October 22, 2020

McConnell’s coverup would reward Trump for ‘election theft’, warns Times reporter

New York Times reporter, Will Wilkinson breaks down the 'five-alarm political crisis' in the senate impeachment trial.

New York Times contributor Will Wilkinson warns, “If Moscow Mitch succeeds in this coverup and mass popular protest do not break out, we may be truly screwed,” on a compelling Twitter thread.

Wilkinson’s comments came as #MidnightMitchMcConnell trends on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the day of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

The hashtag trended after Democrats criticized McConnell’s resolution to hear arguments starting at 1 p.m. and lasting until the middle of the night.

The Hill reports:

“Democrats and other critics of McConnell have also criticized the resolution for not requiring any additional witnesses to be subpoenaed or allowing House prosecutors to admit evidence into the trial record after the opening arguments are heard.

Former Watergate reporter from the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein, coined the name “Midnight Mitch” on CNN in reaction to McConnell’s resolution. McConnell previously earned the nickname Moscow Mitch last year when he blocked two election security bills to protect America’s elections from ongoing Russian interference.

“Now we’re looking at ‘Midnight Mitch’ and the so-called world’s greatest deliberative body, really embracing a coverup that is there for all to see. That’s what this is about. It’s about preventing information from becoming known and seen by the American public,” said Bernstein.

Doubling down on ‘election theft’

Wilkinson expressed his exasperation that the media may not be accurately covering the severity of what’s taking place in the Senate.

“I am so exasperated by the media trying to play it cool, like this is just ordinary hardball partisan politics. It isn’t. Trump was impeached for trying to steal the next election, and if he’s acquitted, he’ll know he can double down on election theft and no one will stop him,” tweeted Wilkinson.

‘Soft-authoritarian kleptocracy’

Referring back to an Op-ed he wrote October 1 of last year, Wilkinson shared a quote that seems to have sadly aged well. Should Republicans succeed with acquitting Trump, they will have essentially ushered in “soft-authoritarian kleptocracy,” warns Wilkinson.

“If the House goes through with impeachment but the Senate acquits, Mr. Trump’s lawlessness will have been lavishly rewarded. He will take it as a signal that absolutely anything goes — especially given the Senate’s failure to act in any meaningful way on election security. Should he win, a sizable majority of the public will see it as an electoral coup and deny the validity of his claim to power. It’s easy to imagine enormous mass protests that bring Washington to a halt, dangerous indeterminacy in the continuity of government, and worse,” wrote Wilkinson.
“If Senate Republicans hold their majority through an election that stinks of corruption, they’ll be dogged by the same crisis of legitimacy. If they nevertheless go on to use their dubious authority to continue stacking the courts and shielding the president from accountability, Americans won’t be wrong to conclude that our democracy has crumbled and that the United States has devolved into one of the world’s many soft-authoritarian kleptocracies claiming popular legitimacy from behind a cheap veneer of rigged elections. It can definitely happen here.”

A ‘possibly fatal blow to democracy’

Following the Twitter thread, Wilkinson expresses how dangerous what’s happening is for democracy in America. McConnell’s coverup could strike “a possibly fatal blow to our democracy.”

See the remaining comments by Wilkinson below:

“An acquittal through a rigged coverup ‘trial’ amounts to a declaration of war on the Constitution and the rule of law. McConnell will not only be striking a possibly fatal blow to our democracy, he will be communicating that are no rules, only power.”

“This is insanely dangerous, because it will force the majority of Americans, who believe Trump should be removed, to consider whether they can continue to afford to play by rules McConnell has effectively suspended for his team, but expects to continue binding the rest of us.”

“The point of democracy is to channel disagreement and political conflict into a peaceful process. Once that process is seen to be a sham, acting outside that process starts to look like the only recourse. That’s a recipe for civil conflict, political violence and social disorder.”

“If you trash the constitutional order, trash democracy, you destroy the means to keep political authority from devolving into factional power, and political conflict from spilling into the streets. But that’s what McConnell is doing–on behalf of Trump’s rank corruption.”

A ‘five-alarm political crisis’

“This isn’t normal partisan politics. It’s a five-alarm political crisis. Trump is dead set on stealing the election to stay out of jail and line his pockets with impunity. Senate Republicans are working furiously to ensure that he gets away with it. That’s what this is.”

“If you find yourself moved to declare that this is a hysterical or over-dramatic account of the situation, you’re either not paying attention, or you’re so corrupted by partisanship that you approve. Either way, you don’t deserve to be taken seriously. Patriots will resist.”

“Remember, we can’t just ‘decide it at the ballot box’ if the ballot box is stuffed. THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT IS AT STAKE. This is what the trial is about: whether we will punish or lavishly reward (and further incentivize) attempts to use presidential power to steal elections.”

More about what’s happening as the Senate trial begins below from CBS This Morning:

Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube

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