In a brutal column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky went all-in on an attack on Republican senators for turning the impeachment trial of Donald Trump into a “Stalinist show trial” where the outcome is known before it even starts.
Reflecting on the impassioned case laid out by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over the past three days, Tomasky wondered what it would take to get through to Republicans who seem uninterested in fulfilling their constitutional duties.
While praising Schiff’s presentation over the first two days, the columnist said Thursday night was the best of all.
“Watch it if you haven’t,” he wrote. “He looked to his left—right at Senate Republicans—as he said: ‘Do we really have any doubt about the facts here? Does anybody really question whether the President is capable of what he’s charged with? No one is really making the argument, Donald Trump would never do such a thing, because of course we know that he would, and of course we know that he did.'”
According to the columnist, there is no way that Republicans who sat through Schiff’s presentation could walk away thinking that the president is innocent of the impeachment charges, and yet…
“I watch Schiff, and all I can think about is those Senate Republicans sitting there listening to him. Schiff and the other House managers have dismantled every joke of an excuse Trump’s defenders have come up with, he explained. “There is no way on earth these people can think Trump is innocent. No way. The MAGA-hat masses, maybe. But these people are senators. They’re not all legislative titans, God knows. But they’re smart enough. They know how corrupt Trump is. You used to say so yourself, didn’t you, Lindsey? Graham in March 2016: ‘We should have basically kicked him out of the party.'”
That was when Tomasky brought down the hammer on their stubborn loyalty to Trump — putting the president before the country they swore to protect.
“This is exactly like something you’d read in a Milan Kundera novel about the early days of Communist Czechoslovakia. Some hapless citizen would fall afoul of the party in some way, and then the party would gin up some bullshit charge against him, and he’d have the evidence to exonerate himself but he’d appear before some tribunal that disallowed the evidence,” he elaborated. “I know Trump and company are more frequently compared to fascists. And a lot of the time that’s perfectly apt. But Capitol Hill Republicans are communists. They are the Czechs and East Germans and Poles of the 1950s, happily announcing that their nations are the truly free ones, that it is in fact the Western bourgeoisie who live in chains, that next year’s coal production numbers will crush the West’s, that Dear Leader speaks truths so profound as to be barely accessible to mere mortals, that the sky is green and the grass is blue and everything you are seeing with your own eyes and hearing with your own ears is a lie.”
Asking incredulously “Who are these people?” he continued, “We all hyperventilate about Graham and Mitch McConnell, and we look (with ever more futility) for signs of courage in Mitt Romney and Susan Collins. But I’m far more fascinated by the people whose names we never think of; those 40 or so Republican senators who toil away in total obscurity—who are never on TV, whose opinion about anything is never solicited beyond the borders of their remote states, and who will someday retire from the Senate without leaving so much as a stain in the men’s room urinals. Despots need their McConnells and Grahams, but their silent servants, who carry out their orders without drawing a round of enemy fire, are in some ways more useful.”
Explaining that the 53 Republican Senators who are serving as the bulk of Trump’s “jury” represent 15 million fewer Americans than the 47 Senate Democrats, Tomasky claimed they are betraying the country.
“Do we really have any doubt about the facts here?” he asked. “Those Senate Republicans are lying when they say that the Democrats are trying to invalidate an election. But if Democrats were trying to do that, it would be defensible. Better now than after he steals the next election and these authoritarians call it ‘democracy,'” he concluded.
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