The lead editorial in the 1/30/21 WSJ by Peggy Noonan “Rob Portman’s Exit Interview” lauds his moderate balanced eleven year Senate record as he plans to retire at the end of his term in 2021.
Only 65 Portman says he’s tired of seeing nothing getting done legislatively. As for the upcoming Trump trial in the Senate, Portman says he “will listen to both sides, and I will. I’m a juror”. But then Noonan tells us Portman says he “believes trying a former President sees a bad precedent”!
The main cop out Republican excuse for not convicting Trump is that it is unconstitutional since he is no longer President. There are many legal opinions which differ with that view, as Republican Senator Mitt Romney who will vote to convict, argued. Senator Romney one of the few Republican Senators who will vote to convict notes that if what Trump did is not convictable, what is?
Noonan is eloquent in using her contacts with foreign observers and others to make an overlooked aspect of not convicting the villainous Trump as it might be perceived by democratic foreign observers.
As Noonan says:
I started the new year talking with an ambassador to the U.S. from a European nation, who spoke of Mr. Trump’s campaign to delegitimize the election. Do Americans understand the damage this does to U.S. allies, the ambassador asked. We look to you for an example of how to do democracy—you’re the oldest in the world! It grieves us to see the beacon of democracy sullied in this way.
Those words rang in my ears five days later as I watched the Capitol besieged.
On “Axios on HBO” Sunday we will hear from President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. He is playing a hard hand. Russia is breathing down his neck, Republicans don’t want to hear about him because they’re embarrassed by the Trump phone call that triggered the first impeachment, and Democrats are embarrassed by Hunter Biden and Burisma. Mr. Zelensky seems kind of on his own, sitting on top of one of the world’s flashpoints. China has been sweetly reaching out.
Reporter Jonathan Swan asked the president how he felt as he saw the Capitol stormed. “Shocked,” Mr. Zelensky said. “I could not even imagine something like this was possible in the United States of America. … We are used to thinking that the U.S. has ideal democratic institutions where power is passed calmly, without war, without revolutions.” Such things happen elsewhere; they’ve happened in Ukraine. “That it could happen in the United States, no one expected that. … After something like this, I believe it would be very difficult for the world to see the United States as a symbol of democracy in the world.”
For more than a century we have claimed the mantle of world power, basked in the warm glow of our exceptionalism, and put ourselves forward as an example. When you do that you have responsibilities; you owe something in return. What you owe is the kind of admirable behavior that gives the world something to aim for. On 1/6 they saw the storming and the siege and thought: Ah, no stability in that place. We can’t learn how to do it there and replicate it here.
This is a loss to rising democracies and also to us, to our standing and reputation. Senate conviction is the chance to show the world: No, we won’t have this; those who did it will pay the highest penalty.
It matters that all evidence be presented, that everyone sees we can come down like a hammer, ensuring that 1/6 was a regrettable incident, not a coming tendency.
It matters that the world see this. That we see it.
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 29, 2021
You can read the entire piece here.
On CNN on 1/29 on Don Lemon’s late night program, pundit Paul Begala reminded us about how his Democrat Party had harbored the Klu Klux Klan for decades but now the Republican Party had taken the racist banner symbolized by Trump and instead of taking the chance of putting Trump aside Kevin McCarthy and others continue to kiss Trump’s ring which can only lead to not winning national elections and losing for years.
The 2022 election will be the next major test. I predict Trump influence will be minimal by then as Biden’s record of competence will satisfy many voters not hyped on fantasies!
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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