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Winning the Messaging Battle, Part I

GOP Senator: Trump's Conduct Was Improper, But Voters Should Decide His Fate in November

A completely defensible conclusion, even if I disagree with his view on the value of John Bolton's testimony. Here's a retiring GOP Senator who was seen as one of the likeliest members to defect on procedural votes explaining why he resisted heavy pressure to join the Democrats on witness-related issues -- and heavily hinting that he'll be a vote to acquit on Wednesday (along with all Republicans, in all likelihood, and perhaps a handful of Democrats). Watch:

As you just saw, he went out of his way to emphasize one particular provision of the House Democrats' sloppy, rushed impeachment articles:

Not only would a conviction detonate a nuclear event in American politics, another consequence -- due to Democrats' decisions in crafting their impeachment documents -- would be to bar Trump from holding the presidency again, ripping every aspect of this outcome away from the voters. In his tweet storm on Thursday night, Alexander wisely warned against the furious explosion this entirely partisan act would generate, which would very arguably inflict more damage on our polity than not impeaching and removing a president for misconduct:

As for Speaker Pelosi's contention that this week's inevitable dual acquittals won't count because the trial didn't meet her party's standards (again, her House colleagues have demanded that the Senate clean up after their shoddy and incomplete work), that's little more than frustrated nonsense. Despite what many saw as a very questionable process in the lower chamber, Trump was impeached. And despite what many will see as a very questionable process in the upper chamber, Trump will be acquitted, and it'll count. I'd add that acquittal and "vindication" are separate standards. In case you missed Bronson's post over the weekend, some members of the media are not handling things terribly well:

Harwood's first tweet on this inane, frivolous "point" claimed that 25 of 51 'no' votes on new witnesses and evidence were furnished by Senators representing the old Confederacy. His entire aim was to smear these members and their constituents. Ignoring the fact that one of these neo-Confederates is, um, Tim Scott -- and two others are racial minorities -- his initial, and then corrected, math was all wrong. As Charles Cooke notes via a combination of basic history and arithmetic, nearly two-thirds of the votes Harwood sought to condemn as vestiges of racism were cast by Senators representing states that were not part of the Confederacy. They hailed from places like Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota. Additionally, by my count, nine of the anti-witnesses votes were delivered by Civil War-era Union states. Harwood's aim was not to provide a serious insight, however. It was to call his opponents racists -- and make no mistake: Harwood very obviously sees Republicans as his ideological opponents. I'll leave you with the latest polling on impeachment and removal, with voters tipping slightly against conviction:

The survey showed the president's approval rating on the rise, and Trump clearly competitive against the leading 2020 Democrats, especially in swing states.


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