There is no bottom for the current GOP

Donald Trump NATO image by Lenny Ghoul.

With their “Not Accountable!” vote, the Republicans demonstrate, once again, that there is no bottom to their lack of morals and principles. They have chosen Trump over everything else.

I went into this impeachment trial knowing full well what the outcome would be. We all knew how it would end. I knew that watching it would make me angry. I knew that watching how the Republican Senators and the Republican voters handled it would make me angry.

Still, I am dismayed at where our country is, and where it’s headed, based on what has just happened.

But make no mistake, this verdict does not mean that Trump is “not guilty” of inciting the insurrection. He clearly is. The entire impeachment process is a farce. The facts don’t matter. The evidence doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters in the end is how best can the Senators protect their seat and their power. That’s it. Period. There are very few that are exceptions to that, and they are easy to spot.

Look, there really is no serious debate about this. There is absolutely no question that Trump is responsible for inciting the attack on our U.S. Capitol. The evidence is massively overwhelming, direct, and clear. Any factually-informed, rationally-thinking, intellectually-honest person can readily see that. We saw it with our own eyes play out in real-time in Trump’s speeches, and rallies, and “press conferences”, and tweets on a daily basis for months. Many of us predicted from the very beginning that his words and actions would result in something exactly like the attack on the Capitol. It was obvious to anyone really paying attention.

I believe that even most of the people who still support Trump can easily see it, whether or not they admit it (they won’t).

So, what’s the problem? Why will the Republican Senators still refuse to hold him accountable? Why will the majority of Republican voters still refuse to hold him accountable? Why would they still support him if he is allowed to run again in 2024? Why would they follow him if he decides to start a new Trump Party?

Here’s why:

  1. The majority of Republican voters, even after overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and no evidence supporting the claim that has withstood any scrutiny, still believe that the election was stolen through massive voter fraud.
  2. Because they believe that, they believe that their country is being stolen.
  3. They believe that those who stole it are going to destroy the country by implementing tyrannical socialism and freedom will then be lost forever. And here’s the most important part to realize after viewing the impeachment trial and wondering how anyone could watch all of that and still not want Trump to be convicted in the impeachment (at the least):
  4. Because they believe 1, 2, and 3 above, even if they agree that Trump incited the insurrection, they believe that it was justified. They believe that Trump did it for good reasons and that the people who actually attacked the U.S. Capitol are patriots. They won’t say that. They will feign disapproval of the insurrectionists. But when it comes right down to it, that is the only conclusion that fits. They believe the insurrection was justified.

That’s it. That’s the crux of the situation. They are so stuck in their bubble of bullshit, that they truly believe that Trump really won the election, that the Democrats stole it, and therefore, Trump was justified to do everything he did and the real patriots were justified in their anger and there attack on the Capitol. That’s the bottom line.

And as I’ve said before, if they really do believe 1, 2, and 3 above, then it is reasonable that they hold the position of 4. I would. The problem is that it is not reasonable or rational to still believe in 1, 2, and 3 above.

As for the Republican Senators, even though they know Trump is guilty of the charges, they will not vote to convict for two reasons:

  1. Many of them are complicit in the incitement by going along with and participating in the lies that Trump was telling. Therefore, they know that by stating Trump is guilty, they would also be saying they are guilty as well. Actual accomplices in the crime were sitting as jurors.
  2. They understand the 4 points above concerning the Republican voters. They know if they go against Trump, their political career is likely over. Therefore, they are putting their own self-interest and ambitions for power above the Constitution and the country.

That’s the reality of the situation. And that is a devastating realization when you consider the ramifications of this for the future of our nation. The things we have learned during the past four years is that there are absolutely no checks on the Executive Branch at this time. The precedent that the Republicans have set in destroying all semblance of any accountability to the Executive has done more damage to our Constitutional system than anything the Democrats have done (and yes, they have done plenty over the years, don’t kid yourself).

Because of the Republicans, it is clear that the President of the United States is above the law. Here’s what they have done:

  1. A sitting President cannot be indicted.
  2. A President can obstruct any investigation on him without worry. Simply refuse to allow witnesses to testify when subpoenaed by Congress, and refuse to produce any documents when likewise, subpoenaed. No problem.
  3. A President cannot be impeached for abuse of power. We learned that in the first Trump impeachment.
  4. A President can say anything he wants at any time and be protected under the First Amendment.
  5. A President can do whatever he wants during the lame duck period because there is no point in impeachment at all. Well, for that matter, I guess that applies to the entire term now.
  6. A President can incite an insurrection that attacks the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of congress in an attempt to steal an election to keep himself in power, killing multiple people in the process without worry.

