by Elpidio R. Estioko
Due to the divided and self-centered rule of President Donald Trump in managing the country for the past four years, he created a fractured government and left a heavy mess to incoming President Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States of America.
Lately, as the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump is unfolding in the Senate, the GOP came out with two opposing decisions that places their party in question!Contrary to opinions that retaining third ranking GOP House Rep. Liz Cheney instead of stripping her from her position, As I See It, is not for party unity as claimed but against it.
The decision indirectly supports her vote in Congress to impeach then US President Donald Trump. Surely, this is anti-Trump. To me, this is the implication of their latest decision on Cheney because they upheld her impeachment vote in Congress by not reprimanding her.Let us look at it this way: Cheney voted to impeach Trump, so the GOP met with the intention of disciplining her and strip her from her position as a ranking Republican in the House.
What happened? They voted not to punish her, so their vote is a vote for what she did: impeaching Trump. Does this make sense? It was anti-Trump!On the case of neophyte GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, (R-Georgia), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opted not to punish her. So, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday that the House would vote Thursday on whether to strip Greene of her committee assignments after McCarthy failed to act against her.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement blasted McCarthy’s “cowardly refusal to act” against Greene, whom Pelosi described as an “anti-Semite, a QAnon adherent and 9/11 Truther.” She listed McCarthy’s party affiliation as “Q-CA” in an apparent reference to the conspiracy theory that Greene has supported in the past.
So, their inaction on Greene favored Trump and upheld his conspiracy theory that the election is stolen from him due to massive voter fraud. That is favoring the former president, right? Ultimately, the House stripped Greene of all her committee membership in the House. As to other GOP issues, the legal team of former President Trump in his second impeachment trial in the Senate resigned because they could not agree on how to defend Trump who wanted them to argue that he won the election that was stolen from him due to voter fraud rather than focusing on the constitutionality of the case. It appears that said lawyers resigned because they cannot in conscience (ethical consideration) accept the fact that there was voter fraud when in fact they perhaps knew there was none.
I believe it is hard to defend somebody when the evidence is clear and massive, backed up by film footages and live testimonies. It is even harder when the client himself dictates on what to do, instead of the lawyers telling the client what to do. At first, I thought Trump will be defending himself because it would be hard to hire lawyers due to the situation of the case and what he wanted his lawyers to do.
Suddenly, Trump became a “lawyer,” just like when during the pandemic, he suddenly became a “doctor” prescribing medicine to take. Well, a day after the team of lawyers resigned, Trump announced he hired a new team.
CNN reported that in Trump’s announcement of his new legal team, it is first sentence states: “45th President Donald J. Trump today announced that highly respected trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., will head his impeachment defense legal team, bringing national profiles and significant trial experience in high-profile cases to the effort.”The question is: Will these new lawyers become rubber stamps of Trump considering that at the end of the day, he is the one dictating how his lawyers will defend him?
Well, in fairness to the new team, they said they may not use the argument of voter fraud but on the constitutionality of the trial since Trump is no longer in office. Were they able to convince Trump to follow this route? During the first day of the trial on whether the trial is legal or constitutional because Trump is no longer the president, the House impeachment managers presented their case superbly that the Trump’s legal team performed poorly leading to a vote of 56–44 in favor of the trial being legal and constitutional even when Trump is no longer in office.
There were six GOP senators who joined the Democrats in deciding the legality issue which paved the way for the continuance of the trial. Can they muster 17 GOPs to convict Trump? It was reported that President Joe Biden will be meeting with 10 GOP senators this week for a possible bipartisan COVID-19 legislation.
If a bipartisan partnership is forged, these 10 senators may be convinced also to vote for impeaching Trump bringing to 16 senators siding with the Democrats. So, the Democrats need only one more to reach the 17 GOP senators (2/3 vote of the Senate) to side with them to convict Trump.
If these senators, who were elected by their constituents and promised to uphold the constitution, will change their minds, then the 17 senators needed to convict Trump will easily be reached… I think!Or not… because these senators will be needing Trump for their reelection in 2022.
Throughout the duration of his conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from him, Trump has amassed millions of dollars of campaign funds. He can use these funds to support GOP candidates who believe in him seeking reelection in 2022. This is the reason perhaps why most of the GOP senators are sticking with him because they need the funds to run for their re-election.
We need to accept the fact that election nowadays is expensive, and one needs a lot of money to win… that is why the campaign fund donation is so lucrative that rich people capitalize on it for quid pro quo and personal gains. There are 20 GOP senators, in 2022, who are due for reelection. Of the 20, 3 are not seeking reelection: Richard Burr, North Carolina; Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania; and Rob Portman, Ohio. In addition to the money consideration, I think the GOP senators are sticking with Trump because they are afraid to cross his path knowing him to be vindictive and capable of revenge.
During his incumbency as president, cabinet members and other key officials who opposed him were fired… just like his favorite phrase in his television reality show The Apprentice: “You’re fired!”
Even if he is no longer the president, he still has loyal followers who are willing to follow him and do what he wants them to do. He is, while reduced, still powerful. That is scary!
These developments are dividing the GOP and are dictating the fate of the party!
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at email@example.com.