as such.

At the very least, Senators Ted Cruz, Tommy and Josh Hawley participated in the Big Lie and thus helped foment the attempted treason, a fact Republican leadership is going out of its way to avoid because expelling them from the Senate could be a major loss for them politically.

As the trial goes on, America will see how over 60 specific proclamations by Donald Trump, each one a lie that the election had been rigged, manipulated, and stolen, would motivate gullible people to insurrection, treason and murder.

While many facilitated that Big Lie, some to help Trump and others to prop up the republican fiction of widespread "voter fraud," its principal author was Donald Trump.

Hitler famously rode to victory the Big Lie that Jews, communists and trade union leaders had "stabbed Germany in the back" by prematurely negotiating a surrender in World War I.

Republicans hope to ride their Big Lie of "voter fraud" to electoral victory in 2022 in 2024 as their lackeys in state governments make it harder and harder for average people to vote.

And this week Trump hopes to use this Big Lie to avoid a conviction in the Senate that would end his pension, Secret Service protection, travel paid for by the American people, and his ability to run for office in the future.

Trump has committed many crimes in office, from directing his staff to violate the Hatch Act to outing American spies to letting almost a half-million people die from a disease his administration could have contained.

But the one with the most lasting consequences, the one most likely to further damage and possibly even destroy our democratic republic, the one Republicans right now are trying to use to pass hundreds of pieces of legislation to make it more difficult to vote, is the Big Lie that millions of Black people in our cities double-vote and that millions of undocumented people are showing up at the polls to vote illegally.

Trump begin promoting this Lie in 2016 when he said that he lost the New Hampshire primary because Black people came across the border from Boston in buses to illegally vote, and that Hillary Clinton winning the national vote by more than 3 million was just Hispanics without documentation voting in California.

He and Republicans across his party continued to promote this Lie for the four years of his administration, with the assistance of their fellow travelers in the media.

There is literally no evidence of any of these things happening anywhere in the United States at any time in modern history.

If Democrats don't use this senate impeachment trial as an opportunity to expose and explode the Big Lie that is at the core of it, they will have missed a vital opportunity.

And if Donald Trump isn't convicted and stripped of the accoutrements of his former office, America and the rest of the world will be made less safe.

Donald Trump is on trial, but the real stakes here are the fate and future of democracy in the United States of America.


Originally posted on thomhartmann.medium.com


TonyDinSoIllinois's picture
TonyDinSoIllinois 2 years 16 weeks ago

so true, Thom.

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 2 years 16 weeks ago

How can you watch a TV and not even ask yourself at least a few questions

about what is being said? ( Left or Right! )

What would make a person dumb enough to blindly follow a nominee,

And not see what trouble their children will have with the world?

And not even ask themselves; is this person good for the public?

Maybe one of our politicial Parties is Zombies?

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deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 16 weeks ago

Rep. Raskin's Video Montage of Capitol Insurrection introduced on the first day of the second impeachment trial of Trump the Loser.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 2 years 16 weeks ago

As brilliant as the Democratic presentation was today at the Impeachment trial, there was good news and bad news. The bad news is that it’s probably a foregone conclusion that Trump will not be convicted. The video that Democrats showed at the beginning of the presentation was not only a stunning representation of the siege on the Capitol building, it was a documentary about what Republicans have devolved to. Does anyone think that they will suddenly start having feelings of remorse, responsibility, morality, truth or accountability. That they will suddenly believe in facts, logic or reason.

Look at that video. That is who they are!

Actually, I thought the Republican lawyers did a much better job than they have been given credit for. Their job is much easier than the prosecution in that they don’t have to prove anything. They don’t have to prove Trump innocent…they don’t have to prove Trump doesn’t share any responsibility. In fact, they don’t even care about Trump’s guilt or responsibility to duty or anything else for that matter. All they have to do is make a case for a seed of doubt regarding constitutionality, providing a political off ramp that Republican senators can use as an excuse to claim that they are defending the Constitution.

Again, look at the video. That is who they are. That is who Trump’s supporters are. They don’t care about the truth but they do crave validation. This argument of constitutionality is the ticket to the team bus that Republican senators intend to ride to what they perceive as an assured victory as long as they don’t stick their hands out of the windows.

