It is more and more difficult to fully understand what The New York Times is referring to as Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s “Stirring of Conscience in the Senate.”
With the nation’s news media acting as her cheerleaders, Murkowski is doing what Murkowski does: She is waffling about where she stands on issues important to Republicans. This time around, it is the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Senate.
She did the same thing in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, eventually voting “present” to salve her conscience. She has done similar things on numerous occasions where Republicans needed her vote. She appears to be doing it again.
Murkowski told an Anchorage TV station she was “disturbed” by Mr. McConnell’s pledge to coordinate with the president’s legal team. (No matter that Democrats did the same in the 1999 Senate trial of Bill Clinton – and a Senate trial would be all but impossible without such coordination.)
She went on to say it would be wrong for the Senate to “prejudge” the case against Trump.
“To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand-in-glove with the defense,” she said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, she concluded, had only “further confused the process” with his offering himself as a firewall in Trump’s upcoming Senate trial.
In her crisis of conscience, she is acting as if the entire impeachment process – from Day One – has not been entirely and embarrassingly political. It has been just that since Democrats demanded impeachment before Trump could even take office, and wailed later that if he were not impeached he surely would be re-elected.
The Democratic House impeachment proceedings were the most rushed, least thorough and unfair in modern history. They were nothing short of a kangaroo court.
It came as no surprise. Trump’s partisan impeachment was destined from the moment Democrats took control of the House. For Murkowski to ignore all that is to ignore that Democrats have but one goal: Get rid of Donald Trump, at any cost. To join with the effort is to become complicit in the biggest political scam in modern history.
It is wonderful that Alaska has a senator who can think for herself, but, at the same time, we are left to wonder whether her problems with McConnell would not better have been hashed out in a private meeting, without television cameras and The Times cheering from the sidelines, hoping against hope she will flip to the Democrats.
As Alaska’s senior senator, Murkowski’s relationship with the Republican Party and the president himself is important to the state’s future. Her grandstanding publicly on things such as Trump’s upcoming Senate trial does the state no good.
Her trotting out yet another “stirring of conscience” that oddly coincides with Democrats’ aims is becoming less surprising – but certainly more predictable.