The famous question has nothing to do with existentialism this time, and is instead focused on our presence on this site, and in the political arena.
I find it mildly surprising that some people are feeling shaken today. I understand the nature of optimism; I tend to be more optimistic about humanity and our fellow citizens than most. That said, optimism has to be tempered with realism.
People who have been saying for months that the GOP is completely lost were nonetheless hoping that a handful of Senators would have a basic appreciation for the law and the Constitution. They believed that perhaps Bolton’s revelations would be the final straw that broke the back of the proverbial camel.
As has now been demonstrated, Bolton’s admission amounted to nothing. This should not have been surprising. The Republicans made it clear before the trial began that they were coordinating with the President to give him an expedited pass on any and all criminal activity.
It makes the result of the Clinton impeachment trial look unbiased by comparison, and Clinton was clearly guilty of perjury and suborning perjury. The people who railed against the miscarriage of justice in that instance now promote coordinating with other countries to directly undermine our election process and provide material aid to our enemy… and the last time I checked, treason was even more serious than the felony of lying under oath.
The people who were saying the GOP was lost were correct, at least on the highest levels; there are still honorable people in the state houses and on the local level, but it would be wise to screen them carefully. It would be an understatement to say we’ve been fooled before by people who claimed to be patriots and defenders of Constitutionality.
The statement made shortly after the President’s election, that this is no longer the party of Reagan but the party of Trump, could not be more true.
That said, I don’t understand any depression today. As I stated earlier, I regard myself as a firm optimist. I recognized that it was only due to that viewpoint that I was granting even a remote chance to the possibility that Trump would be removed. All signs pointed to the trial being fixed, that a cover-up was set to be enacted.
Not all battles can be won. This one was lost before it was ever engaged. It’s silly to mourn a loss in such a situation.
So, again: What are we doing here?
For some, I imagine the answer may be preservation of sanity. In that case, I happily offer this as an oasis from the lunacy which abounds in our daily lives. It’s someplace to commiserate and verify that you’re not alone in recognizing the problems we face. You are very welcome here.
For everyone else, the answer is clear: we are here to change things. To add, in our little way, our efforts toward reaffirming fealty to the rule of law and the principles established in our founding documents. For such people, today’s battle loss is a campaign win, as I explained a week ago.
If this is your goal, congratulations: you have been handed a great opportunity. It is now your task to use it.
The Republican decision to not call witnesses is going to leave some doubt in the minds of the rank and file, many of whom firmly believe themselves to be patriots. The arguments against calling them were horribly weak, and were repeatedly destroyed by, among others, Adam Schiff. I focus on him only because he performed magnificently during the trial. You, as someone who actually watched the trial or at least followed along with the arguments, should now be prepared to reaffirm those points with any Republicans who might be questioning their leadership, and with independents who were actively trying to keep clear of politics.
This is when you matter most… in the primary season. If you can convince one or two Republicans to step away from the corruption – not necessarily to the Democrats or Libertarians or even Weld, but at least away from the corruption of the party right now – there is a chance they can, in turn, convince others. A one person swing in February can become a twenty person swing by November.
That’s Republicans, who are going to be tough to convince because of their years of party affiliation. The ones who are going to be easy to approach are the independents. Many of them avoid dealing with politics at all because “they’re all corrupt”. You have a case made to order to demonstrate that, no, not everyone is corrupt; and yes, some corruption is much worse than others. And if they start talking policy, it’s easy to demonstrate (smartphones are great for this, if you can bookmark a few pieces for easy reference) that the Trumpublicans are spending more, disrespecting our military, fully funding Planned Parenthood, retaining Obamacare and basically fulfilling almost every other Democrat dream policy beyond the level that Democrats historically have, all while insisting that they’re somehow against it.
Factoring in independents, work now could shift hundreds of votes by November.
If you’re dealing with someone who’s waffling because they’re a talk radio/OANN devotee who supports Trump but recognizes that what the Senate did was wrong, focus your attention on the Senators only. Trump is a likely loser anyway, the goal here is to clear out as much corruption as possible and not let the Senators get away with abandoning their oaths.
Don’t worry about the cheering of the cultists, the ones who go beyond mere Trump/Republican support into the aggressive presentation of conspiracy theory. Remember, there’s a reason they’re cultists, and it’s not because their opinions are wise. They’re not reachable, reasonable, or worth your time.
If the Republicans had backed away and demonstrated that a handful of them were, in fact, worth saving, it would have meant that Pence, who has demonstrated himself to be a staunch enabler of corruption, would have been elevated to the Presidency, the Republican Senators who weren’t worth saving would have been given cover in their re-election campaigns and Trump would have been elevated as a political martyr by his mindless throngs who would be praying a rosary for his “last great economy” for decades after his Wall Street bubble bursts. (They may yet do that last one, but at least people will have general election ads explaining the bubble, now, as Democrats scramble to avoid being blamed for Trump’s don’t-tax-but-spend policy.) The Republicans could plausibly have retained both the Presidency and the Senate in the next election without Democrat self-destruction.
As it is, their chances of retaining either just spiraled down the toilet alongside the waste of their morality, ethics and patriotism.