Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Mitch McConnell wants this message out there:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell supports Democrats' move to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump and is "done" and "furious" with him, sources familiar told Fox News.

It is unclear how McConnell would vote in an impeachment trial, should House Democrats vote to impeach Trump. It is not clear at this point whether McConnell would vote to convict....

[A] source told Fox News that McConnell told associates that impeachment will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.
This follows similar reports at The New York Times and CNN.

McConnell lost his judge appointer when Trump was defeated in the presidential election, then lost his majority leader position when Democrats swept the Georgia Senate runoffs, a rout widely blamed on Trump. You can see why McConnell might be peeved at the president (whose words almost got a lot of people, possibly including McConnell, killed).

But McConnell doesn't have the backbone to endorse impeachment publicly. There's no indication of whether he actually wants Trump convicted in the Senate. (Conviction will require 17 GOP votes, or more if a Democrat such as Joe Manchin votes to acquit.) McConnell may be legitimately angry, but he also seems to want the GOP to send mixed signals, knowing that Trump is still popular with the party base and knowing that if the winds shift a tiny bit, it will be convenient for his party to portray the Democrats as hyperpartisan zealots.

If McConnell really wants to Washington to unite on an anti-Trump message, he should not only endorse conviction, he and the rest of his party should admit that the election was fair and that Biden was the legitimate winner. But Republicans can't do that, because they'll be acknowleging that they were liars when they said there were widespread election irregularities and Trump's fight to prove fraud was legitimate.

McConnell's move will, however, probably persuade wealthy donors who are wary of the GOP after last week's riot that the party has nothing whatsoever to do with those awful MAGA types. It will also persuade the mainstream media that Republicans aren't the Trump party, even though they were until just a week ago.

So Democrats will do the heavy lifting, a few Republicans in the House and Senate will join them, Trump won't be convicted, but the GOP will get brownie points for distancing itself from Trump even as the majority of its members continue to back him, tacitly or overtly. I guess that's what McConnell wants.

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