Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Thu. Jan. 14, 2021

Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Thu. Jan. 14, 2021

A Second Vote
 
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump yesterday…only the third president to ever be impeached by the House, and the only one to have it happen twice.
 
I had predicted that if Trump had won but the House stayed in Democrat hands, he’d be impeached again…so I got that part right, just not the part about it happening within the same four-year term.
 
This time, some Republicans fell in line and took the bait…because this whole thing is a trap. Some Republicans voted for impeachment just so they can say they have publicly broken with the president who can no longer do them any good, or harm from retribution. It has very little to do with principles, as noted before.
 
And from the “have your cake and eat it, too” department…Mitch McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader and will be through Inauguration Day next Wednesday. He says the Senate won’t reconvene to hold a trial, one that would not be complete before Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is sworn in. And he makes it clear that he’s not sure how he’d vote if a trial were to be held.
 
Hardly a profile in courage. He throws shade on the president, but doesn’t have to stand up and call the chamber back early to force the issue. How he votes in the event a trial is held will only depend on what polls show, although he’ll already no longer be the majority leader and doesn’t have to stand for re-election for a full six years. And again, if a trial is even held, since a trial to remove someone from office seems ridiculous once the person is no longer in office.
 
But again, it’s a trap…to see how many Republicans will officially break with the president and therefore his supporters. In the forthcoming fight for control of the Republican Party, breaking with the president will earn points with the old school folks…but it will completely alienate the Trump fans.
 
A divided GOP is exactly what the Democrats need to ram their agenda through. And many Republicans appear happy to oblige.