By John Gruber
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Two links from The Times this afternoon illustrate how quickly Trump is falling into political ignominy and shame. First, Republicans in the House began inching away:
House Republican leaders have decided not to formally lobby members of the party against voting to impeach President Trump, making a tacit break with him as they scrambled to gauge support within their ranks for a vote on Wednesday to charge him with inciting violence against the country. While Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, has said that he will “personally” oppose impeachment and sought to steer Republicans in a different direction, his decision not to officially lean on lawmakers to vote against the move constituted a subtle shift away from the president.
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican who was considering backing the impeachment charge against Mr. Trump, privately told colleagues on a call Monday the matter was a “vote of conscience.” Ms. Cheney, the scion of a storied Republican family, was also privately counseling fellow Republicans on how to navigate a vote that could shape their careers.
Second, Mitch McConnell, who leads Republicans in the Senate, (and who is a measure twice, cut once sort of fellow):
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.
And, just a few hours after trying out the “I’m not for impeachment but it’s OK if other Republicans are” line, McCarthy moves even further:
At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he ought to call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of last week’s riot at the Capitol, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.
Political bankruptcy, just like the financial sort, happens two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.
★ Tuesday, 12 January 2021