Now That It’s All Over, Sure, We Can Admit That Trump Was Guilty All Along

Sen. Lamar Alexander, profile in courage.Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

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Whether or not you think Donald Trump should be impeached over Ukrainegate, Jonah Goldberg says there’s no question that he’s guilty as charged:

Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Marco Rubio (R- Fla.) were the first out of the block to explain that the president is guilty but shouldn’t be ousted for it….In his statement, [Alexander] said the House managers “have proved [the charges] with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence.’” In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Alexander dismissed the need for more witnesses. “If you have eight witnesses who say someone left the scene of an accident, why do you need nine? I mean, the question for me was: Do I need more evidence to conclude that the president did what he did? And I concluded no.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) agreed with Alexander’s position, telling reporters that he speaks for “lots and lots of us.” I somehow doubt there will be a torrent of outrage from Trump World at all of these senators (one never knows with Trump himself) who finally brought themselves to admit the emperor was naked all along.

I don’t doubt this. Now that acquittal is a sure thing, it’s become safe to quietly admit that Trump was guilty all along. The modern GOP is just chock full of profiles in courage.

For myself, I would have been satisfied if this had been the party line all along and Mitch McConnell had engineered a vote of, say, 62-38 for impeachment. This would have meant that Republicans could keep their president, but it also would have sent a clear message that this kind of behavior was bad enough that Trump had only barely survived.

But instead Trump demanded, and Republicans delivered, a complete and utter demonstration of fealty, and that meant a complete and utter defense of Trump’s actions. And this in turn has opened the door for future presidents to demand personal favors in return for official actions. When that happens, Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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