Please don’t buy into the building mythology that Mitch McConnell followed his acquittal vote with a condemnation of the Donald. After voting to acquit the Donald of inciting insurrection against the U.S. government, McConnell delivered a 20-minute speech on the Senate floor, effectively announcing Republican Party capitulation to the Donald’s team.
Twenty minutes is far too long for the average American’s attention span. So corporate “liberal media” reporters and talking heads grabbed onto tiny soundbites to entertain viewers between commercial breaks. At the 1:30 second mark of his speach, McConnell said that “president Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” The press lapped it up.
But McConnell distinguished “practically and morally responsible” from legally responsible. While most reporters dropped off to write their stories, McConnell kept speaking. When he got to the 10:45 minute mark of his speech, with many fewer people still paying attention, he said, “by the strict criminal [law] standard, the president’s speech was probably NOT incitement.”
McConnell was announcing a ReTrumplican Party talking point that has been agreed to, and that will be a centerpiece of 2022 mid-term and 2024 presidential campaigns.
McConnell was announcing a ReTrumplican Party talking point that has been agreed to, and that will be a centerpiece of 2022 mid-term and 2024 presidential campaigns. The claim will be, and now is, that the Donald did not incite any insurrection.
This answers a question that arose in many minds about McConnell’s end of speech proclamation that the Donald is, “still liable to be tried and punished in the ordinary tribunals of justice. Put another way, in the language of today, President Trump is still liable for everything that he did while he was still in office, as an ordinary citizen. Unless the statute of limitations has run, he’s still liable for everything he did while in office. He didn’t get away with anything, YET, YET.” Yes, he actually repeated “yet.”
So we have here a clear statement of ReTrumplican Party legal thought and strategic thinking moving forward. First, McConnell states that the Donald did not incite the insurrection. Then he says that the Courts, crammed with Donald-appointed judges, have not announced excuses for letting the Donald off, “Yet, yet,” clearly indicating the expectation that those judges will find such excuses as criminal and civil trials move forward.
What excuses? McConnell has announced two to start. The statute of limitation arguments will be robust. What is the statute of limitations for crimes while one is holding the office of president?
The Roberts/Gorsuch Court has already held that the “Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution can’t be applied to a president who violated the clause while in office, once that president is out of office. Since official policy is that a president can’t be charged with a crime while holding the office, a ruling that the president can’t be charged with a Constitutional violation, like the Emoluments Clause, after he leaves office will certainly be relied upon to support arguments that the Donald can’t be charged with inciting insurrection, once he’s no longer in office.
The second will be the defense of the legal definition of incitement. McConnell clearly stated the ReTrumplican Party legal argument on this point, at the 10:45 point of his speech. The Party will argue that however morally degraded the Donald’s speech, however much it was, in McConnell’s words, “a dereliction of duty” by the Donald, it was not “incitement,” legally speaking.
Again, reliance will be on the judges whom the Donald appointed. A legal definition is a question of law, for the judge to decide, rather than a question of fact for a jury to decide.
Thus we see the Party’s strategy for the future: Protect the Donald from Senate conviction; Then provide him cover in the subsequent legal proceedings, relying on Donald-appointed judges to further the Constitution-wrecking first steps of the Roberts/Gorsuch Court. As McConnell said with such anticipatory glee, the Donald has not gotten away with anything, YET, YET.”
There will be voices calling out, NO, no, McConnell condemned the Donald’s actions as immoral and a dereliction of duty. As the fundagelicals have said for four years, any moral failing by the Donald is excusable and praiseworthy. McConnell also stated what the Party, his Party, the ReTrumplican Party plans on now. From the 14:15 point of his speech to the 15:00 minute point, McConnell argues that the Senate needed to refrain from a vote that would prevent the Donald from ever running from office again.
Yes, that’s right. Mitch McConnell endorsed the Donald for another run for the presidency! He said that it would have been wrong for the Senate to bar the Donald from any future office seeking.
So all the talk about some split in the Republican Party, with the ReBizlicans staying with their corporate controllers and the ReTrumplicans clinging to the Donald, has been brushed aside by Mitch McConnell, the leader of the ReBizlican branch. He has publicly announced that his corporate management branch will stick with the Führer worshipers of the ReTrumplican branch.
People anticipating a split which weakens the Party are in for a disappointment. Once again, Republican Party discipline holds, and the corporate drive for oligarchical rule triumphs. And while this happens, what have the Democrats done?
- Have they broken the filibuster, which has been used by Mitch McConnell more than by all the previous senate leaders in history combined? NO!
- Have Democrats responded to Republican fake claims of concern for election integrity by enacting, or even introducing, bills to protect election integrity? NO!
- Have Democrats introduced legislation to save and strengthen Social Security, or ObamaCare? NO!
Time is running fast while Republicans are planning a slow game of stalling, blocking, filibustering. Republicans are quite literally building 2022 campaigns on the theme that their Congress people should be allowed to carry guns in the House and Senate chambers to be able to use their “2nd Amendment rights” to shoot other politicians who disagree with them. And Democrats are looking for “compromise.”
Mitch McConnell’s speech reminds us that the Marjorie Taylor Greene Republicans will continue to have vast corporate dollars behind them to fund “sane” voices like Rudy Giuliani, and Lauren Boebert.
To respond to this corporate-funded juggernaut of ignorance and bigotry, Democrats will need more than a few Stacy Abrams’ energy-level activists. ReTrumplican state legislatures are working hard to suppress voters as much as possible. This is what ReTrumplicans define as election security. And if the Democratic Congress does not act to protect the right to vote, it will only be at the local and state level that action can occur.
Stacy Abrams and a few others have shown that it is possible to overcome the corporate-funded ReTrumplican Party machine. But if it’s going to happen, liberal and progressive voters have to be as motivated to protect their voting rights as the ReTrumplican insurgents were when storming our capitol on January 6.