“Republican senators affirmatively voted to allow the president to use his official powers,” wrote Adam Serwer on Wednesday, “to suppress the opposition party, [and] to purge government employees who proved more loyal to the Constitution than to Trump.” The very next day, reporters revealed that Trump had fired the acting Director of National Intelligence for briefing congressional Democrats on Putin’s continuing electoral support for Trump, replaced him with an inexperienced yes-man, and gave that yes-man a senior advisor who was Devin Nunes’ chief gaslighter on Russia.
Legislators in functioning democracies need not agree on substantive policy matters—they might fight over environmental safeguards, for example, or tax rates, or immigration, or health care. But no matter the party or ideology they support, they must hold sacred the right of the people to choose their own leaders. The entire Senate Republican Conference has only one legislator willing to act on that principle. The lesson Trump has learned from impeachment is that the Republican Party will let him get away with anything he wants to do.