It has been a bad few days for the establishment, really bad.

In a 51-49 vote, the Senate refused to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and agreed to end the trial Wednesday, with a near-certain majority vote to acquit the president of all charges.

As weekend polls show socialist Bernie Sanders surging into the lead for the nomination in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire and California, the sense of panic among Democratic Party elites is palpable.

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s2smodern

Can a septuagenarian socialist who just survived a heart attack and would be 80 years old in his first year in office be elected president of the United States? It's hard to believe but not impossible.

As of today, Bernie Sanders looks like one of the better, if not best, bets for the nomination. Polls have him running first or second in the first three contests: Iowa on Monday, and then New Hampshire and Nevada.

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In 1868, President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act that had been enacted by Congress over his veto in 1867. Defying the law, Johnson fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, without getting Senate approval, as the act required him to do.

In his 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, John F. Kennedy made Edmund Ross one of the Senate's "Profiles in Courage" for his decisive and heroic vote not to convict and remove Johnson.

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"Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician." So says Hillary Clinton of her former Senate colleague and 2016 rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Her assessment of Sanders' populist-socialist agenda?

"It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it."

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On the holiday set aside in 2020 to honor Martin Luther King, the premier advocate of nonviolent Gandhian civil disobedience, thousands of gun owners gathered in Richmond to petition peacefully for their rights.

King had preached that there was a higher law that justified breaking existing laws that mandated racial segregation.

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the front of the bus in Montgomery, when Freedom Riders integrated bus terminals, when black students sat at segregated lunch counters in North Carolina, they challenged state law in the name of what they said was a higher law.

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Mike Scruggs