Now, it’s not clear whether Rubio actually believes that or whether he is simply posturing to appeal to the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party as he contemplates another fun for president in 2024. (Maybe it’s a little of both!)
But either way, he’s wrong.
But that’s not at all what Rubio is arguing here. He is suggesting that the reason for an impeachment trial next month in the Senate will be because of “demands from vengeance from the radical left.”
Which, well, here’s the thing: The reason that the House impeached Trump because he egged on his supporters at a massive rally in Washington earlier this month that eventually led to the violent occupation of the Capitol.
Trump also used the words “fight” and “fighting” more than a dozen times in that address. So yeah, message received.
Does the liberal left loathe Trump? And do they believe the Senate should not only vote to convict him but also ban him from ever running for federal office again? Absolutely! Is that the same thing as suggesting, as Rubio does, that the reason for the impeachment trial is because of a desire for “vengeance” from liberals and the media’s never-ending desire for drama — or something? Nope.
What sits at the heart of the effort to decide what to do with Trump isn’t vengeance. It’s accountability.
The question before the Senate is whether it’s OK for a sitting president to act the way Trump did on January 6. (It wasn’t just what he told the crowd before the Capitol storming; it was his delayed and lukewarm responses amid the violence.)
The Constitutional vagueness may allow some (many?) Republican senators to sidestep that fundamental question, voting to “acquit” because Trump isn’t in office anymore and removing him is pointless.
But what Rubio is doing is simply irresponsible — and the same sort of rhetoric that hatched the mentality of January 6. This isn’t about Democrats or the media. This is about Donald Trump and how a president should act.