In a column for the Daily Beast, longtime political analyst Michael Tomasky speculated that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his Republican colleagues in the Senate will rue the day they refused to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and seriously consider the fact that he is abusing his power.
By way of describing what he saw on the Senate floor on Friday when the Republicans -- with two exceptions -- all voted in lockstep to block witnesses from appearing, Tomasky explained what they will now face as they race to acquit the president with an expected vote next Wednesday.
"Susan Collins said 'aye.' But Lisa Murkowski muttered a meek and fairly quiet “no.” After her, Romney provided the second Republican 'aye,' and good for him and Collins: Whatever else they’ve done, and whatever their motives, history will record them as having stood for at least this much principle. But in six minutes, by 5:41, it was done. By 51-49, the Senate voted not to have witnesses," he recalled.
"In doing so, it voted to endorse Donald Trump’s idea that if the president did it, it was legal. It voted to endorse Alan Dershowitz’s legal theory that anything the president did in furtherance of his re-election was fine" Tomasky explained. "And implicitly, it voted to affirm the principle that the executive could do whatever he wanted, and the legislative branch would do nothing. It voted itself into irrelevance in the moments that mattered, all for a man they surely know to be a criminal."
According to the columnist, the country has moved into a dark era with their vote.
"The precedent this lays down is unimaginable, and the implications for this year’s election staggering. We’re sure to learn this fall that Trump has done something to re-elect himself that is either illegal or plainly immoral or both, but the United States Senate has now affirmed that whatever he does will be fine," he wrote, before darkly adding, "Principle is dead. Ideological solidarity is the only thing that matters."
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