Oh, how I hate playing the “both sides are wrong” card. I feel I must do so in this instance.
Republican Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate’s majority leader, says he is not going to be an “impartial juror” when the Senate commences its trial over the articles impeachment filed against Donald J. Trump.
McConnell’s comments have drawn a rebuke from fellow Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said she is “disturbed” by his approach to putting the president on trial.
Now comes the view of a senior Democratic senator, Dick Durbin, who criticizes his fellow Democrats for refusing to maintain their own impartiality.
Both sides are guilty? I suppose so.
All 100 senators are going to raise their right hands and take an oath to be impartial jurors when Chief Justice John Roberts administers the pledge. They will say “so help me, God” at the end of the oath, which gives the pledge an air of sanctimony.
Will they be loyal to that sacred oath? Have they made up their minds to convict or acquit Trump? Is there a truly impartial mind among the 100 senators who will sit in judgment of Donald Trump? Or have every one of them pre-determined the president’s guilt or innocence, determining whether he has committed impeachable offenses?
Those of us on the outside have the liberty to make these determinations prior to hearing evidence. We’re not elected public officials. Those folks have the power to remove the president, or to keep him in office. They must maintain their impartiality for as long as they are hearing the case being presented.
I worry now that the trial that’s about to commence — hopefully sooner rather than too much later — will be akin to a sideshow with senators on both sides of the great divide guilty of the same sin.