Will History Judge GOP Senators Who Vote to Normalize Trump's Treason as Traitors Themselves?

Thom plus logo Do they really think a BJ is worse than insurrection?

Fascism is on the rise in America, and Republicans in the Senate will either take a big step to stop it, or become complicit in its continued rise.

Alarmingly, several Republican senators, all with presidential ambitions, are signaling with their behavior that fascism and overthrowing the United States government is really just fine with them. They may even consider it part of their own future career path.

Senator Josh Hawley leans back with his feet up on the chair in front of him ignoring the impeachment proceedings, joined by Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Rick Scott, and Marco Rubio, all behaving like clueless high school jocks in algebra class, the tough guys, the big men, the proud-of-how-stupid-but-tough-I-am asses we all remember from our teenage years.

Twenty two years ago this winter Bill Clinton was hauled up before the Senate to be tried and removed from the White House, with a lifetime ban on serving in future political office, because he lied about getting a BJ from a consenting adult without the knowledge of his wife.

Trying to hide an extramarital affair was such a severe crime that it warranted conviction and a permanent banishment from politics, according to the 1998 "Guilty" votes of Mitch McConnell, Mike Crapo, Lindsey Graham, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi, James Inhofe, Rob Portman, Jerry Moran, Richard Shelby, Pat Roberts, John Thune, and Roger Wicker, all currently sitting in the Senate.

So we know they all think lying about a BJ is impeachable. Definitely a High Crime. The Founders wouldn't have tolerated it, and it's a severe danger to our republic.

These senators all did their best to convict Clinton for his "outrageous" and "indefensible" breach of presidential behavior, and many, like Mitch McConnell, gave eloquent speeches about what a severe threat it is to our republic when a president lies to hide his extramarital sex life from his wife.

But how do they feel about treason?

Inciting a mob to kill five people and trying to bring down the government of the United States?

Lying for months about the integrity of America's elections, echoing talking points from some of the world's worst dictators that elections are rigged in most democracies?

We'll know in a few days what these Senators and their Republican colleagues think of these crimes, and if they think that inciting sedition and insurrection are breaches of trust and faith to the republic less severe than lying about consensual sex outside of marriage.

The evidence of Donald Trump's incitement to insurrection is irrefutable.

He promulgated the big lie for five years, saying that millions of people vote illegally in the United States every year and therefore American elections can't be trusted.

Trump claimed in 2016 that the only reason Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than him was because of "illegal voters," mostly in California. He repeated that lie hundreds of times and continues to hold to it to this day.

He compounded that monstrous lie, saying that he won the election of 2020 when in fact Joe Biden got 7 million more votes than he did and easily won the Electoral College.

He spent months priming his crowd with his big lie, call them together into Washington DC on January 6, and then aimed them at Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi and the Capitol building.

Donald Trump is clearly guilty of inciting insurrection, a charge right on the edge of outright treason. The most severe danger to America, if Trump gets away with it, is the normalization of candidates promoting insurrection to overturn an election they lost.

One wonders if the senators who are doodling, yawning, and diverting their eyes are thinking that four years from now they may have to overthrow an election they lost, too? Is he their mentor, their role model?

We'll find out when they vote.

Will these Republican senators, many who were so horrified by Bill Clinton getting a BJ under the desk, decide that using a mob to kill five people and overthrow an election is actually a much lesser crime than insurrection?

If they do, they will be guilty of treason, too. And the concept of democracy in our constitutional republic will be shaken to its core.


Originally posted on thomhartmann.medium.com.


Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 2 years 15 weeks ago

Republican Employment Form

(Circle the choice:)

1 Are you capable of acting like an Eighth Grader when you hear the truth?



2 Are you capable of screaming out lies?



3 Does it bother your conscience to be getting Big money grants from Million or Billionaires ?



4 Are you capable of changing your mind when it's convenient for your party?



5 Do you have no conscience when it comes to helping the poor ?



p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 115%; background: transparent }

DrRichard 2 years 15 weeks ago

Well in fairness Clinton did lie to a grand jury, but given his "crime" he came off more sleazy and stupid than anything else. And we know that Trump is just garbage on many levels. I had a sad laugh today hearing about his followers who thought he would cover for them when they invaded the Capitol. Some were so surprised that he abandoned them, as though they (and Pence) shouldn't have realized that this is a man who betrayed everyone who ever trusted him. Anyway, there will be no "Profiles in Courage" for the senators who won't convict this scum, and history won't be kind to them.

