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At long last, Republican leaders are eager to be rid of Trump

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At long last, Republican leaders are eager to be rid of Trump  Empty At long last, Republican leaders are eager to be rid of Trump

Post by Ben Reilly Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:12 am

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.

While Mr. McCarthy has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote “no,” and an aide to Mr. McCarthy said he was open to a measure censuring Mr. Trump for his conduct. In private, Mr. McCarthy reached out to a leading House Democrat to see if the chamber would be willing to pursue a censure vote, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ruled it out.

Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Mr. Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically challenging and fast-moving nature of the crisis that the party faces after the assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory.

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As more violent images from the mayhem wrought by the rioters emerged on Tuesday, including of the brutal attack that ultimately killed a Capitol Police officer, and as lawmakers were briefed about threats of more attacks on the Capitol, rank-and-file Republican lawmakers grew angrier about the president’s role in the violence.

Yet as they tried to balance the affection their core voters have for Mr. Trump with the now undeniable political and constitutional threat he posed, Republican congressional leaders who have loyally backed the president for four years were still stepping delicately. Their refusal to demand the president’s resignation and quiet plotting about how to address his conduct highlighted the gnawing uncertainty that they and many other Republicans have about whether they would pay more of a political price for abandoning him or for continuing to enable him after he incited a mob to storm the seat of government.

Making their task more difficult, Mr. Trump has shown no trace of contrition, telling reporters on Tuesday that his remarks to supporters had been “totally appropriate,” and that it was the specter of his impeachment that was “causing tremendous anger.”

Mr. McConnell has indicated that he wants to see the specific article of impeachment that the House is set to approve on Wednesday, and hear the eventual arguments in the Senate. The House is expected to pass the single charge on Wednesday, and a senior administration official said the White House expects about two dozen Republicans to support it. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 in the House, announced on Tuesday that she would be among them.

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But the Senate Republican leader has made clear in private discussions that he believes now is the moment to move on from the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for causing Republicans to lose the Senate. Mr. McConnell has not spoken to Mr. Trump since mid-December, when the senator told the president that he would be recognizing Mr. Biden as president-elect after the Electoral College certified Mr. Biden’s victory.

On Monday, Mr. Biden telephoned Mr. McConnell to ask whether it was possible to set up a dual track that would allow the Senate to confirm Mr. Biden’s cabinet nominees and hold a Senate trial at the same time, according to officials briefed on the conversation who disclosed it on condition of anonymity. Far from avoiding the topic of impeaching Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell said it was a question for the Senate parliamentarian, and promised Mr. Biden a quick answer.

David Popp, a spokesman for Mr. McConnell, declined to comment, pointing a reporter to a speech the senator made from the floor after the attack on the Capitol.

“This failed attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection, only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic,” Mr. McConnell said as the Senate reconvened on Wednesday to finish the electoral count disrupted by the siege. “Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.”

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In the days since the attack, Mr. McCarthy has veered from asking Republican colleagues if he should call on Mr. Trump to resign to privately floating impeachment to his current posture, opposed to impeachment but open to a censure. He even approached Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, about a censure vote, saying he could deliver a large number of Republican votes for a formal rebuke if Democrats backed off impeachment.

REPUBLICANS DEFY TRUMPThe G.O.P.’s rapid turn against Mr. Trump unfolded as the House met into the night on Tuesday to debate a motion for his removal.
Jonathan Martin is a national political correspondent. He has reported on a range of topics, including the 2016 presidential election and several state and congressional races, while also writing for Sports, Food and the Book Review. He is also a CNN political analyst. @jmartnyt

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on President Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. @maggieNYT

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Post by Original Quill Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:57 pm

Impeachment is useful only if one is seeking the two additional remedies: 1) that he lose all entitlements; and 2) that he be precluded from ever serving in federal office, whether by election or by appointment.

The House has the votes to impeach Trump today. The Senate will be in Republican hands until January 20th, and then Democrats will have only a majority. It requires a super-majority (2/3's of the votes cast) in order to convict.

The wise course would be to impeach Trump immediately, and wait until the Spring or Summer to send the Bill of Impeachment over to the Senate. Whatever anti-Trump sympathies that Republicans have today, will not wane by then. In fact, once Trump is shown as feckless it will be easier to find the votes.

