In a column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis called the Republican Party "disgraceful" for how they have handled the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and said they have ie last chance to at least partially redeem themselves before voting to acquit him.
As Lewis notes, "There’s still a way they can avoid looking like complete patsies: They can censure Trump for his abuse of power, and formally warn him not to do it again."
Pointing out that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has already made the proposal on the floor of the Senate, Lewis wrote that they should grab it as a lifeline showing they have some semblance of a backbone when it comes to standing up to the president.
With some Republicans admitting that the president's Ukraine phone call was more than problematic -- but they still will not vote to impeach -- Lewis called their words, "lame and convenient excuses."
"A censure is a way for Republicans to publicly rebuke Trump’s behavior without removing the president from office," he wrote. " While Trump would surely react bitterly, it’s unclear whether the Republican base (many of whom, let’s be honest, realize Trump was guilty) would completely freak out—so long as it meant keeping Trump in office so he can cut taxes, nominate good judges, and, yes, own the libs. Limbaugh and Hannity would go crazy, of course, but I’m talking about the rank-and-file voters who support Trump, even though they acknowledge his many faults."
"As it stands, Republicans are positioned to look naive and foolish. Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Joni Ernst are both on the record making the absurd argument that this impeachment ordeal has made it somehow less likely Trump will engage in similar bad behavior in the future," he continued. "If what Trump did is wrong (as Alexander clearly concedes), why not suggest some alternative form of punishment? If one of my sons did something wrong, his mother and I would punish him in some way. If there’s no punishment, the person gets the message that what they did was in fact just fine. "
He went on to add that no one should hold their breath that the current crop of Republicans will do the right thing.
I don’t actually think Republicans will take my advice in a jillion years. But, for now, at least, the ball is in their court, ": he lamented. "By choosing not to punish Trump, Republicans like Alexander and Rubio and Sasse and Graham and Ernst aren’t just obstructing justice (in a non-legal sense), they are enabling foreign interference in our elections. The only reason not to do this is cowardice."
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