South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott tap danced for and shined the shoes of Donald Trump one last time by voting “not guilty” in the former president’s impeachment trial on Saturday. His vote gave him the distinction of being the only Black Senator to support acquitting Trump.
Scott was among the 43 Senate Republicans whose votes helped Trump avoid an impeachment conviction for the second time. Trump was charged with a single article of impeachment for the incitement of insurrection stemming from the domestic white supremacist terrorists who illegally stormed the Capitol.
Republicans already had enough votes to acquit Trump, making Scott’s vote in alphabetical order toward the end of the roll call unnecessary. Still, he voted not guilty. Let that sink in.
While 57 Senators voted not guilty, only 34 not guilty votes were needed to secure Trump’s acquittal despite irrefutable evidence that the former president actively, repeatedly and knowingly urged his supporters to get violent at the Capitol; violence that resulted in at least five deaths.
Scott’s not guilty vote was on-brand for the Senator who has blindly sided with Trump regardless of the issue, including those that have gone against the interests of Black people. While Trump’s second impeachment was not necessarily about race, it stemmed from Trump’s persistent attempt to invalidate ballots cast by voters residing in majority Black communities. It was in that context that Scott still decided to vote for Trump’s acquittal.
“The Democrats should put the blame where it stands, where it should be,” Scott told Fox News earlier this week. “And it does not have to do with the president who said go ‘peacefully’ to protest.”
In typical fashion, Scott’s interpretation of Trump’s words and actions are flawed.
The House Impeachment Managers presented a meticulous case that showed a clear pattern of Trump inciting violence from his supporters, including his insistence that his followers “fight like hell” at the Capitol on the same day Congress was convening to certify the 2020 election for Joe Biden. To assume he meant anything else would be nonsensical, lead impeachment manager and Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said.
“Donald Trump surrendered his role as commander in chief and became the inciter in chief of a dangerous insurrection,” Raskin said earlier this week on the Senate floor. “He told them to ‘fight like hell,’ and they brought us hell on that day.”
Scott’s refusal to acknowledge that truth was consistent if nothing else with his multiple past co-signings of Trump, including being part of the RNC’s group of Black men denying the former president is racist. That unfortunate act prompted the term “Uncle Tom” to trend on Twitter.
Scott also voted against the coronavirus relief stimulus package — consistent with Trump’s opinion, again — back in March of last year amid record unemployment when Americans needed the help most.
After Trump was acquitted during his first impeachment trial a little more than a year ago, he made sure to credit Scott for being such a trusty and tirelessly blind loyalist.
Scott rushed to Trump’s defense when he learned about Democrats’ push for impeachment. Insisting Scott “was the first one to call me,” Trump said the South Carolina Senator told he disagreed there was ever a quid pro quo with Ukraine to interfere with an American election.
“I read the transcript,” Trump said Scott told him about the phone call. “You did nothing wrong.”
Maybe more egregiously, Scott openly admitted he never fully read the Mueller Report, which is the findings of an extensive investigation into Russian interference and collusion in the 2016 presidential election that implicated Trump. In that instance, Scott famously asked, “What’s the point?” of reading the Mueller Report.
Ramping up the reckless rhetoric, Scott in 2019 compared impeaching Trump to putting him on “death row.”
In another demonstration of inexplicable support of Trump, Scott praised his foreign policies that effectively dismantled a number of rules put in place to safeguard the US., including an office President Barack Obama established to respond to the threat of a pandemic.
Finally, in a gesture clearly designed to pledge his complete allegiance to Trump, Scott gleefully lauded a Republican tax bill with Ivanka Trump, crediting her for the proposed legislation despite 1) it being a bad policy and 2) Ivanka not being a tax expert or economic adviser and instead is simply the daughter of a president who has never even shown his taxes.
When all of the above is considered, it’s not a surprise that Scott would again choose to side with Trump. However, that still doesn’t dull the sting.
But then again, this is America.
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