Perhaps we can use the old Groucho Marx line, "I wouldn't join a club that would have me as a member." And so maybe a few of these senators will realize that grubbing for votes from people one should be ashamed of having as their supporters just isn't worth it. But I doubt it.

napaeric's picture
napaeric 2 years 15 weeks ago

Far right has a whole new meaning today. Even Putin could not dream of such a great outcome to bring down the USA.

I shudder to think of my country under these anti democratic people running our country. I had been thinking of leaving, if that happens I will not be able to sneek out. They will be locking up "Traitors to Trump". A very scary thought.

Shut him down if you can. Resist with reason if you can. Let Democracy live for as long as you live at least. I will try.

djgilbert 2 years 15 weeks ago

Art. I, § 3, cl. 6: "And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present."

Today, 12 members reported absent. Two-thirds of 88 = 58.

Can the VP cast a tie-breaker vote?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 15 weeks ago

Of all the high crimes and misdemeanors of the last four years, the Democrats should have impeached and then prosecuted Trump and his cronies to the fullest extent of the law for criminally negligent atrocities against humanity as soon as it became apparent that he purposely "played down" the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 contagion.

He was well briefed well ahead of time. But for crass political purposes, Trump's astounding dereliction of duty -- one for the history books -- will have led to the unnecessary deaths of nearly a million Americans, and to millions more suffering lifelong afflictions, before the virus is finally contained.

He should have been impeached and convicted for blackmailing the Ukrainian president instead of helping him fight off Russian aggression. He should have been impeached and convicted for kidnapping children at the border and throwing them in cold cages like animals. He should have been impeached and convicted for the slaughter of the Kurds and the loss of their homeland (again) when he betrayed them on the battlefield. He should have been impeached and convicted for threatening to nuke North Korea, for nearly triggering a war with Iran, for unilaterally breaking international treaties, for sucking up to Putin while he hacked our systems, for illegally interfering with our elections, for ...so many things.

But for the staggering death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic -- yeah, that surely deserves a full accounting beyond any meager justice meted out on this physical plane of existence. Although for once, it would be so nice to see a U.S. president sitting behind bars paying for his monstrous crimes, as would any mere mortal. If nothing else, honoring our Constitution and a fair and equitable justice system is the most salient message we can send to other nations and to the future. Otherwise, what good are we?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 2 years 15 weeks ago

HA! HA! HA! Those old so called “Main Stream” Republicans, in their short term logic, have effectively gerrymandered themselves out of the Party. This is the byproduct of the old Republican “Southern Strategy” of pandering to conservative white supremacist voters. Eventually, districts all over the country were gerrymandered to embrace more and more extreme white conservatives to secure primary and congressional victories.

The ultimate effect was that old school conservatives are now no longer extreme enough for the Frankenstein monsters that they gave life to. Now their very survival requires them to bow down and kiss the ring of the traitorous bigot Religious Right's messiah, Donald Trump, or be primaried out of office, or run for their life as the Capital Building is being overrun by rabidly crazy nazi fascist neo-confederate Trumpers. Even Reagan couldn’t survive in todays Trump party…think Pence running for his life.

Congratulations GOP, the means have overwhelmed the ends.

lalex's picture
lalex 2 years 15 weeks ago

I'm curious how many will be watching the defense rebuttal?

Rep. Raskin & company were brilliant. What could the defense be; how do you defend the indefensible? This impeachment really should have been over in an hour. Truly, "but for" Trump, none of this would have happened on the 6th of January. Case closed.

Personally, I won't be able to watch the defense team. Albeit, they probably don't have much to go more than a couple of hours, unless Castor rambles on again about nothing, but it will be the usual smoke and mirrors. i.e. Trump didn't know this would happen (OK, so when it happened, why didn't he call it off with a single tweet?), he has first amendment rights (sorry, doesn't apply to the President), and other non-sequiturs.

In the last televised impeachment, I couldn't cope with the stream of lies from the defense, felt my blood pressure rising, and was unable to watch. Anyone else feeling like this?


deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 15 weeks ago

Lies are their only "defense."

