The fallout surrounding last week’s acquittal vote in the U.S. Senate continued long after the final count.
By a 52-48 vote, the Senate found President Donald J. Trump not guilty on a charge of abusing his power, while the not guilty vote that he obstructed Congress was 53-47.
Although the Senate found Trump not guilty, many of the lawmakers either openly or secretly said he did something wrong. They and Trump’s attorneys said although the president did some bad things, they didn’t rise to the level of impeachment.
The House had impeached Trump for his actions concerning holding up aid to Ukraine in exchange for that country digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden – a potential rival in this year’s re-election bid – and Biden’s son, who sat on the board of a Ukranian energy company.
Trump would only be removed from office if two-thirds of the Senate had found him guilty. That was never, ever going to happen.
The night before the Senate vote, Trump gave his third state of the union address. Like every issue in Washington, D.C., your reaction to the speech was in line with how you feel about the president. Some supporters have called it the best speech ever, while his opponents said it was filled with lies and half-truths.
Following his address, Speaker of the House Nanci Pelosi tore up a copy of Trump’s speech. Trump didn’t shake hands with Pelosi at the start, no doubt in part because of her action in the House’s impeachment of the president.
Again, reaction was predictable. Some Democrats talked of how proud they were that Pelosi tore up a copy of Trump’s speech, while backers of the president called for Pelosi to be removed from the House.
The same people who weren’t upset with the president’s actions at all were ready to bring out the gallows for Pelosi.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, no fan of Trump, voted to impeach the president on one count.
Fox News personality Laura Ingraham called Romney “the ultimate selfish, preening, self-centered politician. If he were up for reelection this year, the people of Utah would have their own payback against him because they were defrauded by Romney. ...”
In other words, hell with the oath you took to be fair and unbiased at the trial. Vote to support the president or else.
Some immediately called for Romney to be removed from the GOP. Democrats, of course, said he did a noble thing.
One GOP county chairman in Arkansas said Romney’s vote was a “kick in the gut” and “unforgivable.”
I respect Romney for his vote. It took a lot of guts. I have no respect for senators who voted for not guilty, in part, because they were afraid of the political fallout. Many are up for re-election in states that were carried by Trump in 2016.
If a Democratic president did what Trump did, the GOP would have voted unanimously to convict.
Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday tore into Pelosi and Romney. At a prayer breakfast? Geez.
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Trump during his state of the union address presented radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Again, how you view Trump was basis for your reaction to this. Limbaugh is either a patriot for freedom or a hate-mongering radio host.
Presidents can award the medal to anyone they choose. Several past recipients had sketchy lives, from Bill Cosby to Bill Clinton to Tiger Woods.
David Remnick in The New Yorker wrote, “For the President of the United States to bestow one of the nation’s highest laurels on Limbaugh is a morally corrosive and politically cynical act.”
Brian Rosenwald at the Washington Post summed it up the best:
“To many Americans, Limbaugh is a misogynistic, racist, hatemonger who has contributed amply to our hyper polarized political and media landscapes – the antithesis of someone who should be receiving the medal of freedom. Many fans, however, cheered Trump’s move, viewing Limbaugh as someone who reshaped media to include their perspective, and who has tirelessly fought for bedrock American values – their values – for decades on the air, inspiring a generation of conservatives.”