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    • Per Newsweek, 71% of Republicans want Mitch McConnell to call witnesses at Trump’s impeachment trial. Other polls I’ve come across indicate that the majority of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, don’t want a whitewashed trial. They want to know the facts and have this trial be legit. As of now, it looks like McConnell is trying to do everything he can to make this trial a cover up. I’m curious to get everyone’s thoughts on how McConnell is playing this. Specifically, how you think this will play out for him in the long haul if he gets his way. 

      I get the sense McConnell doesn’t care what the majority of Americans or Republicans voters think. I think he wants to get Trump off even if it’s the unpopular thing to do. Am I wrong in this assertion? 

      The million dollar question is what I posed above: Is McConnell playing with fire, asking to get burned or does he know what he's doing?

    • While there's not the slightest doubt about the outcome of the trial, what's really at stake is control of the Senate in the coming election. McConnell himself is not in danger, despite his low popularity, but he could end up minority leader. His challenge is to find a way to prevent Bolton, Mulvaney, Pompeo, from testifying while shielding Collins, Gardner, McSally and others from taking responsibility for the coverup. Not an easy job, but don't underestimate McConnell's skill. 🍿

    • For someone who lives in Spain, you sure have compelling insight into US politics. I have been reading both conservative and progressive sources and haven’t come across so compelling a summary.

      I imagine there must be calculus about how much supporting a trial without witnesses hurts them with voters compared to the damage a vote to keep Trump would do if the public heard from a witness like Bolton.

      Also, McConnell must be very eager to have the president be able to triumphantly exclaim in his upcoming State of the Union address that he was acquitted, rather than having witnesses dishing dirt while he is giving his State of the Union.

    • I would agree that McConnell is an outstanding political strategist. I would have said he won the game of chicken with Pelosi by refusing her demands for witnesses, however, the inclusion of Lev Parnas’s information in the official record was a direct result of their protracted standoff.

      I believe there are senators who would be happy to have Pence as President instead. I also think that an election contest between Pence and Biden would so bore voters that turnout would be abysmal. And Republicans do well when there is low voter turnout. Think the House, Senate and White House all becoming Republican after election night.

      I tend to doubt McConnell is strategizing for that option: how would he even keep it a secret in Washington? But he would be foolish not to think that there are “Never Trumpers” in the Senate willing to vote for impeachment if public sentiment swings farther in that direction.

    • There is little sign that public opinion is shifting much one way or the other, so I find it hard to believe that 20 Republicans (plus Joe Manchin) would vote to convict. Are there any never Trumpers still in the Senate? I mean real ones. not bullshitters like Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio? I thought they had all left the party.