Friday, July 30

End of Trump’s impeachment raises an oppressive cloud in Washington


(CNN) — The conclusion of Donald Trump’s impeachment finally closes the former president’s absolute dominance over every waking moment in Washington and gives President Joe Biden a first chance to fully wield his influence and power.

While the next few days in the capital may not be as heartbreaking as last week – which recalled a gruesome re-enactment of the terror within the Capitol, January 6, by the House of Representatives impeachment prosecutors — will be even more critical to the short-term fate of the country. Biden can now claim the full attention of Congress and the public as he seeks to push forward your aid package and end the pandemic, and will make his first official trip outside of Washington since taking office.

But the acquittal of Trump at the hands of a majority of Republican senators, on Saturday, he also showed that his cult of personality will make him a dominant force in the internal civil war gripping the party in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections. His staying power, even when he’s out of the presidency will have a major impact on the mood in Washington and on Biden’s ability to unite the nation.

Prominent Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the potential presidential candidate of 2024, Nikki Haley, they are already maneuvering to take the party in a different direction. Only time will tell if Trump’s influence will be so ubiquitous when he’s miles from the action at his Florida luxury resort and Congress is no longer debating his political fate. And one surge of legal concerns, stemming from his past business practices and attempts to steal last year’s election, could further damage the future political prospects of a former president who was willing to destroy American democracy in an attempt to stay in power.

What are the legal effects of Trump being acquitted? 2:20

The GOP’s endless dilemma over Trump

The trial showed that the Republican Party is essentially in the same place since Trump descended his golden ladder in 2015. Many of its most prominent leaders despise the former president, but are afraid to confront him because of his almost mystical link to the conservative base. This has recently led Republican House representatives to legitimize their extremist and conspiratorial wing. embracing pro-Trump Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, in a strategy that threatens to alienate more centrist voters. Meanwhile, members of the House and Senate who voted to convict Trump have faced the censorship of state parties and one backlash of voters at home.

There is little opportunity for those who want to steer the party in a post-Trump direction. Haley, a former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and former Governor of South Carolina, used an interview with the political medium to distance himself from the former president before his acquittal last week. And Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, another potential 2024 presidential candidate, made the case for the change on Sunday.

“This is not over. We are going to decide in the coming years what is the fate of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, ”Hogan told Jake Tapper in State of the Union, de CNN.

Trump is treating his escape from justice as a political victory and promises to “emerge soon” in the spotlight. The former president plans to use the upcoming midterm primaries to exact revenge on the Republicans who turned against him and demonstrate his staying power as the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

However, you have other concerns. CNN has reported that the former president fears who may face criminal charges for his incitement to a mob, on January 6. And the legacy of the trial, and what it exposed, could permanently damage Trump. Impressive video evidence showed how close then-Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were to danger, and CNN’s Friday night report on new details About Trump’s Jan.6 phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy raised serious questions about what the president knew and when. While it is conceivable that Trump could be a strong contender for the presidential primaries in 2024, it is more of a stretch to see him as a viable national candidate given the extreme methods he took to hold on to power in 2020.

Trump, acquitted in second impeachment 5:02

McConnell’s gamble after Trump’s impeachment

Republicans’ unwillingness to restrain Trump has led to two political trials, the loss of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate, multiple abuses of power, and Trump’s failed handling of a pandemic that has killed almost half a million Americans. But the party’s demographic base means that the only route to power remains dependent on the active participation of Trump’s most loyal supporters.

This clash between power and principle is best underscored by Mitch McConnell’s contradictory behavior at trial. The Kentucky Republican voted to acquit Trump on the dubious basis that the Constitution prohibits trying an accused president once he leaves office.

But immediately after casting your vote, Republican leader criticized Trump in a speech in the Senate, saying that his actions before the riots were a “shameful neglect of duty.” The situation astride left McConnell facing charges of hypocrisy and extreme political expediency, especially since he established the constitutional excuse for senators embarrassed to face Trump’s crimes by refusing to hold the trial while Trump was still in office.

But everything McConnell does is explained by his desire to hold his conference together in the service of maintaining or regaining power, in this case in next year’s by-elections.

McConnell had seen how Representative Liz Cheney had to fight for his No. 3 spot in the House Republican leadership after voting to impeach Trump. If he had cast a similar vote, he would surely have faced a fight for his leadership or at least he would have seen his authority with his conference shattered.

McConnell exposed the naked pragmatism of his thought in a Politician interview, effectively indicating an effort to purge Trump’s influence, unless he needs pro-Trump candidates to help win back the Senate.

“All I care about is eligibility,” McConnell said.

It’s this kind of cynical strategy that has made McConnell one of the most powerful Congressional leaders since Lyndon Johnson. It has also brought the Republican Party to a point where it cannot summon itself to punish a former president who carried out an effective coup after losing an election.

The Biden opportunity

The end of the impeachment trial means that, for the first time since taking office last month, Biden will be able to assert the power of his office as he steps up his efforts to win swift approval of his pandemic relief plan. for $ 1.9 trillion with a 50-50 Senate, which Democrats control because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s ability to break ties. The president will begin trips out of Washington this week, a rite of a new administration so far cut short by COVID-19, and will participate in a CNN forum Tuesday night in Wisconsin. On Friday, Biden will seek to restore US global leadership in another departure from the Trump administration, by participating in a virtual meeting of G7 leaders to discuss the pandemic.

Senator Chris Murphy presented a case Sunday on the show State of the Union that Democrats had effectively handled the trial, promoted Biden’s cabinet appointees, and are conducting negotiations on the COVID-19 aid package.

“We have been doing three things at once,” said the Connecticut Democrat. But that balancing act would have been derailed if the trial had dragged on much longer, a factor in which Democratic senators rejected a surprise offer Saturday by House prosecutors to call witnesses.

There is no time to lose, as the success of Biden’s presidency, and the nation itself, will depend on his ability to end the pandemic and rescue the economy. And the crisis is at a crucial point. Cases of the virus are declining rapidly and the number of deaths, which is generally delayed in new infections, will soon follow suit. But new variants of covid-19 are spreading that seem more contagious. This makes the new funding for a vaccination campaign contained in the Congressional package increasingly crucial. With extended unemployment benefits ending in March, millions of Americans are depending on Congress. The bill also includes billions of dollars in funding to reopen schools safely, an increasingly problematic political issue for the White House and a primary concern for desperate parents.

“The American Rescue Plan has $ 130 billion in resources to facilitate and help schools get there,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday. USA in State of the Union, de CNN.

His comments reflected the new reality that with Trump out of the picture, Biden is about to experience full scrutiny on the pandemic, the economy, and any other unresolved national issue that ends up on a president’s desk.


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