The Feb. 10 broadcast of the “PBS NewsHour” included a brief clip of Sen. Mike Braun in which he was asked his impressions of the case made by the House managers regarding the constitutionality of the second impeachment trial of the former president.
He replied, “When you have one senator that changed a point of view, I think that says a lot. I think that pretty well fixes in place what you might see as the eventual outcome.”
I agree with the senator.
It does say a lot when only one of his Republican colleagues was open-minded enough to embrace the compelling evidence and join the five Republican senators who had previously voted in support of the constitutionality of the trial. It is equally troubling, and revealing, that just one additional Republican senator joined these six to convict the former president for inciting the insurrection of Jan. 6.
It also says a lot that Sen. Braun, along with Sen. Todd Young and 41 of their Republican colleagues, through blind loyalty to Donald Trump, refused to accept the well-founded arguments of conservative constitutional scholars or acknowledge historical precedents in which former officials have been convicted in impeachment trials.
It says they believe Trump can inflict the most heinous acts of violence and sedition against our government and not be held accountable because their lockstep obedience to him is more important than oaths of office or upholding constitutional principles.
It says that through intentional intransigence, rather than openly confronting Trump's deadly inversion of reality and bringing to justice a former president who threatens to destroy our democracy, they shamelessly hid behind the false pretense that the impeachment trial was unconstitutional.
It says they are more devoted to Trump than they are to our country. It says a lot that our two senators have disavowed their oaths of office through their unwavering dedication to Trump.
It says more than they are willing to admit. And it says much more about them than I ever wanted to know.
Wolcottville resident Tim McElwee is a retired Manchester University peace studies professor.