GOP lays down rules as Democratic wolves bare fangs

It is high time for Democrats to get over their addiction to high drama, subterfuge and the media spotlight.

Since Donald Trump became president Americans have lost a collective sense of normalcy and civility after being dragged through hoax after hoax; a special counsel investigation on Russian collusion; Kavanaugh rape accusations and now an impeachment over a phone call to Ukraine.

Our world will continue to be topsy-turvy until the public signals in no uncertain terms to Democrats that we have had enough.

It is time for this ugly, partisan brawl against the president to end. The Democrats have successfully transferred their political trench warfare to the once hallowed, stately and cerebral Senate.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a campaign group that focuses on the election of GOP members to the Senate, released a video Wednesday urging its members to “Hold the Line”.

“This is not some neutral judgment that Democrats came to reluctantly,” the narrator said, mocking Democrats for their fake proclamations of virtuous intentions and demands for fairness.

 “It’s not some somber moment or serious exercise for the left. It is the predetermined end of a partisan crusade,” said the narrator.

“An angry mob is at the gate, but the United States Senate has the watch. The Senate exists for moments like this. So it’s time for the adults in the room to have their seat at the table. Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have had their turn. The sham is over. A fair trial starts now,” the narrator proclaimed.

The Democrats appeared sedate at the beginning of Trump’s impeachment trial Tuesday as they tried to strike a righteous tone, but soon launched incendiary attacks on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the president and the trial rules.

 The Majority Leader forged into battle with 52 of his GOP senators united behind him. Republicans had formed an almost impenetrable strike force.

McConnell had only set two days for House managers to present their case against the president, which would have forced senators to sit until the wee hours of the morning. They also accused McConnell of trying to prevent most Americans from watching much of the trial.

 He acceded to Democrats’ request for more time out of pity and after a few key Republican senators objected.  He agreed to allow three days — 24 hours in floor time total — for both the House managers and Trump’s defense team to present their opening arguments.

The organizing resolution was also revised so that the House’s evidence would be admitted into the Senate trial, while allowing for the president’s lawyers to mount challenges.

The Democrats’ nasty late night showdown to secure more documents and witnesses for the impeachment trial went down in flames, but not before more than 12 hours’ worth of ugly clashes between both sides.

McConnell was able to defeat 11 Democratic amendments by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for Trump’s communications with the president of Ukraine and intra-administration communications on the withholding and release of U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Schumer was also pushing for White House budget documents about the aid. The White House had refused to release these documents during the House impeachment investigation.

Accusations and vitriol flew between House Manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and White House counsel Pat Cipollone over a request to subpoena former national security advisor John Bolton late Tuesday night, forcing Chief Justice John Roberts to rebuke both sides.

“The President is on trial in the Senate. But the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people,” said Nadler. Will you vote to allow all of the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your oath to be an impartial juror? Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Nadler was having a full blown meltdown.

 “Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the President’s misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the President’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. An absolutely indefensible vote. Obviously, a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President,” said the diminutive House manager.

 “A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States. A real trial we know has witnesses. We urge you to do your duty, permit a fair trial. All the witnesses must be permitted. That’s elementary in American justice. Either you want the truth or you, and you must permit the witnesses or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge and so will the electorate,” he seethed.

“We’ve been respectful of the Senate,” said White House counsel Pat Cipollone. “We’ve made our arguments to you. And you don’t deserve, and we don’t deserve, what just happened. Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you; he accused you of a cover-up. He’s been making false allegations against the president. The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler is you, for the way you’ve addressed the United States Senate. This is the United States Senate. You’re not in charge here. … It’s about time we bring this power trip in for a landing,” he snapped.

‘I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,’ said Justice Roberts as the clock neared 1a.m.

“One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner, and using language, that is not conducive to civil discourse,” he said.

Roberts gave the chamber a history lesson: “In the 1905 [Judge Charles] Swayne trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word ‘pettifogging’ — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.”

 Moderate GOP senators may give up on working with Democrats later in the trial if they keep up their vicious attacks. They need the support of at least four after opening arguments next week if they have any hope of securing witnesses and evidence.

Republican Senators should ‘do us a favor’ and treat them like a bouncer would when dealing with unruly patrons at a bar — throw the bums out.