Was the Senate impeachment trial rigged?

Was Mitch McConnell banging the garbage can on every pitch?

Did God make little green apples?

Does a woodchuck …? Oh, never mind.

Ann of Althouse: There are things I’m not reading this morning. And I mean this phrase “not reading” to denote an active process … [one of which is]: “The Senate impeachment trial was rigged!” by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post.

Yeah, it was rigged. Everything is rigged. The election was rigged. Trump isn’t really President. The impeachment trial was rigged. The acquittal won’t count as an acquittal. If Trump wins re-election, it will be because it was rigged. It’s all rigged. The Constitution itself is rigged. What’s with that 2/3 vote requirement? Rigged. Electoral college? Rigged! Life itself is rigged!… I’m sorry. I have rig fatigue.

The usual scorched-earth Deplorables are excommunicating and excoriating Sen. Susan Collins of Maine on social media for voting for impeachment trial witnesses. R.I.N.O.! Traitor! Obama-lover!

We are not so jaded as to preclude the possibility that the lady from Maine really did want to hear John Bolton testify under oath. (We’d pay per view to hear Jay Sekulow cross examine!) It is also possible that, despite her slight Katherine Hepburn head palsy, Ms. Collins is a shrewd political survivor who very much intends to live to fight another day after her November election in a toss-up state. 

The opponent is an outright Chuck Schumer Democrat. 

The State of Maine is notoriously independent — we say notorious, insofar as political moderation is now considered courageous and, at Trump rallies, outrageous. Maine’s other U.S. senator is Angus King (now there’s a Maine name!) who labels himself an independent but caucuses with Bernie, Elizabeth, Chuck, and the rest. Maine has a history of Margaret Chase Smith, a Rockefeller Republican who denounced Joe McCarthy before it was cool, and Ed Muskie, a Democrat but no socialist. 

Colonial drinkers

“For political figures like the Founding Fathers, taverns were also where one went to get the inside scoop on political adversaries and posit agendas for which one hoped to gain favor. Ben Franklin used taverns as a tool of diplomacy. For him,  eating, drinking, and gossiping  were negotiation tactics. It was in taverns that the Founding Fathers,“emboldened by liquid courage and likely, after tying a few on, unfettered by the rarefied rules of governance to which all of history had subscribed, honed the concepts contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”Smithsonian magazine.

Or Get Out of Jail card

All of which is prologue to our point (if we have one): the guess here at the Werkes is that Mitch McConnell, ace nose counter, gave Senator Collins a hall pass — once he got Lisa Murkowski’s assurance that she would vote with the rest of the caucus.

Comment, respond, what do you thinkAll 53 Republicans seated in their chamber, therefore, knew beforehand — to the digit — the score of each of the (I believe it was) six roll call votes. Any Democratic motion containing the word Bolton would lose 51-49; the others went down 53-47 (Mitt Romney joining Collins with the rest of their party).

Which is to say, what the public is allowed to see of Congress may be a well rehearsed play, but it is still very much democracy. 

The Wisconsin state legislature works the same way. Decisions are made behind closed doors. There is no preventing that. Even at the Madison Common Council level. Try as you will to outlaw “walking quorums” (where, say, two alders each subsequently talk to two others who play telephone tag with more of their colleagues). A ban is unenforceable and, really, undesirable. The act of legislating REQUIRES (we do not often capitalize) continuous communication between members, interested parties, as well as constituents. Outside council chambers, in hallways and coffee shops and grog houses, over telephones and the via the internet. Such interaction facilitates compromise. 

⇒ Very rarely have the white lab coats at the Werkes ever observed a floor debate to change a single mind. The debate is as more to persuade the public and justify the speaker’s vote. Don’t like the  vote? The cure is the next election.

Easier to change a tractor tire than a politician’s mind

As to Althouse’s point: would allowing Bolton’s testimony have legitimized the Senate trial? Doubtful.

Take the Kavanaugh confirmation circus (Please). All the lurid allegations allegedly occurred when the jurist was but a teenager in high school! Everyone got heard in sworn testimony. Outside the hearing, Michael Avenetti spun lurid wet dreams involving one Julie Swetnik. Didn’t matter. Party line vote. To this day, Democrats continue to trash Kavanaugh.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: How much of our democratic republic did the Founders determine in ale houses compared to assembly halls? 

For Extra Credit: In one of its hallway stand-up interviews, Fox News gave considerable time to Amy Klobuchar who, we find to be downright cute, while scoring her political points. Likable beats a thousand policy planks.

She can beat Donald Trump, if Democrats can restrain their socialists. (Doubtful.) Trump’s typically peevish and petty belittlements would ricochet off Miss Midwestern Nice and, uniquely (we think) wound the originator. Might actually force Trump to campaign on his considerable accomplishments.

