‘IOIYAR: acronym for “It’s Okay If You’re A Republican,” shorthand for discussing hypocrisy.’
Well, not really; I just wanted to use that header.
It’s actually been quite conceivable for a while, as I discussed the other day in Impeachment: A Stupid Thing Happened On The Way To The Senate: there really is an active movement (largely among Republicans, but when Obama was President it was pretty strong among Democrats too) to reconceptualize the office of the President as an elected monarch.
I honestly would have thought that this sort of thing would be anathema to any American who had taken even high school-level American History and Civics, but I think the same thing every time I see a furor about the British royal family in the American press and that still happens all the time.
It’s not over yet.
I don’t want to jump the gun too much here, though.
There is still the very faint possibility that all those Senators voted to proceed without witnesses or subpoenas because (like Senator Alexander) they accept that the prosecution has already made a sufficiently convincing case.
That’d be OK?
Yes, but only if (unlike Senator Alexander’s announced intention) they vote to actually remove the President since they’d have agreed he’s been proven to have attempted to use already-approved (and very necessary) aid to a dependent ally country to extort a public statement from that country claiming to be investigating a political rival of the President for corruption.
You know: extorting foreign interference in a domestic election.
I could accept the argument for voting to proceed without further documents or testimony in that situation. After all, I think the case was pretty decisively proven before the House even started impeachment proceedings.
But, yeah, that really doesn’t seem likely.
The likely scenario is that this is just to clear the board for a quick “no” vote on removal and an expeditious return to the Senate’s normal routine of confirming completely inexperienced Party loyalists to some of the highest courts in the land.
I may have some opinions on that too.
But back to the Senate for the moment.
This process is demonstrating conclusively that whatever claim the Senate may have had to being “the greatest deliberative body on Earth” (by virtue of it’s distinctive ability to operate beyond partisan loyaties somehow, despite being made up of politicians?), it certainly can’t claim that title any longer.
The Senate is no more above simple Party loyalties than any other elected body, and they proved that today (just as they’ve proved it with the Kavanaugh vote, and with most of the judicial appointment confirmations for this administration).
“Party loyalty” is actually the better possibility, though.
The other possibility is that this vote signals subservience to the Executive, rather than simple loyalty to the Party.
It’s nice that there’s still a way that this could be worse, isn’t it?
It doesn’t change the fundamental issue, though: the Executive is far too powerful, and the existing oversight mechanisms are completely broken. The second post I wrote for this blog (Failed Constitution Check: Executive Oversight) is looking pretty accurate, in fact.
We’ll see how the final vote goes.