Lamar Alexander has spoken in more detail of his decision to vote against calling impeachment witnesses and, presumably, to acquit Donald Trump.
“The Senate reflects the country, and the country is as divided as it has been for a long time. For the Senate to tear up the ballots in this election and say President Trump couldn’t be on it, the country probably wouldn’t accept that. It would just pour gasoline on cultural fires that are burning out there.”
So many assumptions in those three sentences.
A great many people can’t be on the ballots for the election. Not having enough money is one of the prime causes. Being under 35. Having been held back by color or gender so that the opportunity never arose. The country accepts all of those. But here is a man who has, as Alexander admits, badly abused his position as President already. Perhaps, yes, we should not allow him to do that again.
But Alexander makes such a decision sound arbitrary, as Trump supporters do. And he says it in a way that conflates the fallacious idea that impeachment is not firing for cause, but rather nullification of the election.
As to pouring gasoline on cultural fires, Alexander obviously hasn’t checked his name and variants trending on Twitter. It is only one sort of cultural fire that he is concerned with.
Alexander denies that Trump’s shaking down of Volodymyr Zelinsky qualifies as “treason, bribery, or a high crime and misdemeanor” as specified for impeachment in the Constitution. But soliciting something of value for money is indeed bribery in the general meaning of the term, inviting foreign influence into an American election is a crime, and it is hard to see how any of this is not a misuse of Presidential power. Unless you’re Lamar Alexander.
The article mentions Alexander’s admiration for Howard Baker, who conducted himself with dignity and honor through impeachment hearings for Richard Nixon. There is neither honor nor dignity in Alexander’s abasing himself to fit the Trumpian mold.
The bottom line:
“Whatever you think of his behavior,” Mr. Alexander said of Mr. Trump, “with the terrific economy, with conservative judges, with fewer regulations, you add in there an inappropriate call with the president of Ukraine, and you decide if your prefer him or Elizabeth Warren.”