AnnMariOn's picture
AnnMariOn 2 years 15 weeks ago

This is a tragic and horrifying reality that any elected American official is willing to sell out the future of democracy. The GOP holdouts are well educated professionals, and no reasonable person could deny Trump's complicity in the insurrection. Is it possible that the problem runs a lot deeper than we realize? In one news clip, Trump "reminds" his constituents that "he helped them get (re)elected" as if somehow they owe him. What exactly did he do to get them re-elected? What exactly do they owe him? Is there some horrific blackmail evidence in Trump's bag of tricks that could lead rational human beings to compromise the future of humanity for one more term in office? Is there a rational explanation for any of this?

alis volat's picture
alis volat 2 years 15 weeks ago

Remove senior citizen Rick from the Senate Bad Boys, and you have white men 40 to 50 years old. What was the dominant demographic of the mob that despoiled the capitol and killed people? Some younger, but a lot of middle-aged angry, emotionally stunted white guys. We need a good forensic psychologist. They could also give us insight into what Republicans did to Clinton and why that weasle couldn't admit he wasn't perfect.

All that said, this verdict is about doing the right thing. That takes integrity and an emotional IQ higher than a 14 year old with oppositional defiant disorder.

I am confidant we will get to a better future without these assholes. This era has given and is giving birth to millions of activists that know how to say no to something without carrying pikes, bear spray, and firearms.

As for a repeat performance....all those insurgents might find out the cops at the capitols are going to be ready for them. They will be up to date on their gun qualifications at the range and not so restrained about shooting.

BlackKnight's picture
BlackKnight 2 years 15 weeks ago

I was discussing the impeachment trial with a friend today who said that she just wants it over and to move on. I replied that I would have been happy to see Trump indicted for treason and/or murder. I would be quite satisfied with both of those.

Legend 2 years 15 weeks ago

The defense will be little to nothing. Why say anything when the vote is all ready cast in acquittal. Look at the 2022 Senate Race Map. They have very little to lose and will throw a ton of money at the few races that might be close. They can even let Murkowski and Collins vote impeachment and still have plenty of room. Mitch will pick who votes what and you can guarantee that it will not end up 67%. The Republican Senators have no concern for American Democracy. You can hit Republican voters on the head with a sledge hammer and they will still vote Republican.

The only mistake that I feel the prosecution made was not going back to the 2016 Iowa primary that Ted Cruz won. Trumps first political election and he called it a fraud. Then 2016 Presidential race and the vote was a constant fraud. This is his MO. I also did not see them bring up the fact that the head of the Proud Boys visited the White House before January 6th. There is a lot more to investigate over who financed and organized this. There was lots of money involved. More arrests need to be made. Plea bargaining will bring out more,

Impartial Jury? Impeachment is a mockery of the judicial system.

I hope that at least the police officer that died, family members can sue Trump in a civil case.

Concerned Teacher's picture
Concerned Teacher 2 years 15 weeks ago

Tragically, I am beyond being surprised. The hypocracy of the Republicans was glaring when Republican Senators rushed to fill a Supreme Court seat a few weeks before the election when the American people spoke, denying their party and their leader a second term, despite their justifications for denying Merrick Garland a hearing in early 2016. Likening the "tough guy" Republican Senators to 8th graders is apt. I, a teacher, continue to see the third grade playground bully personified in their leader. They are the 8th grade wannabees following the oversized third grade bully they wish they themselves were or that they think will deliver them the goods they want. Too bad for them, the third grade bully has no sense of loyalty to his team.

Legend 2 years 15 weeks ago

Inflation. The Government keeps talking about low inflation. Take a look at Bitcoin since September 2020. If you want something steady, look at Apple over 5 years. Or the DOW, which has doubled in 5 years. If your income is fixed, these are going up at a massive rate without you. That is inflation.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 15 weeks ago

57 - 43. Seven brave souls crossed over the chasm and did the right thing. Sadly, they are the exceptions that prove the rule: Most Republican politicians care more about clinging to power than they do about pursuing truth and justice "to form a more perfect Union."

Dragging the bottom for the votes of traitors, lunatics, and liars, against all evidence, the majority of Trump-stink Senators joined their fellow cowards in the House and voted not guilty, acquitting their loony-tune leader of a violent insurgency incited to halt the sacred work of our democracy, kill freely-elected congressmen-women, and hang his own Vice President. At least their cowardice and treachery are solidly on the record and burned into memory not only for upcoming elections in the foreseeable future but also for all of history.

Now it's up to the federal, state, and city justice systems to salvage any faith left in the institutions of our democracy. Don't hold your breath, but don't lose hope.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 14 weeks ago

#6 Very well said... astute and to the point

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 14 weeks ago

#9 It's called greed

Spelled America

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 14 weeks ago

#10 The sad thing is 70.000.000 people voted for this orange, crooked, nutjob mindlessness and they all think it's okay?


Somehow one has to consider the dumbing down of education could be a factor here... this has been going on for a couple of generations now

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