Bipartisanship interferes with American democracy… again

Nathan To, News Editor

The polarizing bipartisanship that characterizes American politics continually overshadows the greater good of America. On January 22, the Senate trial began for the impeachment of President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, specifically for withholding funds from Ukraine. For almost a month, the impeachment papers were not sent to the Senate, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood at a stalemate until a fair trial could be arranged.

For the month between the House impeachment and Senate trial, Pelosi believed that the Republican-majority Senate would quickly dismiss the articles of impeachment against Trump, and she wanted to wait for approval of key witnesses such as former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify, even though the House chose not to call Bolton to testify.

Both sides have stated that they are “not impartial jurors” in the impeachment case, but conservatives argue that impeachment is more political than judicial, highlighting how the Senate is placing their political alignment over justice.

No matter how strong of a case is built against Trump in the trial, the ties to one’s party run too deep in American politics. Even with the few Republican senators who could possibly swing left, the chances of convincing enough Republicans to vote against their party are slim, even if key witnesses are allowed to testify, as most Republican Senators have historically remained loyal to Trump.

The partisan division is furthered in the trial by many Republicans’ belief that Trump’s actions were not enough to justify impeachment, and that he was impeached mainly because of his motive of withholding funds: to further his own agenda. By impeaching Trump on these grounds, the Democrats have set a dangerous precedent that impeachment for the motive of a legal action is acceptable, a sign that the party with a majority in the House could easily take any president out of office.

In the end, however, it remains unlikely that enough Republicans in the Senate will vote against Trump, so
he will most likely remain president. His devoted and united following will stand by him through his presidency and into the next election.

The Democrats lack the unity that Trump’s follow- ing has. Many leading Democratic candidates having vastly different approaches to politics, dividing the party into supporters of each candidate rather than the party as a whole. In a close Democratic primary, Sanders stands at 26%, Biden at 15%, and Warren at 20%, according to a poll by Real Clear Politics. Once again, bipartisanship has benefitted the Republicans who stand by Trump and punished the Democrats who may soon find themselves voting for a democratic nominee with whose views they disagree.