McConnell’s “Kill Switch”?

Some right-wing media claim that McConnell’s proposed impeachment trial rules will include a “kill switch.” This claim appears to have originated with this tweet by the utterly worthless Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri.

The wingnuts say this is to keep Rep. Schiff from turning the trial into a “circus.” Oh, like Nunes and Jordan disgracefully behaved during the intelligence committee hearings? Schiff doesn’t do that.

Axios reports

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing a resolution that would leave room for President Trump’s lawyers to move immediately to dismiss the impeachment charges if they so choose, according to Republican Sen. Josh Hawley. …

The big picture: Trump endorsed on Twitter the idea of outright dismissalof the charges against him. It could be an opportunity for some of Trump’s closest Senate Republican allies to register their contempt for the case that House Democrats marshaled against the president — even if the motion is doomed to fail.

It could also serve as a break-glass option if the trial took a turn and Trump’s allies felt they needed a mechanism to bring about an abrupt end to the trial.

In other words, if the trial is really going against Trump, McConnell and Trump’s clown-shoe legal “dream team” will try to pull the plug.

Rightie news coverage is claiming this is necessary because of the flagrant disregard for propriety exhibited by Democrats during the House hearings. Apparently, Demcrats were seen to breathe and occasionally speak, which isn’t allowed. Steve M quotes a large part of Breitbart’s reporting of the “switch,” so you can read it there; I won’t link to Breitbart. And then he adds,

This is such messaging overkill that there’s no excuse for being surprised at the Republicans’ next move — although highly paid mainstream journalists and pundits will be surprised anyway. Much of the Senate GOP, along with the White House and the right-wing media, is about to declare that virtually everything the House managers do is a flagrant violation of law, common sense, and the Constitution. Once this happens, even alleged moderates such as Mitt Romney and Susan Collins will join in the fauxtrage — and you can forget a successful vote to call witnesses or allow further documentary evidence to be considered. The plan is to say that the behavior of the Democrats was so out of bounds that the only way to conclude the process fairly is a vote to dismiss the charges — and that will happen.

I haven’t quoted every word of the Breitbart story, but these excerpts are representative — the impropriety of what Democrats did in the House is presented as a given; not one example of an inappropriate act is cited. Republicans know that most Americans have no idea what’s proper and what isn’t under these circumstances. The GOP will take advantage of this ignorance to smear the Democrats — unless a way is found to counter their phony protests. And I’m not sure what that would be.

McConnell also wants tight control on television coverage of the trial:

Journalists are up in arms about new restrictions on their movement inside the Capitol, which they say will prevent them from easily interviewing lawmakers about the proceedings. The rules, negotiated by Republican Senate leadership, have yet to be written down, causing confusion among reporters and the Capitol Police expected to enforce them.

Even sedate C-SPAN is aggrieved, calling on the Senate to allow its television crews to document the trial, instead of the government-controlled cameras that — as was the case during Bill Clinton’s trial 21 years ago — will limit what viewers see and hear inside the Senate chamber. …

…Instead of unfettered access to the hallways and corridors surrounding the Senate chamber — a tradition for decades — journalists will be confined to roped-off pens as senators come and go from the trial. Walk-and-talk interviews with senators, a staple of congressional reporting made famous by TV shows like “The West Wing,” will be curtailed.

You’d think they were afraid of something getting out they don’t want the public to know.

Regarding the vote to allow witnesses — Democrats in the House are saying that if Republicans block witnesses, they will hold new hearings and call new witnesses. Unfortunately, a lot of the people who really need to be heard from will not come unless physically forced to do so.

It’s said that Trump is anxious to get the impeachment trial over with before the State of the Union speech on February 4. There is also reporting that the bleeping moron is genuinely baffled why he’s being impeached.

Donald Trump has appeared “distracted” by the impeachment trial that begins on Tuesday, according to a source close to the White House who speaks to the President regularly.

“Why are they doing this to me,” the source quoted Trump as saying repeatedly, telling people around him this weekend at Mar-a-Lago that he “can’t understand why he is impeached.

Yeah, he may really be that stupid.