The House is currently engaged in a debate on impeachment (Update: They impeached!) but Mitch McConnell just put a halt to any hopes that the full trial would be completed before Donald Trump’s term officially ends next week. According to the Washington Post, McConnell’s aides told Senate Minority (for now) Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that he would not be reconvening the Senate on Friday as hoped, meaning the impeachment trial will not take place until after Trump leaves office.
Democrats in Congress had already been split as to whether they thought it was best to push impeachment through as soon as possible, or to wait until Joe Biden had had a chance to make progress on his agenda after taking office. The real upside of waiting (as I see it) is that it means Mike Pence won’t get the satisfaction of being President for even a few days.
But the downsides of waiting are massive. Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection and encouraged domestic terrorists to storm the Capitol. Every minute that passes with severe punishment for that is a disgrace, not to mention a dangerous precedent for future leaders.
Republicans keep saying impeachment will only drive the country further apart but they don’t seem to have any plan at all for actually addressing what happened last week (or in the years leading up to it). Postponement would only remove the urgency from this situation and that’s not a good thing.
We can’t skip justice and get to peace.
“True peace,” my father said, “is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” pic.twitter.com/WsOHjBnXY5
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 13, 2021
In the end, there is only one person getting exactly what they want and it is Mitch McConnell. And that is infuriating.
The New York Times published a report Tuesday saying McConnell was privately expressing pleasure at the idea of Trump’s impeachment.
“Senator Mitch McConnell has concluded that President Trump committed impeachable offenses and believes that Democrats’ move to impeach him will make it easier to purge Mr. Trump from the party, according to people familiar with Mr. McConnell’s thinking,” writes the Times.
So McConnell thinks Trump deserves to be impeached, wants him to be impeached, but doesn’t want to be responsible for his impeachment or give Democrats the satisfaction of winning a fight and seeing him removed from office. Trump will serve out his term but still end up a disgrace in his party. Or even if he becomes a “martyr” for Republican voters as some have predicted, it’s likely that Trump will be barred from ever running for office again. (That’s not part of the Senate vote on impeachment but it would only take a simple majority to implement after he’s found guilty.)
That’s everything McConnell wants to happen.
It will be a beautiful day when Mitch McConnell is officially no longer the Senate Majority Leader. A day when the Senate can get back to doing things that benefit more than literally just one person. We’re so close.
(via Washington Post, image: Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty Images)
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