Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent, has an excellent piece. Republican Senators Just Sold Out Democracy:

The Republican Party has acquitted President Donald Trump. That result was always the most likely outcome of the impeachment process. The inability of even 20 Republican senators to break free from the cult of Trump was widely assumed.


But it didn’t have to go down like this. In their desire to appease a president all of them know to be a serial malefactor, Republicans adopted wild and discredited legal theories of executive power and privilege. To acquit a president, they crowned a king.

We should not be shocked that they’ve done this. Republicans feel empowered to free the president from all constraints because they never intend to be subjected to a Democratic president armed with these new powers. Republicans think they’re on the cusp of locking in one-party control of the government. Their solution to the demographic changes that will soon see us become a majority-minority country is to forge a new theory of government, in which minority white rule can withstand the popular will.

All of the Republican strategies work to accomplish this. They suppress nonwhite voters and gerrymander districts. They protect and defend an Electoral College that functions to elevate the voting power of whites in low-population states over the will of popular majorities. And they have now explicitly authorized the president to use foreign influence to corrupt and steal elections, on the theory that the reelection of that president, by definition, is in the best interests of the nation. These are not the actions of a party trying to win political power; they’re the actions of a party trying to exclude anybody else from having it.

The very last question Republican senators asked of Trump’s lawyers during the trial gave away the whole game. Senators Mike Braun and Mike Lee asked if Joe Biden’s alleged involvement in the Biden-Burisma conspiracy theory while vice president was impeachable. Trump’s lawyers said yes. Having spent two weeks arguing that Trump could not be impeached for abuse of power or obstruction of Congress, attorney Patrick Philbin deadpanned that Biden could be impeached, under their theory.

The question and answer were threats: Should Trump fail to steal the next election, Republicans will do everything they can to impeach the Democratic winner. Should the Electoral College fail to produce a Republican president, they will do everything they can to impeach the Democratic winner.

In fact, the hog castrator to the world, Sen. Joni Ernst, has already said the quiet part out loud. Joe Biden Could Be Impeached by GOP Over Ukraine if He Wins, Iowa Senator Says. Why wait? Sen. Ernst’s seat mate, Sen. Charles Grassley, is prepared to do what the Ukraine government would not. GOP senators request travel documents in Hunter Biden investigation. As the Washington Post editorialized, Ukraine wouldn’t do Trump’s dirty work. So GOP senators are doing it instead.

And should Trump and the Republicans somehow manage to lose the White House and the Senate, despite the structural and criminal advantages they’ve given themselves, never forget who was presiding over this farce of a “trial”: Chief Justice John Roberts, leader of the Republican majority on the Supreme Court. Any policy executed by popularly elected Democrats will be subject to review by federal courts stacked with conservative judges. These people are winning and intend to keep winning, forever.

In the face of the overwhelming power now held by conservatives, our only choice is to stick together. The impeachment trial has laid bare this reality with devastating clarity. Democrats, progressives, socialists, never-Trumpers, and any other left-of-fascist groups must live together—or die separately.

The coming election is our last stand against a party determined never to lose again. I believe that stand will be made more powerful by a candidate willing to fight the Republicans, not one trying to compromise with them. But any Democratic presidential candidate is electable, any Democratic senatorial nominee is viable, so long as people understand how dangerous the Republican Party has become and act accordingly.

Trump survived impeachment because the moderate and radical wings of the Republican Party held fast to their one true goal: defeating democracy. If the rest of us would like to save democracy, we better have the same singular focus.

To defend American democracy against the crypto-fascist personality cult of Donald Trump and its “tyranny of the minority” white rule described by Elie Mystal, the progressive activist organization Indivisible has launched the Payback Project to defeat nine Republican senators who are up for election this fall. Brief description:

Get Angry. Then, Get Even.

Yes, we could just set our sights on canceling Cornyn, or getting rid of Graham, or trashing Tillis, or ejecting Ernst, or sending Perdue packing, but after years of Senate Republicans enabling Trump and destroying democracy, we have to do more.

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Realtalk: Defeating this many Senate Republicans will not be easy — it will take a massive awareness campaign to expose the truth of their complicity to voters and a growing grassroots army on the ground ready to ensure their Democratic opponents have the funding and people necessary to knock doors, activate voters, and win. We have a comprehensive, four-pronged approach to make sure Republicans Senators are held accountable for their actions, their votes, and their enabling of Donald Trump.

1. Build awareness & accountability.

When senators take bad votes or do something else awful, we’ll be in their states to broadcast it and hold them accountable for refusing to listen to constituents. And we’ll keep reminding voters of their stances on the Affordable Care Act, abortion bans, climate change, and all our other top issues. You can vote on where we place our first newspaper ad here.

2. Boost local political power.

We’ll do the work to get as many people involved in the election as possible, educating folks about what’s at stake, growing the size of our local Indivisible groups, funnelling voters in these nine states directly to their local Indivisible group, and increasing logistical support for their election activities and recruitment efforts through trainings, organizer support, and powerful new tools.

3. Organize to win.

Our nationwide network of organizers will work directly with groups on the ground to leverage their power with voters, the candidates, and the media to build support for strong progressive challengers.

4. Get out the vote.

We’ll run a robust GOTV campaign to turn as many people as possible out to the polls. Remember — these senators thrive on disenfranchisement, so it’s our job to make sure voters show up to kick them out.

This is just one of the many opportunities you have available to defend democracy and to defeat these “Vichy Republicans.”