Historian Jon Meacham claimed Monday that the Republican party is in an “existential crisis,” but the seven Republican senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial “helped their obituaries.”
Meacham appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” during a discussion on the outcome of the trial when host Willie Geist noted to him that the Republicans who voted to convict Trump were already facing “blowback.” (RELATED: ‘Pathetic’: Former Democratic Counselor Blasts Trump Impeachment Defense, Says Objective Trial Would Have ’30-Second Guilty Verdict’)
“Yeah. If I were Sen. Burr, I would embrace that. Sometimes we talk about obituary management. Those seven folks just helped their obituaries,” Meacham responded. “I think about this a lot when you see we’re at the point in the actuarial cycle where a lot of folks involved in Watergate are moving on. And, it’s just interesting to see what is it that you’re remembered for.”
“I’m sure Sen. Burr is a lovely man. I’m sure he has done a lot for North Carolina and America. But, I promise you that the thing right now that looms largest is that he decided we’re a constitutional republic not a cult of personality. And in many ways, that’s what that vote was about,” he continued.
Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Feb. 13 in a 57-43 vote, ten votes short of reaching the required two-thirds majority for a conviction. Seven Republican senators joined all Democrats in voting to convict, including Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, whose vote was unexpected considering he voted that the trial was unconstitutional a few days prior.
Burr is facing censure by the Republican Party of North Carolina, who will be meeting Monday to vote on what action to take. Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy was censured by the Republican Party of Louisiana on the same day as his vote to convict Trump.
“On this Presidents Day, one of the things to think about is we do have a different president. And 81 million Americans made what I would argue is the right choice in November,” Meacham continued. “And 57 United States senators, not enough, but 57 United States senators said that this man was — the former president, was guilty of inciting insurrection against his own government. And that 57-43 number, while not determinative in a constitutional sense, is probably not that far off from where the country at large is about the Republican party.”
“If I were a Republican right now and I was thinking not in 10-minute terms, which is what they are doing, but 10-year terms, I would feel an existential crisis,” he concluded.