There is no point to the impeachment power in the Constitution now. None. There is no point to the 25th Amendment power in the Constitution. There is no accountability or any check on the Executive Branch and that is a very dangerous thing. I don’t claim that Democrats have no part in that, but what has become crystal clear is that the Republicans have put the final nails in that coffin during the past four years.

The House managers in the impeachment trial did a superb job in putting the whole thing together in a way that anyone who watched it should have absolutely no doubts about Trump’s guilt. Were they perfect? Of course not. We can find a few flaws here or there, but the overall picture that they painted was exactly what happened. Trump’s attorneys had their time to refute it all. But they didn’t. They couldn’t. Instead, they argued frivolous stuff like Trump was simply using his First Amendment right to free speech the whole time, or he actually said the word “peacefully” once during his one speech, so that negates the other 99.9999% of what he said for the past 4 years that was obviously inciteful speech (and tweets), or he’s now just a regular citizen so he isn’t even subject to impeachment. All of these arguments are absurd, but that’s all they have. The rest of their time was spent showing us video of Democrats saying the word “fight” (ridiculously edited and with no context, which made the entire thing meaningless), as if that totally exonerates Trump’s use of it. It doesn’t. But even if you remove Trump’s use of the “fight like hell” stuff out of the equation, it doesn’t begin to put a dent in the full argument.

Distraction and deflection. That’s all they had. But that’s what works on Trump’s supporters, and that’s all that was needed. As long as they remain with Trump, the Republican Senators were sure to fall in line.

I honestly don’t know where the country goes from here. If we still have 40% of voters who refuse to bust out of their bubble, continue to believe demonstrable lies, and are willing to actually take up arms and attack the U.S. Capitol based on those lies…how do we even begin to remedy that?

After spending 20ish years as a very partisan voter and political activist on the Republican side, I’ve spent a lot of time (way too much) during the last 10 years studying political philosophy, the enlightenment, the founding principles, basic economics, our Constitution, and the form and structure of our government and applying it all to our contemporary political environment…all in an attempt to identify where we have gone wrong that has caused such destructive divisions which very much threaten our very exceptional constitutional republic, governed by the people.

I don’t claim to be better or smarter than anyone else, but I do claim that I have spent more time in educating myself on these issues…more than the vast majority of people. I sincerely believe that if more people gained as much knowledge in these areas as I have, they would tend to see more of what I see. Instead, they choose to remain in their own partisan bubbles and listen to dishonest, hyper-partisan demagogues who get paid a lot of money as an incentive to continue to spew their outrage politics.

My conclusions at this point in time are not encouraging. Ignorance and susceptibility to demagoguery are most definitely our biggest threat, just as it was when the founders created the Constitution. But over the years, we have chipped away at the guardrails that they put in place to protect against those concerns, and now we are living the consequences of it. It exists on both sides of the political spectrum. When I started my deep dive into this stuff, I was convinced that our biggest threat came from the left’s propensity toward increased socialism. I still see the many dangers in that, but what I didn’t realize when I started was that there was so much danger coming from the right, which has now been exposed by the last four years of Trumpism, and right now that is the most imminent, existential danger we face.

There was some glimmer of hope as one after another of Trump administration people resigned in protest over Trump’s incitement of the insurrection. Another glimmer as many former Trump administration people started to speak out, finally telling us the truth about Trump. Another glimmer as nearly every former national security person in the last half-century, both Democrats and Republicans spoke out forcefully against Trump’s actions. Another glimmer as many more current Republican officeholders began to finally say enough is enough and speak out against Trump, including one of the top leaders in the House GOP caucus and even the leader of the GOP in the Senate. I saw yet another glimmer when polling was showing Trump’s support among Republican voters plummeting, which it has. Yet, I was still disappointed when I realized that there is nobody that I personally know who voted for Trump who has withdrawn their support in any way, and who has even acknowledged Trump’s role in the insurrection at all.

In the end, it all comes back to people stuck in their own bubbles and the demagogues who perpetuate and exploit that.

And I have no idea how we fix that.

In the meantime, it is clear to me that the Republican Party is completely lacking any morals and principles at this point and that is causing them to do things that are further destroying our Constitutional system. I can’t be a part of that and I will not vote for any of them ever again while they are in this state of mind.

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About Steve Wood 257 Articles
I am a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a Citizen of the United States. As my avatar depicts, I believe The People need to relearn and focus on the basic principles that our Republic was built upon. My contributions here will be geared toward that end. Please join me in rational, civil discourse.