I thought of H.L. Mencken and the "Monkey Trial" when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the other Republican senators swore, straight-faced, that they’d “do impartial justice” in President Trump's impeachment trial.
In the sweltering summer of 1925, John Thomas Scopes—born, reared and buried in Paducah, Ky., where I was a newspaper reporter and history teacher for going on 37 years--was tried in Tennessee for teaching evolution in a high school.
Trump’s acquittal in 2020 is as certain as Scopes’ conviction was going on 95 years ago.
Mencken, the most noted—some said most notorious—iconoclast and social critic of his day, covered the Scopes trial for The Baltimore Sun, his hometown paper.
In the end, the Republican Senate will exonerate the Republican Trump. Hosannas and alleluias will rise heavenward from godly white folks in the marbled chamber and galleries, on Trump radio and TV and across the length and breadth of Red State Trumpistan.
“The trial of the infidel Scopes…will be conducted with the most austere regard for the highest principles of jurisprudence,” wrote Mencken, whose monikers included “Bad Boy of Baltimore.” “Judge and jury will go to extreme lengths to assure the prisoner the last and least of his rights.
“He will be protected in his person and feelings by the full military and naval power of the State of Tennessee. No one will be permitted to pull his nose, to pray publicly for his condemnation or even to make a face at him. But all the same he will be bumped off inevitably when the time comes, and to the applause of all right-thinking men.”
Dutifully, Bush II-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts will ensure that the McConnell kangaroo court will proceed “with the most austere regard for the highest principles of jurisprudence.”
Roberts walks with the Lord on the conservative side; nonetheless, he will guarantee the safety of liberal, hell-bound heathen Democratic snouts. He will disallow on-camera supplicating for their damnation; likewise, he will forbid scowling, sticking out of tongues and baring of teeth at the hapless doers of Old Scratch’s bidding.
Of course, in the end, the Republican Senate will exonerate the Republican Trump. Hosannas and alleluias will rise heavenward from godly white folks in the marbled chamber and galleries, on Trump radio and TV and across the length and breadth of Red State Trumpistan.
Everybody knows Trump's not toast. Everybody knew Scopes was. Added Mencken: "It will be no more possible in this Christian valley [Dayton, Tenn.] to get a jury unprejudiced against Scopes than would be possible in Wall Street to get a jury unprejudiced against a Bolshevik.”
We’ll see how many votes the Godfather will lose in Capo McConnell's Senate. McConnell famously fessed up that he's "not an impartial juror." He's hefted a concrete block onto the Senate scales of justice.
So with solemn, robed Roberts keeping mum, the truth will be bumped off.