The first ever US Senate impeachment trial of a former president has commenced with the blessing of the entire Democratic US Senate delegation and the backing of six Republican US Senators, which includes Louisiana US Senator Bill Cassidy.
You know when a politician has struck a political nerve when the mother of the girl you dated in high school calls to register her disgust about Cassidy’s vote.
And there were plenty more angry calls and texts that followed, and I don’t disagree with the sentiments expressed.
Cassidy is being judged by Republicans not just his action of sustaining the constitutionality of the impeachment trial of a former president, inferred as a hostile posture towards Trump, but his mixed public signaling on impeachment and the company he aligned himself on this vote.
Toeing a line next to Mitt Romney and the rest of the Never Trumper GOP caucus is a disconcerting look in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of voters who supported both the senator and the president in their respective reelection bids on November 3rd.
And while Cassidy did receive one percentage point more than Trump on election day, his marginally higher vote share is likely more attributable to there being 76,519 fewer votes cast in the US Senate race than the existence of a bloc of Biden-Cassidy voters, aside from the senator’s personal friends in south Baton Rouge.
Actually President Trump received 26,868 more votes than Senator Cassidy.
A quick perusal of Leftist postings on Cassidy’s Twitter account don’t indicate much appreciation for his bipartisan musings.
It wouldn’t be fair to refer to Cassidy as a RINO as he is no Arlen Specter and his voting record reflects that he was a reliable supporter to President Trump.
Throughout his tenure on Capitol Hill Cassidy has been actively engaged in addressing state issues; while not a favorite on the cable news circuit the gastroenterologist has not been merely enraptured in the perks of being a part of the Upper Chamber’s 100.
The disconnect are the varying perceptions of the Senate trial.
Most Republicans see it as an unconstitutional partisan sham intended to distract from the aggressive push to advance the Leftist agenda via executive orders and to divide the GOP.
The Democrats have succeeded beyond expectations on both counts.
Louisiana’s senior senator from Baton Rouge views this exercise differently – and far too charitably.
I hope regardless of how Senator Cassidy arrives at the destination that he ultimately votes to acquit, as a vote to convict will, justly or not, inevitably define his tenure in the US Senate, even if it did not contribute towards attaining the 67-vote threshold for conviction.
That our Founding Fathers had the foresight to set the required consensus to convict that high is indicative of how impeachment should be reserved for only the most extreme circumstances and not as a sucker punch to someone who was already leaving the White House when the US House of Representatives hurriedly adopted the article of impeachment and had vacated the premises almost three weeks before the US Senate trial commenced.
And as the era of the closed primary’s return in Louisiana is nigh, re-election will become impossible if Cassidy would be inclined to seek a third term.
The grave instrument of impeachment has been abused by the Democrats as a political weapon twice in the past 14 months and has sown the poisonous seeds of a future bitter harvest, further inflaming the extreme national acrimony that has preoccupied the Congress at the start and now in the midst of a global pandemic and normalizing the use of this once rarely employed measure.
Being a constitutionalist means protecting the very document that is being rolled up by Pelosi and Schumer to feverishly swat at their political bete noir.
It’s apparent the latest impeachment fiasco is driven by the politics of vengeance and not some noble pursuit of justice.
Bear in mind impeachment part two was shepherded out by the same 80 year old speaker who has stubbornly refused to remove Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee after he was linked to a Chinese spy.
Republicans should not be lending even a fig leaf of bipartisanship and credibility to something of such questionable constitutionality that the Chief Justice will not preside over the US Senate trial.
And John Roberts has hardly been an amen corner for Trump on the nation’s highest court.
Which is in itself an indictment of an undertaking that is more political pie fight than august proceeding.
In light of the Constitution’s clear language on impeachment being reserved for removing federal officials and the transparent malicious intent of its advocates, a vote to acquit former President Trump is the only acceptable decision by Republican US Senators.