While the Democratic leadership of the House and the Senate is working on a plan to present the articles of impeachment filed against Donald Trump to the U.S. Senate for a trial and vote, Republican senators are looking at the pluses and minus of abandoning their support of the former president.
With former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opening the door to possibly siding with the Democrats against the former president now residing down in Florida, the Guardian is reporting that there are a multitude of reasons for GOP lawmakers to follow suit including the dread of having Trump as the face of their party again.
As the Guardian's Tom McCarthy wrote, "If convicted, Trump could be banned from ever again holding public office. If not, Trump, who won the votes of 74 million Americans just two months ago, might simply run for president again in 2024," before conceding that it is highly unlikely 17 Republicans would vote to convict.
But, as he points out, the "political landscape" where Republicans reflexively supported the president has changed since the election and even more so before supporters of the president stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened lawmakers' lives.
"Disgust at the fatal sacking of the Capitol has only grown since 6 January, creating pressure on Republicans to condemn Trump, who appeared in person to speak to the mob before the attack and encouraged them to march on the building," he explained. "Some Republicans might be eager to condemn Trump for other reasons, blaming him for their loss of the Senate majority, which happened because Republican candidates lost two runoff elections in Georgia in January, in a huge double upset."
Add to that, at least six Republican members of the Senate have indicated they are eyeing a presidential run in 2024, and having the ex-president sidelined might be in their best interests.
According to the columnist, it is "unclear how many Republicans might follow McConnell if he indeed tips toward convicting Trump," after only 10 GOP House members voted in favor of Trump's second impeachment, but there is a powerful incentive for senators to convict the president who has already vowed to help oust incumbents who did not support him.
"Up for election only once every six years versus every other year for House members, senators are more insulated from political tides. Anger at how Trump has divided their party could tempt some Republicans toward banishing him, as could fear of what Trump will do if he is permitted to run for office again," McCarthy wrote.
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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem had a busy weekend, speaking at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida and talking to host Margaret Brennan for CBS News' "Face the Nation." Noem, a loyal ally of former President Donald Trump, was a hit at CPAC 2021 — where the Republican governor fit right in with the event's Trumpian Culture War themes. But on "Face the Nation," it was obvious that Brennan wasn't going to let her off with the type of softball questions she would get from Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham at Fox News.
South Dakota has not fared well during the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering some of the highest infectious rates in the United States — and Brennan pointed out that Noem, in contrast to some governors, has not been aggressive when it comes to social distancing restrictions or encouraging the use of face masks.
'Delusion and craziness': Former CPAC chairman disturbed — but not surprised — by this year’s ‘grotesque display’
A former chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference was disturbed, but not exactly surprised, by the depths to which the annual event has sunk.
Mickey Edwards, a former GOP congressman from Oklahoma, noted in a new column for The Bulwark that the roots of the conservative movement's degradation extend back to the Ronald Reagan era, when he noticed as chair of CPAC and the American Conservative Union that fundraising materials became increasingly focused on culture war issues instead of political principles.
With his trademark hair helmet a bit less brassy and his bronzer evenly applied, a rested and recharged former president Donald J. Trump made his triumphant return to the main stage at the annual CPAC convention on Sunday and it was like he never left. Delivering a patented 90-minute rally speech that could have been delivered in October of 2020, or October of 2016 for that matter, Trump hit all his low notes from the border wall to China trade to the Muslim ban to the mortal dangers of windmills. The only addition to his greatest hits were a lengthy riff on the Big Lie, a declaration of war against all Republicans who've betrayed him and a new attack on the Supreme Court for being "cowards."
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