Sunday, February 14, 2021

Where went the Whips, or, Why didn't Schumer play for a mistrial?

Bearing in mind, that the prosecutorial obligation in the late Senatorial miscarriage of justice had always been, to minimize the shame of the United States to her people and to the world, anguished partisans had counseled against procuring the underlying impeachment, at all. That would only have established the impression of unanimous indifference to the structure and scruples of their government, and yet no one foresaw honest conduct in the Republican near-majority. In other words, the Senate trial went ahead with only the most hilari-ously forbidding impediments before it.

This was no excuse for the abdication of strategy; rather, resolution ran only the other way. Yet evidently, only the tactic for achieving a poignant loss seemed to guide prosecutorial conduct, a posture lending ample shelter to the other side. The responsibly canny tactic, leaping into the lap to lick the face and wag the whole Canterbury pilgrimage, lay rolling around on the floor, rather, like a spent bottle of gin.

With endlessly voluminous wreckage from the previous government demanding immediate attention, to say nothing of the vilest maladministration of public health since the government's Tuskegee frolics with syphillis, pressing hard for Senatorial dispatch, the languishing of a lost cause against the same "massive resistance" would have suggested, to any strategist, a plan to exhibit the highest quality of proof with an eye to shielding it, at present, from the mockery of a verdict. It would have taken many months to compel the necessary testimony of witnesses, and for the rot only beginning in the defendant's reputation to expand to critical mass, before something resembling an open mind should invade the Republican redoubt. A schoolchild knew this.

Yet by no more than majority vote, firmly in his grasp, Schumer was in a position to introduce a motion to declare a mistrial as of Saturday morning, on the fortuitous emergence of obliterating and incontro-vertible evidence of the defendant's guilt, which only time and the press of responsible governance precluded the Senate from exhibiting. To the positively rapturous outcry of oppressive practice, certain to emerge from the minority, Schumer had been schooled by his predecessor already, to observe that elections have consequences.

There are valiant and almost cogently palliative opinions in print even now, to the effect that the most poignant defeat of American honor was elegantly achieved. These exultations are impossible to score, with any instrument of reliable pitch. A mistrial, on the other hand, with its open threat of a new trial at any time during the term of the present Congress, would leave the defendant where he belongs, and the United States with a victory unambiguously pending. 

Even a child learns how to wait.

i   François Reichenbach, 

ii  Private source, 1955


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