The madness that passed itself off as legitimate political discourse these past few years has reached its absurd crescendo with the condemnation of the seven Republican senators who voted against their party’s wishes. Now let's not kid ourselves: If the shoe were on the other foot, chastisement from the Democratic Party for any legislator who might have the "unmitigated temerity" to vote with the other side would be as loud.

So, on two issues over which reasonable minds could differ, constitutionality of the impeachment trial and validity of the one article of impeachment, a few Republican senators did not toe the party line. They have been subjected to all kinds of ridiculous and nefarious theories for their actions. Nothing has been ruled out with the lone exception — they did what they believed was right.

To be honest, most Americans had probably already made up their minds on impeachment before the trial began. However, 100 senators took an oath to be impartial jurors. Loyalty to that oath exceeds any loyalty to a political party. They had no choice but to sit through the entire trial. They heard all of the arguments from both sides; they read all of the pertinent clauses of the U.S. Constitution that applied to impeachment as well as the historical record of prior court cases that dealt with the constitutional issue. Then they deliberated and voted.

The vile act these renegade senators committed involved listening, reading and thinking — clearly acts of madmen.

Know-it-alls, loudmouths and yahoos will always be with us. The rest of us should not let them and the political talk media steer the conversations. We are Americans. We are not the progeny of Stepford Wives. We are in theory the rational species.

By nature and ingenuity, we have many different ways to get from point A to point B other than the goose step. That's a good thing. So can we please move on?

MIKE WALSH

claims manager

Baton Rouge