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Fighting Words

I'm sure the Senate impeachment trial has had its exciting moments. There's been all this talk about Trump telling his people to fight (taken out of context). Democrats maximized emotion by presenting Trump's words in a video. It was an extremely well done hit piece since the Democrats contracted with a Hollywood movie company to put it together. Of course the whole thing collapsed later when the Republican defense team finished the quotes which had been chopped in the middle by the Hollywood producers. For good measure Trump's attorney David Schoen ran Trump's entire quote concerning the Charlottesville episode showing how Democrats had omitted Trump's condemnation of racists and how the President explained who the people were on both sides (defenders and opponents of the civil war statues) who were good people.

That was followed by a montage presented by the defense team showing an assortment of Democrats declaring they were going to fight Trump (or even take him out behind the barn and beat him up. Also included were comments by House and Senate Democrats supporting last summer's riots and rioters. Clearly, if individuals were to be tossed out of office for fomenting an insurrection, Democrats would have to be included in the house cleaning.

On day five of the Senate hearing, a vote was taken as to whether to actually call on any witnesses. The vote was 55-45 in favor (mostly along party lines). There was then a question of whether a quorum was present (in spite of the 100% vote) and everyone milled around for about an hour with virtually nothing being done. Finally then someone called to the speaker that he wanted some action. He was hungry and wanted to adjourn for lunch. That was received as a good idea, so the meeting adjourned.

IF THAT LAST HOUR WAS ANYONE'S IDEA OF FIGHTING, IT WAS THE MOST BORING FIGHT ON EARTH. Clearly political candidates and parties have a very non-literal definition of that term when they use it. When they say they're going to go to Washington to fight for you, they're talking about endless talking and precious little action. When Trump told his supporters they should fight for honest government, he clearly was using the political meaning for the term. He also used the term “peaceful” which the Democrat video intentionally omitted.

When Ted Cruz was interviewed about the squabbling over whether to have witnesses or not, he opined that the real problem and reason for the controversy was that the Democrats wanted freedom to call witnesses while at the same time wanting to prevent Republicans from being able to call any witnesses to defend Trump. He also noticed that Democrats were relying on second and third hand comments as their testimony, even though such witness statements would be laughed out of any court in the land.

When everyone returned from lunch, of course, the Democrats decided to forego witnesses and hold the vote on whether to convict Donald Trump of instigating insurrection. The vote did not go their way. Fifty-seven senators (including seven Republicans) voted to convict. Forty-three senators (all Republicans) voted to acquit. Since it took a two thirds vote to convict, the Donald was acquitted for the second time in a year. 

Two of the never Trumper Republicans were retiring and therefore didn't care what the people back home thought of their votes. A third (from the deep south) had just been elected to his first term and is presumably hoping his vote is forgotten before he comes up for reelection in six years. I have it on good authority from a resident of his state, however, that he now stands zero chance of being reelected. The remaining four are in trouble. That includes Romney as well as a senator from Alaska and Maine.

When Donald Trump was asked what he thought of his acquittal, he commented that yet another phase of the witch hunt had come to an end.

Haughey is Senior Advisor of the Texas Republican County Chairman’s Association.

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