Tired of Losing: After Acquittal, Liberals Complain About “Unfair” Senate
Democrats have wanted to impeach Donald Trump since before he even took office – and they aren’t taking their loss last night well.
While some are still in denial (such as Nancy Pelosi, who is still trying to claim victory because Trump was at least impeached on paper, even though removal was always the goal), others are reacting the same way they reacted to the results of the 2016 election. With a desire to change the system. This time the system is the Senate, which, like the electoral college, liberals are complaining is unfair due to how representation is allotted. In this case, they’re upset that each state gets two senators despite differing populations (which is missing the entire point of the Senate in the first place).
As Vox’s Ian Millhister writes: On the surface, President Donald Trump can claim popular vindication after Wednesday’s impeachment vote. Senators voted 52-48 to acquit him on charges that he abused power, and 53-47 to acquit him on obstruction of Congress charges. The reality, though, is that the only reason a majority of the Senate voted to keep Trump in office is that the body is configured in a way that systemically advantages Republicans. The blue state of California has 68 times as many people as the red state of Wyoming, for example, but both states still receive two senators. Nevertheless, the fact remains that senators representing about 53 percent of the nation voted to remove Trump from office. That’s a far different narrative than the raw vote in the Senate suggests.
I guess he forgot about the other chamber of Congress that does give representation based on population? That obvious point aside, an even more obvious one is that if Senators were apportioned based on population it wouldn’t make a difference. It still takes a two-thirds majority vote to convict a sitting President, and last time I checked, 53% is still less than 67%. Maybe Vox uses common core math?
Furthermore, anyone arguing that the Senate is rigged to favor Republicans has to ask themselves why its Democrats that have historically dominated it.
Over the past 100 years, from 1919-2018, Democrats have controlled the Senate for 62 years, and Republicans for 38 years. While the 107th Senate began split 50/50, Republican Jim Jeffords became an Independent just months in and began caucusing with Democrats, so I’m including the 2 years of the 107th Senate as “Democrat rule.”
It’s also notable that even when the Republican party is the controlling party in that they have more seats than Democrats, it’s more often the case that they still don’t have a majority vote guaranteed. For example, in the 66th Congress Republicans controlled the Senate 48-47 (as there were 96 Senators at the time), but there was one Independent. A similar scenario was present in the 70th and 72nd Congress, where Republicans held a one-seat majority, but an Independent that could threaten that majority. In the 83rd Congress, the GOP held a two seat majority with two independent Senators in office. There were only two cases, the 82nd and 84th Congresses, where a Democrat majority was threatened by Independents if they were to side with Republicans.
Where were the op-eds on the “undemocratic Senate” biased towards “rural Republicans” when Democrats were running the show? The “fairness” of each State having two Senators aside, it hasn’t seemed to matter much for Democrats historically.