Be sure to check out the latest editorial from Raleigh’s News & Observer. In “The weak reasons Sens. Tillis and Burr are meek about impeachment,” the N&O tells it exactly like it is in dissecting the decision of North Carolina’s two GOP senator to throw in with 43 other Trump loyalists in a test vote on whether the impending impeachment trial should even take place.
After noting that both men issued strong statements in the immediate aftermath of the deadly U.S. Capitol invasion by Trump loyalists, it points out that now, sadly, “the senators’ righteousness of Jan. 6 has dissipated like yesterday’s tear gas”:
This is weak stuff from weak-kneed senators. Virtually all impeachments of presidents and other federal office holders – some of whom had left office – have involved a trial. Why would this case, based the most serious of impeachment charges, not merit a full hearing and vote by the Senate? It’s one thing to vote to acquit Trump after a trial. It’s an abdication of duty to say the American people should not even hear the evidence.
Tillis, whose subservience to Trump has been embarrassing both for him and North Carolina, offered a reason for opposing the trial that was exceptionally woolly headed. He said an impeachment vote could set up a party-line vote to disqualify Trump from ever running for office. That, he said, would be the same as Republicans barring Hillary Clinton from running because she used a private email server while she was secretary of state.
According to Tillis’ judgment, Clinton’s failure to protect the security of her email is on the same plane as a president refusing to accept the outcome of an election and urging his supporters to swarm Capitol Hill and “fight like hell” to stop Congress from certifying the election. In the riot that followed, several people died.
The editorial is little kinder to Burr, who it notes, voted to impeach President Bill Clinton back in 1998 over the truthfulness of his statements to a grand jury about consensual sex between two adults.
And after noting that both men have an opportunity to set politics aside and do the right things given that Burr is retiring soon and Tillis won’t face voters again until 2026, it concludes this way:
But Burr and Tillis have passed on the opportunity – an opportunity five other Republican senators accepted – to show a measure of independence and support a hearing of the facts. They voted that there should be no trial for Trump and in so doing they failed their own.
All in all, it’s enough to make one conclude that Trump was right when he infamously bragged that he could shoot someone in the street without jeopardizing the support he receives from his loyal lackeys.