The Senate Is A Collection Of Weasels

The Senate Is A Collection Of Weasels


Leonard Zwelling

The decision time is nearing. The Senate, and more importantly individual senators, will have to decide how they want to be remembered in history. Will they be footnotes and acquiesce to Donald Trump’s demands that he be declared innocent without a real trial or will they emulate Edmund Ross (from Profiles in Courage) and decide to do the hard thing and vote for new witnesses and documents. Ross voted to acquit Andrew Johnson in 1868 thus preventing the president from being driven from office, although how much of this was integrity and how much bribes is debated.

The circumstances are reversed now. Will the Republicans in the Senate who really want to know what was behind Mr. Trump’s Ukrainian “love” call decide to open up the procedure to witnesses and documents and subpoena the same from the White House or will they vote to dismiss all charges? What will it be, weasels or lions? Truth or dare?

Why do I call these guys and gals weasels, a term I stole from the great Dave Letterman? Because many of them are.

Every single senator took an oath from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court that he or she will serve as an impartial juror in the trial of Donald J. Trump. How can you be impartial if you have already gone on national television saying you have made up your mind about this? You know like Lindsey Graham—weasel-in-chief!

The only logical thing to do in this case, primarily because one of the impeachment charges is obstruction of Congress, the very thing that prevented the House from gleaning more information, is for the Senate to hold a real trial. There is nothing in the Constitution, as I understand it, demanding an extensive trial or demanding no additional information be obtained beyond that which the House used to impeach. This is all up to the senators to determine. The various weasels that go on TV saying the House should have investigated and if they didn’t don’t expect the Senate to is ridiculous because one of the charges is that the White House blocked the House’s acquisition of the testimony of those witnesses.

And don’t think the Democrats are any better. They ought to be raising holy hell about the lack of witnesses and the House ought to continue subpoenaing witnesses like John Bolten even if it means going to court to make him talk. Why is everyone in such a rush? Let the process play out even if it goes beyond Election Day. Given the candidates the Dems have put forward, there is no doubt of the outcome of the election of any one of them vs. Trump unless Trump is driven from office first. That being the case, why not take the time to do this right rather than rush into a trial when the weasels cannot agree on trial procedures.

By the time this is posted, we should have some idea what the process in the Senate will look like. Regardless of how this comes out, Mitch McConnell is likely to go down as one of the worst Majority Leaders in history having passed no legislation of note, confirming a host of conservative judges, and doing everything in his power to prevent a real trial in the Senate. He is the King of the Weasels.

Let’s also remember that this trial is disruptive to the Democrats’ campaign for the presidential nomination as four sitting senators are on the jury (Klobuchar, Sanders, Warren and Bennett) and Biden could be a witness.

The weasels are out in force. I am not sure how this ends, but I do know that Trump will win this round and will have a lot of help from the weasel brigade to win the one in November as well.

I am not sure when the Senate went from being the world’s greatest deliberative body to a den of weasels. But it’s there now and if you want to know what it was like to work there in 2009, it was pretty much as crazy as the place where you and Dilbert work, only with a lot more at stake.

The weasels are worse now than they were in 2009 and they were bad then. My guess is that they will get worse. The only solution to a weasel infestation is at the ballot box. What this trial will determine to a large extent will only be known in November.

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