Trump’s impunity is another sign of the degradation of the US Senate – 02/03/2021 – Lúcia Guimarães

The institutions are functioning. This phrase has been repeated, with or without a question mark, in the United States for over four years and, since the end of the military dictatorship, it has not been used as much in Brazil.

It’s hard to believe the institutions are working when we wake up to news that a rogue QAnon spokesperson manages to hold the Republican leadership hostage in the House in Washington, and that a distraught extremist has won the leadership of the powerful Constitution and Justice Commission in Brasilia.

The functioning of the institutions does not depend solely on the independence of the three powers. In the American case, more than two centuries of unbroken constitutional rule have been crucial in stemming the lawless wickedness of Donald Trump. He had neither the time nor the competence to undermine the entire institutional apparatus of the federal government. But he has tried and achieved successes that will mark the legislature and the bench, in addition to Joe Biden’s tenure.

The funeral ceremony at the Capitol Roundabout on Wednesday (3), when MPs and Senators paid tribute to policeman Brian Sicknick, murdered during Trump’s invasion of the House, spoke of the contrast to the violence and chaos that reigned supreme in the same room. , January 6th. A sign that the institutions are functioning?

The presence of Republican leader Mitch McConnell at the roundabout does not eclipse the fact that he has spent the past two weeks maneuvering to obstruct the Senate committee scrutiny that Democrats have rightfully won at the polls. The nihilism of the party is still personified by the leadership of McConnell, who, despite hating Trump, decided the former president was a useful idiot.

The tenuous Democratic control of the Senate – 50 seats plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaker vote – at a time when the Republican Party does not decide whether it wants to be the bunch of lunatics and renegades that instigated the Capitol breach , makes it more urgent. question: does the Senate work?

In the mythology of American exceptionalism, a cliché coined in the 19th century describes the Senate as “the greatest deliberative body in the world.” No one demoralized this pride more than McConnell himself by declaring in 2010 that his only mission was to make Barack Obama president for one term.

The composition of the Senate is often criticized as a guarantee of minority power, a modern Republican electoral project since the years of Richard Nixon. Since every state, regardless of its population, has the same right to send two senators to Washington, the 50 Democratic senators today represent 41 million more Americans than the 50 Republican senators.

Tuesday (9) we will have another opportunity to ask ourselves whether the Senate serves American democracy or the power projects of its members. Unfortunately, there is no suspense in sight. It will be impossible to rally Republican voices to condemn Donald Trump in the second and unprecedented impeachment trial.

If in the first trial a year ago hypocrisy was barely disguised as absolving the president’s criminality, this time the senators who insisted Biden stole the election are more difficult.

How can a large deliberative body go unpunished for a president who launched the terrorist invasion, which barely claimed the lives of its members?

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