So the Senate acted as expected – voting along party lines to acquit Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of congress and leave him in office.
To paraphrase my favorite TV shepherd “I’m not even sure I think they were wrong.”
Trump is undoubtedly guilty of the offenses he was charged with. Mitch McConnell is undoubtedly a toadying ass. And Mike Pence is undoubtedly more adept at manipulating the US political establishment than his boss, and thereby likely even more dangerous.
“If you strike me down, he shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine.”
“I dunno, I can imagine quite a bit…”
That Pence is not in charge is cold comfort.
There was no winning move. To not impeach Trump was tacit approval of his behavior. To impeach Trump mandated giving the Republican controlled Senate control over the outcome.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,”
The odds of the Republicans breaking ranks and removing Trump from office – regardless of the charges, or the evidence – were basically zero from the outset.
Democrats fall apart. Republicans fall in line.
Well, save Mitt Romney, it turns out. And his behavior over time has made it really difficult to think about his actions in any rational way (or maybe difficult to think about his actions in any way other than a rational actor).
Basically, McConnell was correct in saying “If this was all about politics, and it was, at least at the moment I think it is fair to conclude that we won and they lost.”
Take a second to unpack “we” and “they.” “We” is pretty clearly the Republican party. “They,” as far as I can tell, includes the Democratic party, rule of law, and whomever tries to reign in presidential power in the future.
Including “American Democracy” in that list feels like hyperbole. Just because something’s hyperbole doesn’t mean it’s false.
As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight gives Sanders nearly even odds of gaining a majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic primary. A self-described socialist that has or will alienate moderate voters, regardless of which side of the aisle they lean toward.
I’ve been saying it since he was elected, and I see no reason to amend it now – “If he [Trump] runs again, he wins again.”
I don’t think it’s likely that Trump wins the next election – I think it’s nearly guaranteed that the Democrats lose it.
Prove me wrong.