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Republicans get sent scrambling after Trump's flailing defense makes the GOP squirm

February 10, 2021 in Blogs

By Amanda Marcotte

Tuesday was the first day of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial for inciting an insurrection, and, frustratingly, the day was devoted to the question of whether it was legal to even try Trump, now a former president, in the first place. The whole thing was a dog-and-pony show for Senate Republicans, who don’t want to be caught looking supportive of an insurrection that failed. But they also don’t want to offend their voters, who are still largely enthused about fascist insurrections and want to give Trump an A for effort. And so Republicans have settled on pretending they’re springing Trump on a technicality — even though no one really believes such a technicality exists — in a pathetic bid to have it both ways. It felt like a waste of time because no one actually believes this trial is unconstitutional.

But there’s one silver lining: The Democrats who are arguing the case as the House managers so thoroughly smoked Trump’s defense that even Trump knows it.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland introduced a devastating video underscoring how Trump very deliberately sent an angry mob to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 — telling them, “you’re allowed to go by very different rules” than the usual expectations of non-violence — and highlighting the horrors of the insurrection, which left five people dead and multiple police officers seriously injured.

Raskin ended the House managers’ arguments with a terrifying description of his own experiences that day, breaking into tears as he recounted the terror of his family members who were visiting him following the funeral of his young son the day before.

In contrast, Trump’s lawyers presented arguments that were equal parts smug and incoherent. His first lawyer, Bruce Castor, condescendingly suggested that because people are understandably emotional about the insurrection their arguments are rendered irrational. It’s an especially offensive argument to be made in defense of Trump, a man who is all id and no rationality. Castor’s patronizing tone was made all the more annoying by the fact that his arguments were erratic and inconsistent nonsense. That’s especially so compared to the devastating case made earlier in the afternoon by Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, who painstakingly laid out why the trial was constitutional and that no one doubted it before they needed a convenient excuse to …read more


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