All right everyone, it’s game day in the House. Most Representatives should know how they plan to vote by now, but enough may be on the edge today that it’s worth calling their offices again. In the end though, whether five GOP Congressmen vote to impeach or fifteen, the House will send a bipartisan referral to the Senate some time late today or tomorrow. What happens then will be “interesting”, as the apocryphal Chinese proverb says.
WATCH: Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) says majority of GOP "paralyzed with fear" @RepJasonCrow: "I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues. … A couple of them broke down in tears … saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment." pic.twitter.com/ESEu40WW1P
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 13, 2021
I called Pat Toomey’s Pittsburgh office this morning and told a pleasant young man that I greatly respect the Senator’s courage in standing up to Trump. While it’s fair to say my opinion of Toomey could hardly have gone down, we should acknowledge that Republicans who stand up to Trump each take on a significant a personal and professional risk.
Actually, correct that. The personal risk and the professional risk are stark opposites of each other right now. Professionally speaking, Republicans who *support* Trump have gotten themselves way, way out on a limb. The nutbag faction is watching donors and job prospects dry up like a rain puddle in the Mojave desert. Republicans who want the Chamber of Commerce to take their phone calls in a year know they need to lose a shoe up Trump’s ass today, or at least keep their head down in the fashion of blog favorite Tom [****] Cotton. On the other hand, *personal* risk is the same story flipped on its head. For Republicans like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney, Trump’s frothing mob is their neighbors. It’s the people who sit next to them at church, the dude who cuts their grass, and the guy who walks their dog back home. It’s their kids’ best friends and the reliable primary voters who hoard survival rations and keep binders of printed-out instructions for hand-made ghillie suits and home brewed IEDs.
An atheist city dweller like me has the privilege of seeing all those folks from a distance. I don’t have to care (much) whether some part-time machinist in the exurbs gets over his Trump mania or does something self-destructive and regrettable. Any Republican who stands up to Trump doesn’t have that privilege. They’re going to lose lifelong friends and gain a security detail, and it’s worth keeping that in mind when you call their offices today.