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Hello. Donald Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice.
Even during a scandal, members of a president’s party usually defend him. Decades later, people tend to forget how overwhelming partisan support was and overstate the level of awareness of politicians of the past.
In 1999, no Senate Democrat voted to convict Bill Clinton in his impeachment trial. Many Democrats have made excuses for his affair with a 22-year-old White House intern, and some have gone so far as to make it dirty.
In the 1970s, Republican leaders spent months viewing the Nixon administration investigations as a partisan overthrow. Gerald Ford, while still the House leader of the Republicans, called the Watergate investigation “political witch hunt. Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush defended both Nixon and his vice-president of corruption, Spiro Agnew.
In the 1860s, Andrew Johnson’s fellow Democrats stood solidly by his side upon his dismissal and prevented him from convicting.
All of this helps put President Trump’s second impeachment yesterday into perspective: It was both a particularly partisan affair – and an exceptionally bipartisan affair.
On the one hand, dozens of members of Congress refused to break with a president who tried to overturn an election result and incited a mob that attacked Congress, killing a policeman. Only 10 House Republicans voted for impeachment, and the final tally was 232 to 197.
“Political sanctions to encourage extremism and attack democratic norms are dangerously weak,” political scientist Brendan Nyhan wrote yesterday.
On the flip side, Trump suffered more defections from his party than any previous president except Nixon, who ultimately lost Republican support and resigned before the House could impeach him. Yesterday’s vote, Daniel Nichanian of the Call wrote, was “the most bipartisan indictment of a president in US history.”
By comparison, only five House Democrats vote To impeach Clinton, The Times’ Carl Hulse noted – three of whom later became Republicans, while a fourth joined the George W. Bush administration. In 2019, not a single House Republican voted to impeach Trump. One Republican Senator, Mitt Romney, voted to condemn, and other Republicans scorned the process from the start.
This time, they send a more nuanced message. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican Senate, has spread the word that he’s happy the impeachment is taking place, and he released a statement yesterday saying he had “not made a final decision on how I will vote” during the Senate trial.
Of course, McConnell is a cunning politician who would both like to get rid of Trump and stop President-elect Joe Biden from passing a lot of laws. So McConnell too reported Yesterday, he wouldn’t start a Senate trial until Biden took office, effectively forcing Democrats to choose between trying Trump and focusing on Biden’s agenda.
The delay seems to make conviction less likely. “People’s levels of outrage are decreasing”, my colleague Maggie Haberman written yesterday. “Memories fade. And I wonder if there will be as much Republican anger in the Senate next month as there is today.
Yet the existence of this anger underscores the historic nature of yesterday. Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice – and only the second to have a significant number of his party members in Congress deem him unfit to be president.
The 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment included Liz cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House; four more from safe Republican seats; and five from more competitive districts.
“I’m not afraid of losing my job, but I’m afraid my country will fail,” said Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, who is in his sixth term. “My vote to remove our incumbent president is not a decision based on fear. I do not choose a side. I choose the truth.
LEARN MORE ABOUT IMPEACHMENT
The stage at the congress
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
A team from the World Health Organization arrived in Wuhan to investigate the source virus. Chinese authorities have banned two scientists because of positive antibody tests.
States in the United States are struggling to meet the growing demand for vaccines. Here are the new tips on who gets a hit.
Prosecutors accused Rick Snyder, the former Michigan governor, having willfully neglected his duty during the Flint Crisis that left thousands of residents drinking lead-contaminated water.
Armed men killed at least 80 people in an ethnic massacre in Ethiopia.
Letter of recommendation: Eat chips, Sam Anderson of The Times writes. “A bag of crisps is a way to beat time. It brings a temporary infinity: a feeling that it will never end. A chip. A chip. A chip. Another chip.
Lives lived: Adolfo Quiñones, better known as Shabba-Doo, grew up in a social housing project in Chicago and became a pioneer of street dancing. He called it “a valid art form, on a par with jazz or ballet.” He died at 65.
ARTS AND IDEAS
But the boom isn’t just about the pandemic. It’s bigger than that, argues Sean Monahan in The Guardian: Video games are replacing music as the dominant form of youth culture.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joe biden turned to Among Us and Animal Crossing: New Horizons to reach out to young voters. Rapper Travis Scott had more than 12 million viewers for a virtual gig on Fortnite last year – nearly double the audience for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. “We’re going to see more of these events, even after the regular gigs are safe again,” an analyst told the Hollywood Reporter.
“Ten years ago, the younger generations were abandoning traditional media for social media,” another analyst wrote in a report on the global games market 2020. “Today they are abandoning social media for more experiences. interactive. “
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was formula. Today’s puzzle is over – or you can To play online if you have a Games subscription.
Here is Today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: like lettuce and kale (five letters).
Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David
PS The word ‘waackin’ ‘- one of Adolfo Quiñones’ techniques – first appeared in The Times yesterday, as the Twitter bot noted @NYT_first_said.
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Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Sanam Yar have contributed to The Morning. You can join the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.