I recall President Harry Truman saying that the only history that is new is history we’ve not read. The impeachment process has started and is shifting to high gear. It is a two step process; first an almost certain vote in the House of Representatives followed by a trial in the Senate, which is less certain. But there are signs of hope.

Nixon was never formally impeached. As the House was very close to formalizing the process, Nixon had Senator Barry Goldwater come in and give a report of how the Senate would vote.

Impeachment requires a two thirds vote; and Nixon estimated about 35 of the 100 were likely to vote against conviction, enough to prevent conviction. Goldwater polled many of the senate; and when Nixon asked how many votes ‘we’ had, Goldwater hinted that there were only three or four on Nixon’s side. Shortly after, Nixon resigned to avoid conviction.

This is history. Will it be repeated?

Although the current estimate is that Trump may get 50 votes, there are signs of an “instant replay.”

All the Republican senators have been forced to march in lockstep with Trump in order to avoid Trump’s wrath and being ‘primaryed’ – whereby the republicans would run a republican candidate against an incumbent republican. But many of the republican senators are tired of having no voice after three years, and they ‘go along to get along’.

Except one – former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Senator Flake maintained his integrity by resigning prior to the last election to avoid a certain defeat. YAY for integrity! And, recently he is reported to have said that many of his former republican colleagues are tired of the repressive atmosphere that has existed for three years. His estimate is that 30 or more are likely to vote for impeachment when it comes up in the senate.

And, let’s not forget Joe Biden. Biden spent 36 years in the senate plus 8 years as President of the senate in his roll of VP. He has many friends in the senate.

So, look for a possible repeat of history whereby the impervious wall disintegrates. At the last minute, Trump might negotiate to resign in return for no jail time. If so, we will be stuck with religionist VP Pence for a year, a sad upgrade.

Rich Meyer
Author & Blogger

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