As the song says, “You can’t always get what you want” – but yesterday we got what we needed. Trump’s Senate conviction was a near-impossibility from the start given the GOP’s “profile in cowardace”— but we still gained plenty from the process.
We saw the first ever bipartisan majority vote to convict a president. A full-throated condemnation of Trump and declaration of his guilt by the Senate minority leader, who (despite his own craven and purely selfish political reasons) encouraged criminal indictment and prosecution. A further peeling off of public support for Trump. A widening roadmap of the route needed to convict him in the criminal courts. And 43 Senators who will be branded as corrupt sycophants of an American traitor—when they next run for office.
We were also treated to a masterful prosecution by the House Managers. In hindsight, what some pundits called a baffling surrender to the GOP — agreeing to enter the statement of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Buetler rather than call her and other witnesses to testify — may have been a brilliant head fake that outfoxed the opposition. The value of corroborating witnesses was marginal, and what the Managers really needed was Buetler on the record, unchallenged by cross-examination or defense team histrionics. They got it through a double bluff: the surprise vote for witnesses that pushed the GOP to the negotiating table, followed by the Dems’ “concession.” Well played, Mr. Raskin!
The Trump crime syndicate is already gloating about the outcome — Eric tweeted out “2-0.” But they’ll get it where it counts—in civil and criminal court. Maybe we didn’t get what we wanted yesterday, but eventually “you get what you need.” Stay tuned!
Nelson Checkoway is an award-winning copywriter and the principal of Rising Tide Direct, a fundraising agency for non-profit organizations.