Stuart Carlson may have the best perspective on the impeachment trial and the public.
One continuing flaw in the liberal game plan is the notion that people will respond to logic, and it’s a misunderstanding of human nature that goes at least as far back as Jimmy Carter, who thought that, if he explained the state of the economy and of our fuel supply, people would turn down their thermostats and put on sweaters.
Instead, they voted him out after one term and installed Ronald Reagan, who assured them that everything was fine, that it was morning in America and that all they had to do was relax and empower the wealthy and powerful so that all that wealth and power could trickle down all over them.
Barack Obama got most of his Affordable Care Act into place, and told people that, if they liked their current coverage, they could keep it, assuming that nobody would want to keep an insurance program that didn’t cost much but didn’t cover anything. So much for that theory.
And in the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Hillary Clinton told coal miners in Ohio that the era of coal was ending but that she would work to provide them with retraining for good jobs.
They supported, instead, Donald Trump, who promised them that coal was coming back, a promise so out of whack with reality that it couldn’t possibly have come true. And of course it hasn’t.
Now the Democrats are working on the proposition that they don’t have to convince the Republicans to convict the president — a hopeless plan — because, when the American public sees how Trump has trampled the Constitution and defied the rule of law, they’ll reject him at the next elections.
Well, Trump’s coal promises didn’t take into account how many factories and electric generating plants had either torn out their coal furnaces or been built after the shift to natural gas.
And the Democrats’ impeachment strategy didn’t take into account how many people rely on Fox News, talk radio and other rightwing filtering systems that would keep them from ever hearing the litany of horrors Adam Schiff and other Democrats were describing on the Senate floor.
Where, as Lee Judge puts it, they are speaking to a less-than-receptive majority.
Again, they assumed a level of rationality that doesn’t exist. They only needed four Republicans to vote in favor of witnesses and testimony, and that might have happened.
If Ev Dirksen, Howard Baker, Barry Goldwater and Mark Hatfield had come back from the dead.
But they didn’t, and Tom Toles explains the situation, not as it exists in the optimistic souls of the Democratic Party but as it exists in the real world we all have to deal with.
Jeremy Banx draws from the other side of the Atlantic — hence his spelling of “defence” — but perhaps the distance helps him see through the smoke and around the mirrors, piercing through to discover exactly what Mitch McConnell promised from before the first gavel fell.
Now the latest kerfuffle is that CBS News reported that GOP Senators were warned that, if they voted against the President, their heads would end up on pikes. There have been many cartoons on this topic, but I particularly like Russell Hodin‘s take because it tells exactly who would suffer, and it has a grim and lonely tone that drives home that message.
Though I also like Sage Stossell‘s suggestion that today’s traitors become tomorrow’s heroes, and that we will one day honor those who stood up to tyranny, fascism and the undermining of the Constitution.
Or, at least, we would if they did.
I’m not gonna stand on one foot waiting for that happy moment.
Jimmy Margulies makes the point, contrasting the limited drink selection under the rules of impeachment with the legendary drink of blind loyalty.
Which suggests a variation on the old saying about horses:
You can confine a Senator to milk and water but you can’t make him think.
I do not believe that the GOP Senators are being threatened or coerced into rejecting the evidence, or rejecting the impulse to see the evidence.
I believe, rather, that it is a case of genuine party loyalty as mocked but reported accurately by Jack Ohman.
I further believe that, Margulies’ cartoon notwithstanding, it is not a case of good, freethinking people drinking the Kool-Aid.
Rather, I think it is a case of those good, freethinking Senators like Jim Jeffords and Olympia Snowe walking away from the rising swamp, leaving us in the loyal, loving hands of Joni Ernst and Mitch McConnell.
And, BTW, the blindly loyal members of Jim Jones’ cult did not drink poisoned Kool Aid.
They drank poisoned Flavor-Aid.
I’m not trying to hit the reset button on a handy metaphor, but rather suggest examining another metaphor, in light of a ridiculous, pointless controversy that has riled those loyal GOP Senators.
Apparently, they weren’t actually told that, if they voted for the facts instead of for the President, their heads would end up on pike poles.
And they are all terribly offended that Adam Schiff cited the CBS Report for a couple of seconds among the hours he spent laying out the facts they have no need to see or hear.
My guess is that the person who spoke to CBS was speaking metaphorically, as one might say, “I told him I’d kill him if he was late again,” without meaning to convey an actual, literal death threat and without actually having said those specific words.
So the Senators may not have been told anything about pikes, but were told not to vote their consciences if they wanted to have any future in the party.
One way to make Schiff look like a liar would be to vote honestly and live to tell the tale.
Ann Telnaes’ wonderful sketches of the proceedings continue to be updated. Go have another look to see the latest.