Impeachment Games and Gaming

It’s expected that Nancy Pelosi will transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate by the end of this week. What happens then?

The question of witnesses is still pending. The Senate will vote to adopt the procedures, and it will take a simple majority to allow a trial with no witnesses. It could go either way. At the very least, Chuck Schumer is expected to extract maximum pain from senators up for re-election in purple states.

Schumer will force a series of votes designed to squeeze vulnerable Republicans and harm them on the campaign trail if they side with Trump.

Democrats argue the half-dozen at-risk GOP senators will need some daylight between them and Trump to get reelected. And if they vote against Schumer’s motions to hear new evidence and witness testimony, they’ll be seen as Trump sycophants — undermining their bids and boosting Schumer’s odds of becoming majority leader.

Support for obtaining new documents at the trial is “even stronger than we thought, with large numbers of Republicans supporting it,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in an interview. “And when you go against what the American people feel strongly about, on an issue they’re paying attention to, it’s not a good idea.”

Public surveys in key swing states back up Democrats’ claims.

See also White House expects GOP defections on calling witnesses in Senate impeachment trial. It would only take four Republican defections to force witnesses. That’s not impossible. As I said, it could go either way.

Conservative WaPo columnist Henry Olsen says that Nancy Pelosi gamed the impeachment trial brilliantly. How so? One way is not exactly endearing Nancy to me:

Had she sent the articles immediately after passage, the Senate could have started the trial after returning from the holiday break. Now, however, they won’t be able to start the trial until after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. This means the Senate will be in trial six days a week for the period before the Iowa caucuses and may well be in session through the New Hampshire primary, too. That will likely hurt the progressives’ favorites, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as they will have to stay in Washington rather than campaign in those crucial early voting states.

Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the “centrist” candidates, will not be so restrained. We don’t know that this was part of Nancy’s calculation, but it could have been.

She also wins by pinning the blame for Trump’s eventual acquittal on McConnell. Democratic failure to persuade Trump backers to even consider impeaching the president has always meant the Senate trial’s outcome is a foregone conclusion. By holding the articles and forcing McConnell to do what he was going to do — run the trial his way — Pelosi gives Democrats a scapegoat for their eventual failure to remove Trump. They can blame McConnell’s allegedly unfair and prejudicial rules for the debacle rather than their own failure to bring even a small portion of the non-Democratic electorate behind them. Since Democrats already view McConnell as a mendacious partisan, this is an easy sell.

Actually, about 43 percent of independents favor removing Trump from office, and more than 50 percent approve of impeachment, so I don’t see how the Democrats failed to “bring even a small portion of the non-Democratic electorate behind them.”

3 thoughts on “Impeachment Games and Gaming

  1. Nancy Pelosi, by hanging on the impeachment paperwork, seems to have forced Moscow Mitch's hand.

    Now, even the RepubliKKKLANs don't want a Soviet-style court proceeding – but in those, the person was always found guilty.  Sadly, barring a miracle, I don't think that will happen here.

    Having a real impeachment trial is sure to drive tRUMP ape-shit in the next few weeks.  Granted, that's not a long drive at all!

    This trial will keep me busy until pitchers & catchers report in a few weeks!

    Btw:  Am I the only one who cares that the Baseball Commissioner suspended the Houston ASStros GM and Manager FOR CHEATING?!?  And that they were then fired by the Owner?  That explains how they beat my Yanks in 2017 and last year.   CHEATERS!!!!!

     

  2. The games have begun! The outcome of the trial is known – the GOP will not convict. The real jury is those voters who show up – in the primaries and in November.  Trump will try to spin the impeachment but no matter how aggravated, the Trump cultists can only vote once.  They were/are a crazy cult before and they won't be any different after the trial. But they won't be any more numerous (or less).

    The trial is being conducted for the voters who can be persuaded to turn out and vote OR conservatives who sit out the election because they can't stomach Trump. The Trumpies will be pitching to that same crowd that Trump is a victim of mean Democrats. The slogan, "Even if you don't like me, you have to vote for me." isn't all that convincing.  But it will come down to that.

    Nancy didn't want to impeach (even with ten incidents of obstruction) until Trump threatened the anointed, establishment Democrat.  Yeah, it was a ploy to give Joe an edge in the early states. The problem is: the spotlight won't be on Iowa or New Hampshire so Bernie and Liz may have an opportunity to grandstand nationally (but not locally) It may yet bite Joe on the behind.

    The pressure on Trump is huge. Mayor Bug-eyes is auditioning for the role of prosecutor defending Trump. (Yeah, there's a contradiction there.) It may be irresistible to Trump  if the defense team is arguing for moderation. (Keep your head down – shut up. Let Mitch rig the trial and let it blow over.) That's the smart move but it's totally against Trump's nature in a moment Trump feels threatened. We may see a Colonel Jessup moment when Trump can't not declare the IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY! 

    It will be interesting.

  3.  Well, I don't know how this impeachment drama is going to play out, but one thing that I am confident in, and glad of, is the fact that Nancy Pelosi did the right thing in impeaching Trump. Whether or not Trump maintains a strangle hold of fear over the GOP where they are willing to allow him avoid accountability and continue in his criminal behavior becomes secondary to the fact that his name and his legacy are forever tarnished.

     You can be sure Trump will attempt to minimize the sting and the stigma of such a humiliating event by wearing it as a symbol of pride to his base that he is a victim of a political injustice. The problem with that is that his base, along with their distorted sentiments, won't endure like the pages of history will. Pelosi is correct, impeachment is forever. And no matter how much he bellows about the injustice he claims the liberal Democrats unfairly put upon him, my hope and belief is that come election time the voters will either turn him out of office or politically neuter him if he does manage to steal another election.

     

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