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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 her affair with a 22-year-old White House intern, and some have gone so far as to smear her.
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 a “political witch hunt.” Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush defended Nixon and his corrupt vice president Spiro Agnew.
In the 1860s, Andrew Johnson’s Democratic comrades strongly supported him during his impeachment and prevented him from being sentenced.
All of this helps put President Trump’s second indictment yesterday into perspective: It was both a particularly partisan affair – and an unusually bipartisan affair.
On the one hand, dozens of members of Congress refused to break up with a president who was trying to overturn the outcome of an election and incited a mob to attack Congress, killing a policeman. Only 10 House Republicans voted for impeachment, and the final total 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 the history of the United States.”
By comparison, only five House Democrats voted 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. Only 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 Republican Leader of the Senate, announced that he was happy the impeachment was happening, and he released a statement yesterday saying he had “not made a final decision on how I will vote” at the time. of 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 also signaled yesterday that he would not begin a Senate trial until Biden takes 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 outrage levels are declining,” my colleague Maggie Haberman wrote 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, Republican No. 3 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.
MORE ABOUT IMPEACHMENT
The stage at the congress
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
A team from the World Health Organization has arrived in Wuhan to investigate the source of the 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 is the new guidance on who gets a photo.
Prosecutors have charged Rick Snyder, the former Michigan governor, with willful neglect of his duty during the Flint Crisis that left thousands of residents drinking lead-tainted water.
Gunmen killed at least 80 people in an ethnically-based massacre in Ethiopia.
Letter of recommendation: Eat crisps, writes Sam Anderson of The Times. “A bag of crisps is a way to beat time. It brings a temporary infinity: the feeling that it will never end. A chip. A chip. A chip. Another chip.
From the review: Farhad Manjoo, Nicholas Kristof and Thomas B. Edsall have columns.
Lives lived: Adolfo Quiñones, better known as Shabba-Doo, grew up in a social housing project in Chicago and became a pioneer in street dancing. He called it “a valid art form, on a par with jazz or ballet.” He died at 65.
ARTS AND IDEAS
The future of gaming
The pandemic has been very good for the video game industry. Gambling spending increased 22% last year, reports the Washington Post. The number of monthly users on Discord, a chat platform popular with gamers, doubled to 140 million.
But the boom isn’t just about the pandemic. It’s bigger than that, Sean Monahan argues 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 over 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 concerts are safe again, ”an analyst told The Hollywood Reporter.
The cultural influence of games stems in large part from interaction. Games like Animal Crossing have become places for socializing and even hosting virtual diplomas, parties or events.
“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 above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.
Here are today’s mini crosswords and a hint: like lettuce and kale (five letters).
Thanks 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.
You can see the first printed page of the day here.
Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about Trump’s second indictment. A bonus episode of “The Argument” discusses the future of online speech.
Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Sanam Yar have contributed to The Morning. You can join the team at [email protected].
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