Back in January 2016, before Donald Trump won his first presidential primary, before he secured his position atop the Republican Party and before he won the White House, he mused about the unbreakable bond between himself and his supporters with a joke about murder.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said, to a laughing audience, while pointing his finger at them like a gun. “OK? It’s, like, incredible.”
What was once true of his supporters is now true of nearly the entire Republican Party. The Senate voted 57 to 43 on Saturday to convict Trump, now an ex-president, of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as part of his plan to overturn an election he lost.
Just seven Republicans joined all 50 Democrats and independents to vote to convict, despite a mountain of evidence presented by the House impeachment managers. It was short of the 67 votes needed to convict.
Trump stood in the middle of Washington, D.C., pointed his supporters at Congress and fired. Seven people ? three police officers, including two by suicide, and four Trump supporters died as a result of the president’s actions. And his party let him off the hook.