Television, check! Popcorn, check! Plenty of free time, check!
I guess I'm all ready for the big impeachment show. I was there for the hearings in the House. Now it's time for the trial in the Senate. Will there be dramatic moments? Let's hope for the equivalent to Al Pacino shouting to the judge "You're out of order" in the movie “And Justice for All,” or Jack Nicholson shouting, "You can't handle the truth " in a later courtroom drama. We can hope. I'm probably expecting too much.
We're going to need those dramatic moments and statements because the outcome of this drama is already clear. Barring the unlikely and unexpected, this trial will be a snoozer. It lacks uncertainty. Republicans dominate the Senate by three votes. In order to gain enough votes to remove the President from office the Democrats will need to convince 20 Republican Senators to join them.
The entire impeachment spectacle has been driven by the Democrats. It's their baby. The two independents in the Senate join the Democratic caucus in voting and strategy. There's no daylight between them. One of them is even a leading contender for winning the race for Democratic presidential nominee.
Republicans have good reason to be suspicious of this impeachment effort. Apart from being highly partisan — even political — it's largely baseless. Democrats assure us that if Trump does not deserve impeachment for his multitude abuses of presidential power than no one does. They've told us that Trump's crimes exceed those of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. As an outsider I find these conclusions astonishing. Not only have they not proven that the President wielded the power of his office to sway the coming election corruptly, they've conceded that even if you accept their premise, he did it without breaking any law. They charge him with the abuse of power.
Let's concede for argument’s sake that this is true. How does that make him unique among modern presidents? Which of them did not abuse their power? Did Obama abuse power when concluding a treaty with Iran without Congressional authority? Or was it abuse of power to use the IRS to stymie political opponents? Was it abuse of power to deny Congress relevant materials in their investigation of a very dodgy gun running scheme that armed Mexican narco-traffickers even after being ordered to do so by a court? Sure it was, and those were a few of the abuses that occurred just during the last administration. Considering his predecessors, Obama looks relatively clean.
I'm not saying that presidents should not face impeachment for abuse of power, only that the charge of abuse ought to outweigh this one. It's flimsy, almost irrelevant. Far from representing any real interest in upholding the rule of law, the Democrats have exposed that the real intent is to stop Donald Trump at any cost. They gave away the game early. In January 2017, Mark Zaid, the lawyer representing the "whistleblower" that started this whole sorry drama by exposing (while falsely characterizing) Trump's call to Zelensky, tweeted, "The coup has started … impeachment will follow ultimately.” This was a year and a half before the call took place.
Trump's enemies have been preparing for impeachment long before they could construct an impeachable offense. I disagree with those that say the Senate ought to dismiss the charges as soon as possible. Now that the Democrats have put us through weeks of sham impeachment hearings I want a trial. I want a show. I want witnesses. I want to hear from John Bolton, and Mick Mulvaney. I'd enjoy hearing from Hunter Biden, the whistleblower, and Adam Schiff. If we're going to have a show let's have a good one. If Trump's call was less than the truly "perfect call " that he claims, then let's hear about that. It's fair game after all.
If Hunter Biden was out of his depth while sitting on the board of a seriously corrupt company in Ukraine for no other reason than that he could offer them cover thanks to his paternal connections, let's hear about that too. Hunter’s compromised standing is pretty clear already, but I'd like to see some emphasis on this significant point. It does kind of back up the President's story that he was only asking Zelensky for help on ongoing investigations into Ukrainian corruption tied to corrupt practices closer to home.
Bring it on, bring it all on.