Philip Bump

Senator Joe Manchin–a traitor to the Democratic Party and its principles

There are people who will take advantage of other people when the latter are vulnerable. There are those who will take merciless advantage of hungry and thirsty people after a hurricane, by price-gouging.

There are those who will extract the last possible advantage from a dying man to give him what he needs to survive.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has shown himself to be such a man, squeezing the last dollar out of unemployment benefits from a poor family in Queens, or Chicago or Houston or Atlanta, to score points with the Trump supporters in his state. He doesn’t need to do this. He is not up for re-election until 2024.

No, there must be some darker motive at play here. Is he looking for a lucrative position in the private sector? The presidency of a university perhaps? Is he beholden to a certain donor or group of donors who hold his future in their hands? Could his motive be related to someone in his family?

Or does he simply enjoy being in the spotlight, and wielding the enormous power political fortune has placed in his hands?

SECRET BALLOT: Potential Democratic maneuvers to secure a secret vote in Impeachment Trial

The Senate Democrats have the power to establish by a vote of 50+1 that the vote on whether or not Donald Trump is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” shall be taken BY SECRET BALLOT.

But Article I of the Constitution provides that 1/5 of the members present can require a recorded vote. So even a Democratic-imposed secret ballot might not really provide a secret vote.

No one said any of this simple. Nonetheless, Democratic Senators need to figure these details out, and use them to their full advantage.

Democratic Senators need to overcome their fear of Trump and his supporters, and USE THEIR RAW POWER TO ENSURE A SECRET BALLOT on the vote to convict or acquit Trump.

A SECRET BALLOT could give Republican Senators an opportunity to rid their party of Trump, to redeem their party from its current position of being THE PARTY THAT IS THE ENEMY OF DEMOCRACY, and to start rebuilding a Republican Party based on principles of democracy and the rule of law.