The 44 Republican Senators who voted to not proceed with the Senate impeachment trial today, on the alleged ground of unconstitutionality, today entered the first day of their Senate re-election campaigns for 2022, 2024, and 2026.
They have made the biggest wager of their political careers, and if they lose the bet their loss will in all likelihood end their political careers.
They are betting on the future, wagering that Donald Trump will still hold sway over Republican voters in their states as he does today, or has in the last year.
Yet a lot of things can change in two years, or four, or six.
Donald Trump is likely to be prosecuted for some if not many of the crimes he has committed in the last four or five years, or whatever the statute of limitations may be. He is likely to be convicted for some or many of these crimes. He is likely to be condemned to lengthy prison terms for some or many of these crimes.
In two or four or six years, he may not be able to fire up his Republican base from prison–or, if he flees the country, from exile. With his Twitter account shut off, he may even have difficulty communicating with his followers.
As his political influence wanes, and his ability to “primary” Republicans who do not bow to his will, more and more Republican Senators and Congressmen may start to break out of their abject subservience to the Leader. Whether gradually or quickly, they will simply lose their fear of him.
As his influence wanes, fewer and fewer Republican donors are likely to donate to a sinking horse and his loyal supporters.
By the fall of 2022, the political landscape could be very different from what it appears to be today–though even today Trump appears to be quickly losing political support.
In any event, the 44 Republican Senators who today voted against proceeding with the impeachment trial of Trump are engaged in a process of generating, every day of the trial, fantastically devastating video and other material for their Democratic challengers to use in their campaign ads in 2022, 2024, and 2026.
Particularly after Trump’s influence has waned, these ads are likely to have devastating effects on these Senators’ campaigns.
Just imagine running against an incumbent fascist Senator who defended a fascist President’s incitement of insurrection and attempt to overthrow the election, the Constitution, and the government of the United States. In short, who attempted a coup d’état.
Those 44 Republican Senators are betting that the fascist President and his fascist cult-like followers will still be a dominant force in two, four, or six years.
They are, in effect, betting against American democracy,
Yet for 244 years, and in 2020 and 2921, American democracy has shown itself to be amazingly strong and resilient.
Viewed in the broad sweep of American history, these 44 Republican Senators are making a fool’s wager, and one they are likely to deeply regret.
As they look down the long barrel of history this week, they should take a deep breath and think deeply about their wager and what the future will hold for them, before they place their final bets.
The Trenchant Observer