12 December 2019

Counting Noses

Five Thirty Eight published a great piece yesterday (link here) breaking down how each of the one hundred sitting Senators are likely to vote after Donald Trump's forthcoming impeachment trial.

I would love to see Trump convicted and removed from office, but I also freely admit the chances of that are fairly slim at this point. I'd give it a less than one-in-ten shot.

It could still happen, however, if something big breaks between now and the final Senate vote. The chances of that are probably not too high, either.

Some other points to consider on this:

Having a majority of Senators — if a super-majority of two-thirds cannot be reached — voting to convict would send a powerful message that Trump could not dilute with lies. There could be enough GOP Senators who would defect to do this.

As well, having the Senate vote be secret, with the results of who voted how never known, would increase the chances that the conviction count would be higher. A simple majority of Senators is needed to make this happen, meaning only three Senators need to vote against the party line. That could happen.

And, finally, the Senate could vote to convict if it was agreed upon in advance that the penalty would be censure but not removal. That would be a symbolic victory and Trump would shrug it off, but it would be better than nothing.

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