Prior to the Senate impeachment trial, this newspaper reported Louisiana’s so-called “Republican” State Central Committee passed a resolution asking our senators to vote for acquittal. That was a full week prior to either side presenting their case on the constitutionality of the trial.
It’s entirely consistent with an approach that has become more popular over the last four years. Unlike the scientific method, which starts with a hypothesis, then makes repeatable observations to confirm or refute it, their method starts with a conclusion, then dismisses any information that contradicts it. If news is unfavorable, it must be “fake news.” If science yields a result you don’t like, it must be a “hoax.” If you lose an election, it must have been “rigged.”
When U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, weighed the evidence and legal arguments presented, he voted guilty, knowing his decision would be unpopular in our state. The committee immediately censured him. He should consider this censure from a committee with such low regard for truth, our principles of justice and Republicanism, as a badge of honor.
On Jan. 13, before our new president was inaugurated, our U.S. representatives Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson and Steve Scalise voted not to impeach the president for inciting insurrection. Unable to use the questionable constitutional technicality that some senators later hid behind, they pleaded for “unity.”
Aside from irrelevance, that excuse fails on at least two levels. While pleading for unity, these same representatives, along with Sen. John N. Kennedy, R-Madisonville, voted to object to the election results, clinging to the divisive notion that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected. That notion was already rejected in over 60 attempts to overturn the election in courts — they were not at all interested in unity.
For another, voting not to impeach would not bring about any more unity than voting to impeach — either option angers nearly half the nation’s voting population.
Perhaps they subscribe to the former president’s anti-Republican assertion that “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you're allowed to go by very different rules” — that people were justified to ignore the Constitution and seek other methods to get their way. They owe us an explanation, and this time shouldn’t insult our intelligence with the convenient “unity” excuse.