No one that watched the commencement of the Senate’s impeachment proceedings on January 16 could miss the solemnity of the occasion. It was striking to watch 99 Senators solemnly swear to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws.” The contrast between the Senators’ oath and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments, prior to the beginning of the trial, that he would coordinate closely with the White House in conducting the proceedings … was jarring.
In mid-November, in the post cited above, I referred to a solicitation that I had then recently received from U.S. IA Sen. Charles Grassley, seeking campaign contributions not for his benefit, but to aid the campaign of Sen. McConnell. I observed that it seemed odd for Mr. McConnell to be reaching all the way into the Midwest for support, and noted that a close friend much closer to the Bluegrass State than I am considers Mr. McConnell more vulnerable than those of us outside the region might assume. Mr. McConnell may attempt to rationalize the dichotomy between his comments and his oath, but I would submit that to people on figurative Main Street in the “Flyover Country” that the Republicans claim to represent – and perhaps in Lexington, Louisville, and Paducah – he looks like a liar. If Kentucky Democrats don’t run endless ads highlighting the contrast between Mr. McConnell’s comments about his impeachment coordination with the White House and his oath to do “impartial justice” in the Senate trial … I fear that they are passing up a significant opportunity.