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"What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine." ― Old Republican proverb.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

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Post by Maddog Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:14 pm

They should have dumped him about 2 weeks after the election. Problem was the run offs in Georgia..McConnell needed to walk a tight rope trying to win one of those seats. Trump fucked up that election with his crazy talk and altered the course of the nation for at least 2 years. McConnell had all the tools he needed to deal with Biden as long as he had 51 votes.

Trump managed to turn a southern state blue for one election. He was a Godsend to the Dems and McConnell will never forgive or forget that.

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Post by Ben Reilly Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:53 am

They should actually ban Trump from the Republican Party. That would be nearly as effective as banning him from running for elected office.

I hate to say this, but I really hope he dies, peacefully and from natural causes, soon. His cult is a cult of personality that won't, in the main, outlive him.

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Post by eddie Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:06 am

Ben Reilly wrote:They should actually ban Trump from the Republican Party. That would be nearly as effective as banning him from running for elected office.

I hate to say this, but I really hope he dies, peacefully and from natural causes, soon. His cult is a cult of personality that won't, in the main, outlive him.

Even though you say “dying peacefully and from natural causes” that still doesn’t sit right with me. I can never say I hope someone dies (unless it’s a child killer, I guess which makes me a hypocrite).
Perhaps it would be healthier to say “I hope he leaves politics alone and concentrates on some other business”

I have to say it dude. It doesn’t sit right with me.

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Post by Ben Reilly Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:13 am

eddie wrote:
Ben Reilly wrote:They should actually ban Trump from the Republican Party. That would be nearly as effective as banning him from running for elected office.

I hate to say this, but I really hope he dies, peacefully and from natural causes, soon. His cult is a cult of personality that won't, in the main, outlive him.

Even though you say “dying peacefully and from natural causes” that still doesn’t sit right with me. I can never say I hope someone dies (unless it’s a child killer, I guess which makes me a hypocrite).
Perhaps it would be healthier to say “I hope he leaves politics alone and concentrates on some other business”

I have to say it dude. It doesn’t sit right with me.

Really, it doesn't sit right with me either and I did go back and forth on whether to say it or not. I know it's an ugly thought, but it's what I thought at the time, so I decided to go with it.

Ideally for me, he'd see the mistakes he's made and back off from politics. But the cynical side of me says Trump is going to be dangerous in some way or another until he's literally dead.

I don't think he'll leave politics, because the adoration he's had for the past five years or so has been a drug he'll never be able to quit. I hope I'm wrong; I'd like to be wrong because I hate to think that anybody is beyond redemption. But I do think Trump is so far gone that he wouldn't recognize redemption now. I don't think he can imagine a positive scenario that doesn't involve him being powerful and adored, and I think for him, that's so important that he loses sight of everything else.

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Post by eddie Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:25 am

Fair enough. I don’t like him at all, as you know, but I have to be fair.

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Post by Maddog Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:47 am

They Senate can convict him and bar him from office for life.

That's probably what they should so at this point.

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Post by Original Quill Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:58 pm

Plus prosecution.

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“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine." ― Old Republican proverb.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars (1993).

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Post by Maddog Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:07 pm

Original Quill wrote:Plus prosecution.

I think if he gets banned from office, Biden will try to get everyone to back off and let Trump stew. At some point it becomes counter productive to have Trump still in the news every day being a martyr.

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Post by Original Quill Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:19 pm

Maddog wrote:
Original Quill wrote:Plus prosecution.

I think if he gets banned from office, Biden will try to get everyone to back off and let Trump stew. At some point it becomes counter productive to have Trump still in the news every day being a martyr.

On the other hand, if Biden does not respond to assaults on America's institutions, it carries the message that such assaults are legitimate and acceptable. It's a binary proposition: either Trump is wrong, or American institutions are wrong. Which of the two does the public want to vindicate?

Whereas, once Republicans were criticized for enabling Trump's illegal and abnormal assaults, now Democrats will be just as guilty by ratifying those assaults.

_________________
“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine." ― Old Republican proverb.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars (1993).

Original Quill

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