It’s taken me two years, but I’ve almost finished watching Ken Burn’s The Vietnam War documentary. In the second to last episode, there’s a decent focus on Watergate and the congressional hearings. Watching it in 2020 while another president is undergoing something similar, I was surprised how it took months and months before the House approved articles of impeachment against President Nixon.
I don’t have much to say on the acquittal, but I’m writing my thoughts down so when my children ask me about it in the years ahead, I can remember exactly what I felt at the time.
I’m not wild about how Trump was acquitted. I feel that there was a lot of risk in bringing the articles of impeachment to the Senate without testimony from John Bolton, but the Democrats did so because this was an election year and they wanted to not be stuck in the courts fighting for documents and his testimony until after the election. Plus, we now live in an age of a 24 hour news cycle. Americans would grow fatigued of hearings that go on for six or more months. We struggled to care about a three week Senate trial.
It’s sad that people care about attention spans rather than the truth. The arguments laid forth by the president’s legal team were scary and disregard the concepts of checks and balances. Trump’s career has been you’re either with me or against me. What Republicans didn’t seem to comprehend was that Trump will be the first person to throw you under the bus. So while it may look like a unified front now, despite what I believe was compelling evidence, the truth will come out in the weeks and months and years ahead, and so will the defections.
If you wonder about why people in power stay in power, for a case-book study you need to look no further than this Senate trial.
I’m glad he was impeached because that’s one stain Teflon Don can’t shake, but I’m sad about the broad arguments made regarding executive power. In sum, I believe Kent Brockman expressed my feelings the best:
Maybe electing a socialist isn’t a bad thing after all.