What do YOU think?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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19 Responses to Was the Senate impeachment trial rigged?

  1. madisonexpat says:

    Question : How does Amy Klobuchar hit you?
    Answer: With a stapler.

    (Stolen from Althouse Blog)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. George's son says:

    As an aside, I cancelled my decades long subscription to The Smithsonian. Kinda got left-leaning and ever so preachy. Nuthin’ wrong with taverns, tho.


  3. geo_ says:

    Not rigged at all, the exact outcome everyone expected from republicans afraid of truth and justice.


    • madisonexpat says:

      Good one. How dare Trump force the Dems to impeach him on weak allegations knowing they’d never get anywhere near the 2/3 majority in the Senate to convict. The man is amazing.
      He prepared the battle field, watched his enemies advance and stepped aside to watch them march off the cliff. They lie broken far below wailing.
      The same lunatic Left that really forced Pelosi into this debacle are about to nominate Bernie or sit out the election.
      Trump! You magnificent bastard!


      • geo_ says:

        They didn’t march off the cliff, they were betrayed by traitors who put party before country. Never go into battle with a republican watching your back.


    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      You forgot “the American Way.”


  4. Tom Paine says:

    The real Fake-Out:

    What was the real role of Evelyn Farkas in working with Ciaramella and Misko to create the Impeachment process? http://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2020/01/22/white-house-colleague-overheard-eric-ciaramella-alleged-whistleblower-sean-misko-discuss-how-to-remove-trump-from-office/

    Yes, Evelyn Farkas……………….have you forgotten? and Fiona Hill and Jake Sullivan and —- da NSC boys. Yes, that is the real untold story behind the scene.


  5. Sprocket says:

    They could have subpoenaed Bolton (or anyone else for that matter) in the House, where they hold a solid majority. They chose not to. If they thought Bolton’s testimony would have sealed the deal on Trump’s impeachment, does anyone doubt they would have been up for the ensuing court battle? I’m pretty sure most Dems would sacrifice their mothers to Cthulu if they thought it would bring down Trump. What they’re peddling now is that fighting the impeachment is itself proof of guilt. As if they expected to deliver the articles and Trump would get some boxes and start packing his desk.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dad29 says:

    Rockefeller Republican who denounced Joe McCarthy

    Sheer co-incidence, of course. Rocky Pubbies despise Midwestern men, always have, always will. So when a real man–McCarthy–decided to out the Communists, the Rocky Pubbies pulled a Romney.

    That’s it!! A great 1980’s ticket: Rocky-Romney. The fact that Rocky is dead merely underscores the fact that Rocky Republicanism is also dead. And it stinks, too.


    • Kevin Wymore says:

      McCarthy deserved his fate, dad 29. If I recall my history class, McCarthy brandished his “list of 200 card-carrying Communists” in U.S. government — my wording may be imprecise.

      And yet nobody in the press had the courage to say, “Gee, Senator…can you give me a copy of that list?”

      He also publicly bullied homosexuals for the sole reason that they could be bullied.

      If that’s your picture of a “real man,” I’m sorry for you.


      • dad29 says:

        Wiki: This included a concurrent “Lavender Scare” against suspected homosexuals (as homosexuality was prohibited by law at the time, it was also perceived to increase a person’s risk for blackmail).

        Gee. All we hear about today from the Democrats is “Russia Russia Russia.” But when somebody mentions Russian spies, Communists (same-o) and people who can be blackmailed into cooperating with the Communists………..

        Read the Venona Papers. McCarthy was right, FDR’s Government was full of spies. Don’t like it? Too bad.


        • madisonexpat says:

          “The Haunted Wood” names the moles in the US government.It’s a good read right from the KGB files.


      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        FWIW–Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies

        The Gotch


  7. George's Son says:

    geo_, yer naivete never ceases to make manifest. Exactly who started this epic waste of time? And why did they (or you) EVER think of a different outcome in the Senate. Your comment explains much as far as your true cognizance of the world that surrounds you. Truth exists beyond yer limited “dish” connection outside that “double-wide”…..


    • madisonexpat says:

      geovirgin, the Dems forced a straight party line vote to get the phony baloney charges of impeachment to the Senate where they needed 67 and not just 51 votes of guilty.
      How stupid was that of genius Pelosi?
      The Republicans had Trump’s back.


  8. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    One wonders how often the MSM is willing to enter into a suicide pact with the Dems–first it was the “stolen” election, then the Mueller fiasco, now the impeachment farce. Now the word de jour is “taint,” as in the taint that will linger on Trump’s presidency as a result of the House leadership’s failed attempt to oust him from office. If anyone should know about taint, in every sense of the term, it’s the two-bit whores in the MSM.


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