Mitch McConnell thinks it’s too late to impeach Donald Trump, big surprise

US Senate Republican Conference Press Conference

Pretty much as soon as Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were sworn in as senators, Mitch McConnell started crying about “Senate minority rights” and “protecting the filibuster.” Now that the Republicans are in the minority in the Senate, suddenly we’re supposed to forget about McConnell’s years of bullsh-t, his refusal to confirm Merrick Garland, his push to confirm Amy Coney Barrett eight days before the election, his refusal to allow Barack Obama’s agenda to move through the Senate, and on and on. This sounds like a boring process story, but the fight was truly about whether President Biden would be able to enact any part of his agenda through legislation. It’s about whether the minimum wage will be raised, whether Americans will get more covid relief, and so much more. But the week-long process story is over, I guess:

The filibuster fight is over—for now. Mitch McConnell on Monday finally backed down from his demand to protect the tactic, allowing an organizing agreement giving Chuck Schumer and his razor-thin majority control of the Senate to go through. Schumer, who had called for his Republican counterpart to agree to the power-sharing rules of the last split Senate, in 2001, claimed victory in the standoff. “We’re glad Sen. McConnell threw in the towel,” he said through a spokesman, “and gave up on his ridiculous demand.” But McConnell called it a win, too, and for good reason: He relented only after two moderate Democrats, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, vowed not to vote to end the filibuster, all but ensuring that McConnell would get to keep his veto power on the agenda Schumer wants to help President Joe Biden enact.

[From Vanity Fair]

I don’t really understand Sinema and Manchin’s play here, because (as others have pointed out) if they have specific goals, or specific legislation or pork projects they want for their states, they’ll have a much easier time making a deal with their own Democratic caucus. Anyway, I’m glad Schumer didn’t back down but I am worried about all of this!

Meanwhile, that’s not the only bulls–t McConnell tried to pull. Senator Rand Paul got a vote on whether the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump was constitutional given that Trump is now out of office. Paul’s side lost in a 55-45 vote… but Mitch voted with the 45 Republicans who think that there shouldn’t even be a trial. McConnell was still Majority Leader when Trump incited a deadly coup, and he put the Senate in recess after the attack. Meaning, he didn’t think the impeachment trial was timely enough to do when Trump was in office, and now Mitch is claiming that it’s too late to impeach. Still, with only five Republicans voting with Democrats, that vote was likely a preview of coming attractions for the actual impeachment vote. Which doesn’t matter – there still needs to be an impeachment trial and widespread investigations into what happened on January 6th.

US House Electoral Vote Count

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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28 Responses to “Mitch McConnell thinks it’s too late to impeach Donald Trump, big surprise”

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  1. Sigmund says:

    Yeah, Republicans worry me a lot. I’ve always been a dem, but in a two party system, it’s extremely dangerous that the Republicans are now openly embracing authoritarianism and white supremacy. We may have gotten rid of Trump, but the disease is still alive and well in the party.

    • Becks1 says:

      I’m worried as well and its part of the reason why I really hope that Trump starts his own political party – it will split the Republicans and they will lose some seats as a result, giving dems more of a margin.

      But its still scary as hell that so many Rs are just like, “meh, it was only an attempted coup, no biggie.”

  2. grabbyhands says:

    What a shock! Said no one.

    McConnell is still playing puppet master and I hope Schumer and Pelosi recognize that because there is no way he backed off the filibuster argument without getting something in return – something he thought was more valuable or useful, and now we get to wait and see what that is. It makes me angry that it still feels like it the Republicans calling the shots and not the Democrats.

    And it’s way past time for Manchin and Sinema to get on board with their own party.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Democrats are weak imo and they are so because at the end of the day they stand for nothing solid and are too afraid. Also, many of them secretly are just as white nationalist leaning as their Republican counterparts and don’t really wish to punish them, they would rather go have a martini and talk about their golf handicap. Also, the obsession with perfection the Democratic voters have sort of knee cap the representative to a certain extent. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want the morally bankrupt representatives like the republicans, but I am not electing pastors, I don’t care what consenting adults do with each other legally. I guess what I am saying is Democratic voters need to stop expecting perfection from their representatives. Representatives need to fight dirty and even bend the rules a bit without breaking it sometimes to get what they need. I mean even with House, the Senate and the Office of the President in Democrat control, nothing will be accomplished if they don’t toughen up, or if we get squeemish at every little underhanded move.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Grabbyhands- I suspect Mitch got nothing. I suspect he may have dropped the filibuster demand because he couldn’t get his fellow GOPers to back him on that and the Trump trial. So he chose the Trump trial.

      My support for this is that Mitch was making very threatening sounding tweets yesterday. That smacks of someone angry they lost. Usually, he’s quiet when he gets what he wants.

      • Moo says:

        What does he want to back him on the trump trial (convict or not convict?). I’m confused and hope it is the latter.

  3. Sean says:

    I’m trying to be patient and optimistic, however I fear Trump will never face justice.

