Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Visiting Column #15 -- Playing Out the Impeachment Musical

It should probably have music written for it, in the style of an early-1960s Broadway musical with production number choreography, that sort of thing.  Since we know how it will play out, and how it will end, it's best to try to dress up the pig as well as possible.  Score it for strings, percussion, standard woodwinds and brass.

I'm talking, of course, about the whole impeachment charade.

As of this writing, lots of Democrats in Congress are running around flapping their jaws about impeaching President Trump, although on what grounds few of them will offer a hint.  It does bear mentioning that they are doing that at the expense of actually legislating, actually addressing what anyone thinks are the problems we face in the USA.

It also bears mentioning that Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, is decidedly not a fan of this dance.  She is well aware that, if properly handled by the Republicans, an impeachment proceeding will serve to ensure the reelection of President Trump, and it is a sure thing that the GOP will handle it properly -- the GOP knows it, too.

So the Democrats don't actually have to go through with the process, as it has no chance of ultimate success and no support from the speaker.  But with the weird statement earlier today by Robert Mueller, in an effort to avoid his having to face a congressional committee hearing, Miss Nancy will have no choice but to capitulate and allow an impeachment hearing and a vote to be taken.

Mueller never wants to face Congress, mind you.  For the record, it is because he does not want to be asked "If you knew immediately that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, why didn't you say so before the election in 2018?" and have to answer that, even though all America wants to know.  So the farce will go on.

And here's what will happen.  Cue the strings.

Jerry Nadler, the bumbling chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will hold hearings to recommend that the full House take a vote on impeachment.  He's already on record as favoring it, and couldn't wait until Mueller was done talking before tweeting out that it's inevitable, actual justification be darned.

The Republicans on the Committee will show up there, of course.  They will politely use their five minutes or so each to point out that impeachment is a sour and miserable way to express a party's political disagreement with a sitting president, and that by the Democrats doing a stunt instead of legislating, it makes a lot of sense for voters to dump the Democrats next November.  If they know what's good for them, the Republicans on the Committee would each be wise to use their time for a little ol' campaigning speech.

The Committee vote will be on party lines, of course, meaning that a resolution of impeachment, with or without grounds, will get voted out of Nadler's side of the Committee and sent on to the House.  Nancy Pelosi, with no choice but to schedule a vote, will do so at the earliest possible time.

Why? The longer the process drags out, she knows, the worse it looks for the partisan Democrats, she knows.  It gives more air time to the embarrassing radicals in her party that are getting a lot of air right now, to the detriment of her chances of keeping the House in 2020.  She'd be wise to get the floor vote out of the way, and the whole inevitable mess off her plate and over to the Senate.  The Republicans will try to drag the House process out, quietly, of course, the better to keep the Cortezes, Schiffs, Nadlers, Tlaibs and Omars in public view where they will unashamedly embarrass their party without knowing it.

The vote will happen, of course, and with the Democrats holding a majority in the House, and few if any of them possessing the moral courage to vote against a political accusation toward their opponent, it will indeed pass.  Interestingly, we can expect that some Democrats we already know oppose impeachment, like Steny Hoyer and Pelosi herself, will vote for the Articles rather than risk losing the support of the radicals.  None will be in any future Profiles in Courage book.

With the political House majority having voted, President Trump will have been technically "impeached", as were Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton before him.  Mitch McConnell will then have to figure out (hint: he already has) which of two paths to take -- either ignore the House vote and never bring it up, or, as he actually will do, go through the actual trial in the Senate.  Chief Justice Roberts will preside, and senators, all of whom already know how they'll vote, will make a speech and cast their votes.

Ultimately, the vote will come nowhere near the two-thirds needed to remove the president, and the whole thing will come to a sad "poof."  The only question in the Senate is whether McConnell will want the process to play out for a while (again, making the Democrats look like fools as they'll have their imbeciles-in-chief like Warren, Harris and Booker sucking up air time).  Letting it drag out a bit could poison the nation's attitude toward the Democrats in time for the 2020 elections.  Oh, darn.

While all this is going on, President Trump will be paying far more attention to the needs of the nation; the economy, foreign affairs, etc., will take his time while the Democrats come off as petulant and political to the point of being willing to corrupt a Constitutional process for their own power grab.

And if this is allowed to drag out through perhaps next spring, it will leave the Democrats' candidate for president with nothing whatsoever to run on.  He or she will be perceived as the titular head of a party with no plan to improve the country, and interest only in more and more power -- much as was seized by the Democrats in 2008 and 2009, when the first thing Barack Obama did was to grab the health insurance market for the government.  And we know how that went over.

The final act will take place when Donald Trump is reelected with even more states than he won in 2016.

And that, friends, will be a good thing.

Copyright 2019 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There are over 1,000 posts from Bob at, and after four years of writing a new one daily, he still posts thoughts once in a while as "visiting columns", no longer the "prolific essayist" he was through 2018, but still around.  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton

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