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Senators hail their emperor, but Trump’s no shoo-in for a second term

Niall Ferguson
 

By Niall Ferguson (original source The Boston Globe)

“It will certainly not be for his magnanimity or contrition that President Trump will be remembered by future historians of the Republic’s decline and fall. No sooner had he been acquitted by the Senate of the charges brought against him by the House of Representatives than Trump let rip against all those he held responsible for his impeachment.

‘It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers, it was liars,’ the president said on Thursday morning at what he called a ‘celebration’ of his acquittal. James Comey, the former FBI director Trump fired, had been ‘a disaster.’ Robert Mueller’s investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election was ‘all bullshit.’ Adam Schiff, the Democrat who managed the impeachment process, was ‘a vicious, horrible person.’ Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was also “’horrible.’ Mitt Romney — the only Republican senator to find Trump guilty in last week’s votes — was ‘a failed presidential candidate.’ Those present, including leading Republican legislators, cheered this rant to the rafters.

I dwell on these details because they are characteristic of the atmosphere in Washington nowadays. According to CBS News, Republican senators had been warned: “Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.” Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senator from Ohio, claimed in The New York Times that “in private, Republicans admit they acquitted Trump out of fear.” I have a different theory. I believe they acquitted him because they see his reelection as all but certain.”

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