In 50 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his army and broke Roman law, leading to the collapse of the Republic, which had been established in 509 B.C. When Caesar entered Rome, the Senate capitulated and conferred upon Caesar the titles of consul, tribune, imperator and dictator, with these powers going to Caesar’s heirs. Later, they willingly further abdicated their powers under Octavius aka Augustus (“exalted one”).

The Trump presidency has crossed enough lines to form a deep, wide, raging Rubicon, which includes a number of his actions clearly presented in his impeachment trial. As much as the president wants this trial to be about him and the 2020 election, it is most certainly not. This trial is about the U.S. Constitution and the responsibilities of Congress, as the Framers intended.

The Senate now has the obligation to adjudicate the Trump presidency as a whole. Seldom has a senator had the privilege of taking such a consequential stand on behalf of the Constitution. Will senators defend the Constitution or the president, their party, their jobs? Will senators vote for the republic or vote to Hail Caesar?

Robert Kahn

Portland

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