It's time to remember Margaret Chase Smith. Michael Harris writes:
She took on Senator Joe McCarthy, denouncing his vicious demagoguery before anyone else had the courage to confront his campaign of bigotry and hatred.
She denounced the bitterness and selfish political opportunism of McCarthy, a fellow Republican, writing that Americans were sick of seeing guilty people whitewashed. Instead of cover-ups, smears and witch hunts, Senator Chase Smith urged her fellow senators not to think of the next election but of their country; think, that is, not as politicians, U.S. senators, men or women, but as Americans.
The current Republican Senator from Maine -- Susan Collins -- does not appear to be haunted by Smith's ghost. And the rest of the Republican senators appear to have forgotten who she was:
In plain English, the Senate Majority Leader is working hand-in-glove with the defendant in this case, a state of affairs so egregiously unjust that it even bothered Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. It is a fish that stinks from the head.
That much should have been crystal clear before the impeachment process moved to the Senate. McConnell himself said on national television that he was “not impartial at all” in the case under consideration. Senator Mark Meadows said the same thing, telling CNN’s Dana Bash before the opening arguments of either side had even been heard, that what the House managers were presenting was a “false narrative.”
My question: How could either of these men take the oath administered by the Chief Justice to be impartial jurors and judges in the Trump impeachment? They both swore to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws, so help me God.”
How could Senator Lindsey Graham be sworn in with those words when he said before the process began, “I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”
It is puzzling that no Republican juror was challenged before taking the oath because of previous prejudicial statements they made about the House case against the president. Had that been done, Chief Justice Roberts would have had to make a ruling, as reported in The Hill. How could the presiding judge not have ruled to remove a juror like Senator Graham for uttering a false oath? Or the others?
Instead, no one was challenged, and the kangaroos are running wild in Trump’s impeachment trial. The sad arithmetic of injustice is 53 to 47, the size of the Republican majority in the Senate. It only takes 51 votes to acquit President Trump. That is exactly what they will do just as quickly as gall, corruption, self-interest, and Executive coaching will permit.
Americans will have one last chance to save their republic -- in the upcoming election. To do that, they'll have to take out Trump; but they'll also have to take out the Republican Party -- because there are no Margaret Chase Smiths left in that party.
Image: The Tyee