As expected, Trump was not found guilty of impeachable offences, as nobody in his Senate was willing to shout out "You're Fired". It is interesting that there was one dissenting Republican, Mitt Romney, who said that his religion and his oath to the Constitution meant he could not give Trump a 'pass' on this. This meant Trump couldn't claim it was a partisan witch hunt. However, Donald did dismiss the vote as coming from a 'failed Presidential candidate", so he didn't really count it in.
Today Trump made a speech, to brag about his impeachment win. It is a very long speech, and rambling, but it's worth it for anyone wondering what thoughts are rattling around in there. I found it insightful. An hour and a half long too, but it doesn't really start until after 25 minutes, and the last 30 minutes is a series of very folksy anecdotes about his people. I ran it at 1.25 speed too, once I got bored with his slow pace. I think POTUS needed a STFU, but nobody is going to say that.
He was rambling and mostly off the cuff, with just a few notes. The scary thing is I think he really believes the things he is saying, such as how unfair this all was and how great he still did, rising above adversity better than any other President would have. It was a speech full of both resentment and celebration. He claimed that the last four years, and before, in his campaign, politics in the US was, and is, nasty. Many people are crooked, with lots of dirty tricks, and have a desire to destroy the US. He means his opposition, I assume.
So what's next? I see Trump continuing to test his boundaries, knowing he now holds a lifetime Get Out of Jail Free card. We heard his defence claim that as long as the president acted in what he thought was the best interest of the country – in this case, being re-elected – there was no impeachable crime. It's a stretch, but that could extend to not just bribery, but martial law and opponents that 'disappear'. Why not? Gerrymandering will accelerate, to control the vote. He will change the impeachment rules, and Putin and he will run a nasty campaign. William Barr, Trump's AG, has announced that before the FBI can start to investigate any campaign irregularities, they have to get the AG's approval. So, there's another problem solved, right?
As tempting as it is to just ignore all this, I can't. I'm not in the US, but these events and this deranged leader affect not just the US, but Canada and the rest of the world. And it diminishes democracy there, and by extension everywhere, by trying to normalize this mess. I'll keep posting my thoughts, maybe not daily, but whenever they start bubbling up. I'll keep following what I consider reliable news sources, such as the Washington Post and the Guardian. Not ignoring the biggest #FakeNews site of all, Tump.
And I'll keep reading the excellent commentary by a historian, Heather Cox Richardson.
And I'll get out and do stuff and talk to sane people, just to let my brain cool down.