  4. VS says:

    This man is despicable……….our constitution was a genius move despite its flaws but our senate disproportionally overrepresents small states; This man is just as bad as the donald! his hypocrisy knows no bound; how he continues to get re-elected is just a mystery

  5. Miranda says:

    F–king cowards. While I’m pleased that a few Republicans did vote with us, I’m afraid that I’ll have to remain suspicious of them unless they leave the party altogether. This was an insurrection, FFS! It was a violent uprising instigated by a terrifyingly unstable and horrifically racist would-be despot who wants to destroy democracy, there’s not a lot of gray area here. The GOP is simply too far gone for that small handful of people to imagine that they could “change it from the inside”.

  6. whateveryousay says:

    Just a correction. Apparently yesterday was a vote on whether to debate about the constitutionality of the whole thing. Not a vote whether it was constitutional. Lawrence went into this last night. He and some other attorneys don’t seem concerned about that vote.

    • Rapunzel says:

      O’Donnell is the only one saying this, which is… weird. How is everyone else reporting so incorrectly?

  7. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    Yes, why are Sinema and Manchin playing along with the Republicans? What do they stand to gain; why are these two the kingmakers? Should they not just cross the floor, rather than trying to scupper everything the Dems are trying to do?

    • Becks1 says:

      No, because if they switch to the Rs, then we lose the majority. Manchin is much more conservative than Sinema, but we need him because he has that “D” by his name – if he switches then Mitch is the majority leader again. Its why he is going to be the most important in the Senate over the next two – four years. now I know some will say “Whats the point if he’s going to side with the Rs” but siding with the Rs sometimes, while staying a D, gets us the committees, gets us Schumer as majority leader, etc. It’s definitely better for him to stay a Dem than for him to switch.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Manchin’s goal is to use his political “clout” to get as “much” for West Virginia as he can.

    • salmonpuff says:

      I don’t know about Sinema, but Manchin always does this: he votes with conservatives when it doesn’t really matter (right now the filibuster fight is theoretical since there’s no specific legislation that R’s are trying to use it to stop) and then sides with Democrats in the crunch. It’s how he stays in office in extremely red WV.

      I saw a lot of Twitter folks lamenting that yesterday’s vote was a sign of how things would go in the trial, and they may be right. But there is a lot of the ballgame left to be played. As the facts are laid out in a full trial with witnesses (which McConnell didn’t allow in the first impeachment trial), the landscape may change. Or not, and that will be important to see, as well.

  8. Swack says:

    Why does this argument not surprise me. The SC dropped a lawsuit against Trump concerning the emollients clause and his stepping all over it. They ruled it was no longer relevant since he was not President. Both the Supreme Court and Republicans in Congress have put things off so that they could use the excuse that he is no longer President and so nothing he did applies any more.

    • Rapunzel says:

      The emoluments case was, I believe only a request to make Trump stop violating. SCOTUS had no choice but to dismiss it because it’s moot- he is no longer violating since he’s out of office. You can’t rule to stop him violating something he literally can’t violate anymore.

      It wasn’t the win for Trump you think it was.

    • FancyPants says:

      I read an interpretation of that emoluments case that made “legal” sense of dropping the case for being moot. Something about how the Supreme Court only accepts cases where their decision will change some outcome, and because that lawsuit wasn’t seeking damages and because Trump can no longer violate the clause since he is no longer president, it was no longer “legally” qualified for the US Supreme Court. And Cynical Me who is sinking fast says the real reason it was moot is because he wouldn’t have stopped no matter what they said anyway.
      Where are all these state indictments everybody said were coming???

  9. Valerie says:

    Okay, what the fuck? This doesn’t surprise me, but this whole process is absolutely ridiculous and confusing. They go to all this trouble to impeach him and then they’re like, “Well, he’s no longer president, so we can let him go haha.”

    If you can’t indict a sitting president and can’t send an ex-president to prison for their crimes, does that mean that the position confers upon the person unlimited immunity? America needs to fix its justice system. At this point, it’s non-existent.

  10. rrabbit says:

    The “four stages strategy” at work. Stage four has been reached.
    “Yes, there is a problem, but now it is too late to do anything about it”.

  11. ChloeCat says:

    The Republican party became the party of greed & cruelty when Reagan came into office. Reagan destroyed the middle middle class with his trickle down economics and his extreme tax cuts for the wealthy. His administration made it possible for someone like Trump to get into office. There’s a special place in hell for Reagan, McConnell & Trump.

  12. jferber says:

    A reporter recently wrote exactly this scenario, harsh criticism and then cave. I think the Regugs made a deal with Trump that if he doesn’t start his own political party, they’ll not convict him. The next deal will be if the Rethugs don’t vote to have him never take office again (Article 14?), he’ll secretly promise/ write a contract not to, but still be allowed to scam money for his 2024 election bid.

  13. Veronica S. says:

    I don’t know what long game Manchin thinks he’s playing if he plans on helping Republicans cultivate government dysfunction at a federal level for the next two years. This is a society on the brink of major upheaval – what we’re seeing now is just the start of it if something isn’t done. At this point, the rich are begging to have the lower classes beat down their door.

  14. Ancientte says:

    The world would be a better place if Mitch McConnell dropped dead

  15. Amelie says:

    Well no spoilers here. Garbage human being continues to be a garbage human being.