Opinion: This was no triumph for Trump
But ever since the last chapter was known from the beginning, it was still necessary to tell the story of Trump’s shameless acts.
It was a story of months, not mere moments, of a calculated flare; Apathy to Trump’s cold-blooded life that he risked in the US Capitol on January 6, most shockingly, including his loyal vice president Mike Pence.
It was the story of a president desperately trying to stick to power, believing that he had convinced the fundamentalist that elections were being stolen from him and that it was his patriotic duty to stop it.
He called Washington, DC that day, as Congress convened to make his defeat official. They revived him with the talk of losing his country. They filled him with martial rhetoric and sent him to “Pennsylvania Avenue to Stop Theft.”
It was, in essence, the story of a Commander in Chief who broke his oath and conspired to undermine the most basic grounds of democratic institutions, free and fair elections.
As in the House, a handful of Republican senators dared to vote to keep the nation a tribe and hold the former president accountable. He did this with wide open eyes. They saw Wyoming rape in the house. What happened to Liz Cheney and nine other Republicans who voted for impeachment. They put themselves at the same risk as the primary challenges and, at least, with much grief.
The remaining Republicans fell in line as expected. They knew that Brooding, the defeated president, was watching and taking names, as he was on January 6 – ready to unleash the fury of his still loyal base on anyone who dared to get out of line. .
His attorneys, who clawed their way through the early part of the trial, concluded their arguments by Trump associating himself with false lies, partisan attacks and pretense that his actions were “completely justified.”
It was a mad stew of red meat for the rules and procedures of the base and red herds. He questioned the constitutionality of impeachment of the former president. He argued his First Amendment to incite the mob. He did everything but defend his actions.
And it was more than enough for the majority of Republican senators, some of whom announced their positions long before the opening gawl fell.
But it was far from a victory for Trump.
Though he avoided the sanction, the trial imposed a more permanent penalty on him by keeping him barefoot for the world and controlling his craving for a seditious scuffle in the Capitol.
In a few riveting days, House managers highlighted Trump’s central role in the tragic events of January 6, relying heavily on his own words, not just that day, but for months. Ironically, Trump was tricked by his favorite device, Twitter and video.
And so Trump goes down as the only impeached president in history twice, with nefarious plans in both cases. The first was his attempt to recruit the President of Ukraine in 2019 to open an investigation to intimidate Democratic rival Trump. The second was his months-long struggle to unfairly repel Biden’s victory in the January 6 rebellion, making false claims about the integrity of the election.
Avoiding punishment on Saturday, he also avoided official disqualification from holding public positions in the future. But the story put to trial – which was powerful and convincing – would be disqualified in the eyes of most Americans.
He was spared today. But this test has ensured that Donald Trump will not survive the verdict of history.