I find it gratifying that, in the depraved circumstances in which we live, there remains some role for logic. Rationality doesn’t matter much any more, but it still matters, at least a little.
Let’s take this in steps. Nothing new in the analysis below, but it seems the talking heads keep forgetting the key points.
- Trump, it appears, has now decided that he doesn’t want a trial, after all. Instead, he would prefer dismissal without trial.
No real surprise there.
Of course, he would.
- Republican senators, it is said, are refusing to dismiss the case in an offhand manner.
If that is true—a big “if”—then it’s a sane decision on their part, but also a surprising decision.
- Logically, Trump should be entitled to argue that the facts alleged in the articles of impeachment do not describe an impeachable offense. I didn’t say it would be prudent to make such an argument. I didn’t say such an argument would be persuasive. I said he has the right to make that argument, if he chooses to make it.
Trump’s right to make this sort of argument doesn’t depend on Senate Republicans, and it doesn’t depend on Senate Democrats. Logically, it’s his prerogative to make the argument, if he wants to.
- What tonight’s story is telling us—accurately or inaccurately—is that some significant portion of Senate Republicans are unlikely to embrace the argument that the facts alleged in the articles of impeachment do not describe an impeachable offense.
I find that both very interesting and somewhat surprising.
The reason I find it somewhat surprising is that it’s by far the best argument Republicans have, if they are bound and determined to acquit.
Their alternative route to acquittal is a real stinker.
- Rationally speaking, the other alternative route to acquittal is the say the House Democrats have not proved their case: it’s too “indirect” and too “circumstantial.”
- But, to reject the House’ case as “too indirect and circumstantial” while, at the same time, refusing to listen to the testimony of persons with direct knowledge is not just a bad argument, it’s not just a losing argument, it is in fact loony tunes.
- If Republicans want to acquit Trump based on a loony tunes argument, then be my guest.
Just go ahead.
Make my day.