Stupid me. Stupid, unimaginative me. Now I see. Now I understand. I forgot who I was dealing with, and after everything I’ve ranted about in this space (and elsewhere too, ask Kathy) there’s just no excuse for that.
We’ve known all along, of course, that if the Democrats impeached Trump, he’d surely be acquitted in the Senate, if the Senate even held a trial. One of my biggest concerns, early on, was that Mitch McConnell would pull another Merrick Garland maneuver and simply refuse to do it, while making the GOP-plausible argument that the “sole Power to try all Impeachments” reserved to the Senate by the Constitution included the power to decide that a trial would be inappropriate.
The next big worry was that any trial in the Senate, if held, would devolve into a complete circus, as Republican yahoos dropped their pants and danced for The Base, shrieking about the Steele dossier, Peter Strozk, and Hunter Biden, while continuing to pin Russia’s 2016 election sabotage on Ukraine, and generally dropping smoke bombs of irrelevant nonsense. That would be unbearable to watch, but it’s known that scorched earth is what Trump wants, and Mitch always does what Trump wants, right?
Still, there was an upside, thought I, calculating feverishly. However it broke, there’d almost have to be a political price for Mitch and his Merry Men, maybe a severe one. If he simply refused to hold the trial, it would be hugely motivating to those voters not brainwashed into Donald’s imbecile cult; turnout for the 2020 elections might go through the roof, and Republicans always lose when people actually bother to vote. If, on the other hand, Mitch presided over a three-ring circus, the result could be similar, maybe even worse, as the sane portion of the electorate became enraged at all the antics and buffoonery. Moreover, people love a good TV trial, don’t they? Viewership might be huge, and for weeks and weeks Trump’s crazy-making lawlessness would be paraded before vast swaths of the population, with the delicious climax being every chickenshit Republican in the Senate having to stand up and declare his everlasting fealty to his orange god-king.
So yeah, Trump would be acquitted, but what a Pyrrhic victory it might be!
I forgot. Mitch.
The man truly is diabolical. Many weeks ago, now, he deftly side-stepped the first landmine; of course there would be a trial. Who said anything about not holding a trial? Perish the thought – why, even suggesting he and his Party would pull such a brazenly unconstitutional move betrayed a mean-spirited hatred of the GOP bordering on outright bad faith. The sacred Constitution would be upheld, just like always. Gee-willikers! Where do people get these notions?
Now, it comes out that Mitch just gathered his caucus together and instructed them that no, Donald will not get the sorry spectacle he so fervently desires. House Republicans may have found it expedient to run around screaming and waving their arms, crashing closed hearings, raising interminable bogus objections, abusing sympathetic witnesses, and generally looking like the pig-ignorant frat boys they all are. They’re like that in the House, aren’t they? Well not up here, we’re not. Any repeat of the hijinks in the House up here in the Senate, Mitch told his team, would risk “mutually assured destruction”. No, they would not be calling Adam Schiff as a witness, nor Hunter Biden, nor the whistleblower, nor Peter Strzok, nor anybody at all, actually. There will be no witnesses. There will be no testimony of any sort. There will be no actual presentation of evidence at all, and there sure as shit will be no running of the grave risk that something new might come to light during the back-and-forth of something that looked like court proceedings (and if any of y’all thinks there’re no more Trumpcrimes that could come to light, give your cracker head a shake). Whatever the Democrats want to send up from the House we’ll cordially accept, and admit it into the record without comment, and then, ladies and gentlemen, just as fast as we can, we’re going to come in looking like mourners at a funeral, keep our traps shut, and vote. This will be over quickly, quietly, and with the absolute minimum of fanfare.
My God, the genius of it. There’ll be a trial, all right; except no, there will be no trial. Nobody will watch – there’ll be nothing to see. No passions will be inflamed, and the Senate most emphatically will not turn into a factory of embarrassing sound bites for the damned Democrats to use in their political commercials come next November. The whole mess, thus disposed of, will be forgotten by February, and the re-election of Donald can then proceed apace, while the Senate, meanwhile, will carry on with its agenda of appointing judges from the Federalist Society’s menu of eligible 22-year-olds, and passing no legislation.