By the way, anyone surprised by McConnell’s flipflop regarding the trial hasn’t been following politics for the last 12 years.

The good news is that Republicans are in the minority and their party is shrinking. While Republicans may be a lost cause, there are plenty of Independents that can be influenced with reason. This trial is about accountability and I believe accountability is what the majority of Americans thirst for. The trial shows Republicans for what they really are and the majority of Americans will see Republicans for what they really are.

Even if Democrats lose, they should not be discouraged, rather they should be ready to double down and keep up the pressure. Republican corruption and treasons have to be held to account until they are throughly defeated and no longer a threat to our democracy. Judicial accountability is the path to this victory.

Phony political hearings like Benghazi, Fast and Furious, etc. have been used over and over again, at the cost of taxpayers, by Republicans to tarnish the Democratic brand, divide the Republic and feed red meat to their deranged base. Now is the time for hearings and trials to be used for accountability and justice to save American democracy.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 16 weeks ago

Well put. There must be accountability. Win or lose, the most important message an impeachment trial can send is to the future. Also, congressional hearings and Justice Department investigations exposing corruption and crimes are part of that process in healing our democracy for posterity.

Get it on record that the Republicans' contribution to the process was based on lies and pure bullshit and that the Democrats tried to keep the focus on the truth and the irrefutable evidence. That's what history will and should remember.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 2 years 16 weeks ago

We know you can’t reason with Republicans but with enough accountability you can declaw them.

How Trumpian was it that a good part of his defense teams argument was threatening Senators with what would happen to them if Republicans were back in power.

Reportedly, Trump was furious with his defense teams presentation. Well, you know the old saying, “you get what you don’t pay for.”

alis volat's picture
alis volat 2 years 16 weeks ago

Just because of my day, I caught the live defense first and thought it wasn't too bad and wondered if they were right about the constitutional aspects. But then I watched the recording of the House prosecution and OMG. They blew away the constitutional issues from the beginning with some excellent history and precedents.

The House team gets an A+ and the defense a D+. The Representatives simply told the truth of what they and the police experienced. The rest of the proof of criminal activity literally came out of the mouths of perpetrators including the Perp-in-Chief Trump.

The first day was definitely another example of why they hate the left so much. It's hard to watch your opponents do their homework, present it well, and connect all the dots with some emotion.

I hope they squirm while Trump fumes.

Legend 2 years 16 weeks ago

Yesterday proved that the biggest threat to Democracy in this country is the Republican Party.

Dems need to dwell on what brought these thousands of low lifers in the middle of winter to a very expensive city. Trumps lies. Lies repeated over and over by Republican Senators, Rudy, Lou Dobbs, The pillow guy, etc.

Martina M. Rippon's picture
Martina M. Rippon 2 years 16 weeks ago

Covid-19 may have originated in Wuhan, China but Covid-21 is a product of Washington D.C. With malice aforethought and afterthought the powers behind Trump's throne have devised a way of reshaping the USA into a belligerent war machine bent on destroying our society. How can we stop them?

SueN's picture
SueN 2 years 16 weeks ago

As the WHO said a couple of days ago, COVID_19 could have come from anywhere. All it needed was for the first, asymptomatic, case to fly in from somewhere else. The first Chinese cases were not at the market, though there was a cluster there a few days later. They don't know who patient zero was or where the reservoir of animals where it was caught are.

For more about Trump's mishandling see https://suenethercott.medium.com/jaccuse-donald-trump-210a9e7ab7d7 and for a more detailed timeline see https://www.thomhartmann.com/covid-19

Convicting him in the Senate would be a good start, even if it is for another of his misdeeds. Then sue the heck out of him. Deter others from following in his footsteps.

DrJ_ESL's picture
DrJ_ESL 2 years 15 weeks ago

I was in Okinawa earlier this week and caught Thom's podcast of AFN.

He read an essay about a "guy" who incited, aided and abetted an "event"

Basically, it sounded like he was talking about Donny but he was actually talking about Bin Laden.

I'm wondering if the text is available somewhere? I did a cursory search on the Website but can't find it.

Does anyone know where I can find it?

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