Donald Trump's acquittal was a foregone conclusion, but it's not the U.S. Senate that will be the final judge. It's history, and history will record that the former president was guilty of trying to steal an election and, in the process, end democracy in America.
The horde that trampled and crushed police officers — blue lives matter — wasn't part of some feverish spontaneous action. They were groomed in a calculated fashion by Trump the way his old pal Jeffrey Epstein once groomed children. When Trump told his foot soldiers to “Liberate Michigan,” he saw what happened, and when it was revealed that there was a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, he didn't cool the rhetoric. He fanned the flames.
When he told his worshipers to “Stop the count” after the election, they tried.
Then, after months of brainwashing his Brownshirts into believing that the election would be stolen, he called them to Washington. They arrived with bombs, guns, clubs, handcuffs, body armor, gallows and Trump flags. The rabble included right-wing radio announcers from North Dakota, true believers palling around with domestic terrorists.
Trump knew exactly what would happen after he ginned up the crowd on Jan. 6. “Will be wild,” he predicted. It's been about violence with him from the first campaign rally. Trumpians snickered when politically correct snowflakes warned that his incendiary speech was dangerous, that words matter. They do.
People died. The republic teetered. Elected leaders ran for their lives, and even when U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy begged the president to call it off, Trump continued to gleefully fiddle like Nero while democracy smoldered. You remember Democracy, don't you, patriots?
When his own loyal vice president was hunted in the halls of the Capitol by a mob shouting, “Hang Mike Pence,” Trump did nothing to intervene. Instead, he doubled down and tweeted that Pence lacked courage because he refused to unconstitutionally overturn the election. You remember the Constitution, don't you patriots?
Make no mistake, had those anarchists caught Pence he'd be dead, but the president wouldn't have cared one whit. Loyalty is a one-way street with Trump as his goon squad has since discovered. Hundreds of his deluded pawns now face prison time while the would-be dictator faces nothing more daunting than sand traps at Mar-a-Lago.
History will record that a sitting president declared war on Congress, but Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., called the impeachment process stupid. Well, he knows that topic pretty well. To illustrate, he rushed from television camera to television camera futilely trying to defend the indefensible. With Cramer, political calculation and common sense are mutually exclusive.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. (Motto: “Duck and Cover”), also voted against impeachment based on a laughably dubious technicality. Apparently, any crime committed by an outgoing president in January can't be prosecuted. Will Hoeven ever take a difficult stand on anything? Please. He wouldn't even stand up for democracy.
Seven Republicans did their constitutional duty and voted to impeach Donald Trump. They're heroes. The other 43 will continue to practice politics without principles. They could have resurrected their party by convicting this failed American tyrant. Instead, bowing to cowardice and political calculation, they failed America.
History will remember.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor Forum Communications ownership.