SocraticGadfly: Ken Paxton: Show trial in reverse? Or not totally?

September 16, 2023

Ken Paxton: Show trial in reverse? Or not totally?

IF even one-third of Democrats voted to acquit on Article 8, and even more than that on other charges, why were even here for half these charges? Why weren't they dismissed at the initial vote to do so? Senators had that 4,000-page dossier from House impeachment managers in advance of the trial, along with other materials. (I had thought Robert Nichols had voted to acquit on some of the charges, per bad audio, but he did not.)

By the time we got to Article 9, which had a similar vote of 18, a positive majority, to acquit, I knew we were done.

Article 16 and others also got an actual majority in favor of Paxton, not just a minority of above one-third, on a 16-14 count.

My Senatecritter, Springer, voted to acquit on all charges. (Scratch the "just about"; as with Nichols, I blame bad audio, which even Patrick was noting, and I posted this right after his tirade was done.) I had hopes that, when he voted against dismissing all charges on the initial motion, then voted against confining discussion of the evidence to Paxton's current term, that something might actually happen.

And, it didn't. Show trial in reverse.

(Update: Springer has since blamed Dan Patrick for not telling the Senate whether it was following civil or criminal trial procedures for standard of guilt. Interesting. Perhaps a bit disingenuous; did any Republican, or Democrat, ask if unsure? Otherwise, the Tex-ass as well as US Constitution specifies that the penalty for impeachment is limited to loss of office; that should indicate to inquiring minds that it's a civil proceeding. Of course, Springer also said that he has friends on both sides of the division; that said, like a Whig in 1856, Drew, eventually you'll have to pick one.)

And, conservatives who talk about wasting taxpayer money? If Senators had voted to dismiss the half the charges a majority voted against anyway, you would have cut the trial time in half, saved money, and not given us a show trial in reverse.

And,. I mean that literally, an actual flip of a Stalinist show trial. It walks, talks and quacks like a bunch of Senate Republicans, whether individually or collectively, thought in advance that Warren Kenneth Paxton was innocent, but, to satisfy the general public or whomever, figured he had to be put in trial. Was there higher-yet coordination? You know, from Christofascist Tim Dunn and his minions?

Add in Birdwell's motion to dismiss without hearing four articles held in abeyance and it looks even more that way.

Next thought? Brad Parscale and his wife blew a bunch of Dunn's (or whomever's) $50 a tweet social media walking-around money for nothing.

Thought after that? Especially on the House side of the Lege, what's the fallout going to be between the Dunnites and under Dade "Dade" Phelan, the last shards of the Straus/Bush wing? Will their division become even more brutal? 

Related? Goeb concludes by reminding all 30 (or 31?) senators that they can enter a written statement on the trial over the next 72 hours. He then made his own.

Says House sent articles on "very short notice." (Insert sound of bus getting ready to be backed up?) Then salutes senators in general, including above all the rules committee. Salutes their "time clock" idea. Wanted "to protect the integrity of this body ... this great chamber." (That actually went out the door long ago.) Then talks about wanting to present "full picture." (Bus revving up?) "With all due respect to the House ... we didn't need to be told how important the vote was. ... Your vote will be remembered." "No time to study the articles." "In the past ... the House [was transparent]." (That bus just went into overdrive. )

"In the next regular session, we should amend the constitution on impeachment." (The senate didn't take more than two weeks for the trial.) Then wants the part about a required step-down to be amended as well. Cites both Clinton and Trump impeachments. "Millions of dollars have been wasted on this impeachment."

Update: I'm calling Danny Boy's bluff on amending the state constitution.

"I'm going to call for a full audit of House money." "One difference? We didn't hire a huge outside team." (See what I said above.)

"We are the envy of the world [with other Great State of Texas BS]." No you're not. And, some of us who are here still hope to move on.

Since that statement, he and Dade Phelan have traded shots with each other.

And, per the plaint in the top graf, if not one third or more on some charges, Democrats weren't unanimous on most them. THAT then said, though, one-third of the Democratic caucus voted to acquit on multiple charges. And, speaking of, Royce West said he saw some GOP votes Per the Trib, only two Democrats voted to convict on every charge.

And, a full roll call is here.

Article 4 only had TWO guilty votes. Article 8 wasn't much higher with 8.

And, 10 days later, there's so much more to talk about.

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