Guilty in Varying Degrees

By a vote of 52 to 48 the Senate acquitted Donald Trump on the charge of abuse of power. The lone dissenting Republican vote was Mitt Romney. Many view it as a moral victory. The real problem with moral victories is they are still losses. Of course, considering Romney’s vote was the first time a senator has voted to impeach a president who was in the same political party it does have a nice touch of historical significance.

Donald Trump Jr. lashed out quickly and aggressively demanding the expulsion of Romney from the Republican Party. Here is a young man whose only real political experience is being the son of the most divisive president in modern times demanding the removal from the party of a former Presidential candidate. It conjures delightful images of royalty lashing out at commoners for daring to question their superiors. Maybe there is more to this moral victory than meets the eye.

Plus, it seems Trump really didn’t want a quick, meaningless trial at all. He wanted a full-blown episode of Matlock, or Perry Mason. He wanted witnesses and documents and testimony all pointing to his unprecedented, uncanny ability to be President. He wanted to take the stand and brush aside any doubt about his innocence. He probably wouldn’t have minded cross-examining a few of the “witch hunters” and “do nothing dems.”

He wanted to be carried out of the Senate Chambers on the shoulders of the winning team. But, he had to settle for going gently into the next stage of his presidency. And he had to go with a dissenting Republican vote. That has to be a source of gnawing, festering irritation. I am starting to warm to the better parts of a moral victory.

Thursday at the Prayer Breakfast President Trump used the solemn moment to tell everyone attending he didn’t like Romney or Nancy Pelosi. He didn’t actually name them, but in the final tally he used their words of devotion to point them out. Nobody doubted who he meant. We should all be thankful he left it at two, or we might have missed his address to the nation where he could tell everybody how innocent he is.

Even for the National Prayer Breakfast, which is really more about access and power and access to power, than it is about prayer, it was bad form. To an already divided nation, his words were just more accelerant on the flames. He was clearly angry. But, I guess moral victories take a toll.

So, this moral victory is galling, the complete pass the senate gave him irritates me, Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer and Trump. It was a typical Washington week. Nobody is happy.

It is the job of the Federal Government, though. Nothing ever happens, and the best thing you can hope for is the other party has a right to be angrier than you.

Image credit Flickr