Politics, Sport

Republicans lack the stones to do what is right, and what does the future hold for Lewis Hamilton?

The Republican Party has abdicated its duty of oversight for a safe re-election.

As Trump’s second impeachment trial continues, we have seen the Senate and wider Republican party totally abdicate its duty of oversight. They simply are not listening to the arguments put forward by the House managers, including harrowing videos of the January 6th riot at the Capitol, the very building they are currently debating the issue. Spliced into the footage are the words of the former president, calling on his supporters to go to the Capitol to put pressure on Republican Senators and members of Congress to ignore the Electoral College certified states votes and hand a second term on a platter to Donald Trump and undermining the very foundation of American democracy, a peaceful transition of power. The evidence also includes testimony and quotes from those rioters arrested in the aftermath, who seem to all claim without fault that they felt they were following an order from the 45th President.

The language used at the rally before the riot, by everyone, not just Trump was a clear provocation to the very worst inclinations of all those in the crowd.  And after Trump was impeached, while still President, the vast majority of Congress Republicans have decided to happily ignore their constitutional duty of oversight, even claiming that Trump cannot be impeached, as he is no longer President. Well, I’m sorry but that is utter nonsense. One, he was impeached while still in office, and the trial was delayed by Mitch McConnell while he was still the Senate Majority Leader, under the pretence that he didn’t want the Senate bogged down with an impeachment trial while the new president was looking to get his nominations through Congress and getting the steps in place to improve America’s approach to the coronavirus. And two, Trump was impeached for offences committed while in office. He needs to be held accountable for what he did while in office. All those originalists in the GOP are claiming that it is unconstitutional to impeach and try a president after they have left office. And they do that while ignoring the fact that it does not say anywhere in the Constitution that there is a set period that you can impeach a president or any public official. If it’s not in there, it’s not in there, according to the originalists. But not when it goes against their partisan political position apparently.

The vast majority of the Republican Party has chosen their partisan future over doing what’s best for the Unites States. They have chosen to take the gamble that staying on Trump’s good side will ensure their re-election, rather than making a clean break and voting to convict Trump of incitement to riot and follow that with banning him from holding office again under the 14th Amendment. When Nixon was on the verge of being impeached, he was visited by the Republican Congress leadership. They told he didn’t have the votes to avoid being convicted. Barry Goldwater, when asked the number of Republicans in the Senate who vote not to convict, he replied ‘Very few and not mine.’ The Republicans were the ones who forced Nixon, a corrupt president, to resign. They put their country ahead of their party. Their successors have failed the test this time.

Does Hamilton’s new contract indicate a changing of the guard?

It was announced earlier this week that Lewis Hamilton had signed on to race for Mercedes in the 2021 Formula One World Championship, marking his eighth consecutive season with the German works team. However, just as many questions were prompted as answered by the announcement of the deal. Firstly, the contract length. The new contract only covers the upcoming 2021 season, leaving many to wonder if Lewis will retire at the end of the season if, as expected, he does win a record eighth driver’s title. Hamilton is 36 now, one year younger than Michael Schumacher was when he announced his first retirement. And if he does claim an eighth title, he may well decide that he’s done what no other driver has done before, claiming a record number of driver’s titles and is more than likely to record his 100th win in F1 during the season. The major regulations shake-up, originally scheduled for 2021 was postponed by a year during the previous season, so a lot of the Mercedes’ advantage over the rest of the field should be still be there and Lewis is still one of the best, if not the best, drivers on the grid. Those new regulations may prompt Hamilton to think that the end of the upcoming season may be the time to step away as well, especially if he does win the driver’s title. He’s not getting any younger and the new regulations will provide a good opportunity to leave as a champion. Mercedes also have George Russell waiting in the wings over at Williams, who is under contract at the Grove team until the end of the 2021 season. Russell is a Mercedes academy driver and has at times worked miracles in a very poor couple of Williams cars. He also impressed hugely when he stood in at Mercedes for the Sakhir Grand Prix, when Hamilton was side-lined with COVID-19, twice leading the race before a Mercedes blunder at a pit stop and a puncture robbed him of the chance to win the race. If Hamilton does decide to step away, Mercedes have a driver that they have nurtured through their junior career and that they have race experience working with.  

Hamilton has also become a far more vocal activist for the various causes close to his heart and a major part of the new deal with Mercedes was a commitment and concerted effort to address those issues through a joint charitable foundation. Hamilton also has far wider interests outside the world of Formula One, starting a new Extreme E racing team, along with former teammates Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. He also has a collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger and a big interest in music. But he still has big racing ambitions, and while he hinted at times last season that he might not be around next year, Mercedes’ preference was always to tie down Hamilton for a little while longer. Whether we are seeing the beginning of the end of Hamilton in Formula One or not, we will get one more season at least to see what more is still in the tank and whether Hamilton will continue break all the records still to go. People may talk him down now, but when he is gone, Formula One will miss him.

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