It’s over: The Senate voted 52-48 and 53-47 to acquit President Trump on the House’s impeachment charges.
Not because the majority of senators thought Trump’s behavior was “perfect,” but because his conduct and its potential impact simply didn’t rise to the level needed to justify removing a president.
What a giant waste of time — and it’s entirely the fault of the House Democratic leadership, which treated impeachment as a purely partisan convenience from start to finish.
Yes, Sen. Mitt Romney crossed party lines to vote to remove Trump, making himself, briefly, every Democrat’s favorite Republican. But it seems more about his personal feud with the president than anything else; it’s certainly no vindication of the House’s sorry conduct.
For months, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had rightly ruled out impeachment “unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan,” as she put it in March. In May, in the wake of the Mueller report, she warned of the need to “make such a compelling case . . . that the Republican Senate . . . will be convinced.”
Then suddenly, when the Ukraine news hit in September, she flipped — opting for a rapid and high-handed rush to impeachment, shutting Republicans out of the fact-gathering phase, and Trump’s lawyers out of any participation at all.
Yet the House “investigation” never produced a whit of evidence for the claim Democrats made repeatedly to pretend the affair did rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” — namely, that Trump tried to suborn Ukraine into faking evidence against Joe Biden in order to “fix” the 2020 presidential election.
Let alone any basis for the House managers’ closing claims that acquittal leaves Trump so “above the law” that he could, as Adam Schiff put it, “offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election.”
And, whatever damage Democrats think they did the president, their actions did as much or more to rally voters to his side. The nation’s right back where it was — except for the depressing likelihood that impeachment procedures will now be more common.
Oh, in focusing the nation’s attention for 19 weeks on impeachment and the Ukraine affair, Pelosi drastically impacted the Democratic presidential race by
Feeding the Democratic base non-stop red meat, radicalizing it and likely boosting Bernie Sanders.
Keeping Hunter Biden’s sleaze in the news, surely weakening Joe Biden.
Alienating moderate voters, who see how cynically House Democrats abused the constitutionally vital impeachment process. Indeed, Trump’s approval rating just hit an all-time high.
Pelosi & Co. have deepened the nation’s divisions while driving their own party even farther off-center. That’s some “history-making” achievement.
Thank you Anon, This was brilliant and true. America woke up last night!