To no one’s surprise, the Democrats’ impeachment drive fell flat in the Senate today. Both articles were decided on a purely party line vote, but for Mitt Romney, who switched sides on the first article (“abuse of power”). The only mild surprise is that no Democrats voted against removal. Doug Jones of Alabama, for one, can forget about any possibility of re-election. But with Jeff Sessions waiting in the wings, he probably figured he had no chance anyway.
Where do the Democrats go from here? They always knew they had zero chance of conviction, so their only motives were 1) the hope that impeachment would tar President Trump and reduce his chances of a second term, and 2) pure spite. So far, at least, there is little indication that Trump has been hurt politically.
Impeachment must be viewed in the context of the Democrats’ effort to destroy Donald Trump that began prior to his inauguration. For more than three years, their get-Trump campaign has dominated the news. Mostly, it was the Russia hoax. The Democrats originally intended to use that as the basis for impeachment. When the Mueller report negated that plan, they switched–literally overnight–to the much weaker Ukraine theory. No matter. It was impeachment or bust, if only to continue filling up the nightly news with purported Trump “scandals.”
Now the smoke will begin to clear, and I don’t think the Democrats will like the landscape that comes into focus. Their Iowa caucuses were a laughingstock. They made fools of themselves (Nancy Pelosi, especially) during Trump’s State of the Union speech. And, most seriously, they don’t have a presidential candidate. Joe Biden is in freefall, and the party’s elders, such as they are, concede that Bernie Sanders would be a disaster. Will they turn to “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg? Will Michael Bloomberg be their savior? Or will Hillary Clinton or John Kerry come out of retirement? I think they are grasping at straws.
For a long time now, the Democrats have used their hysterical attacks on President Trump to deflect attention from the real scandal–the misuse of the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, FBI and CIA to spy on, and plot against, the Trump presidential campaign and, subsequently, his administration. This is the biggest political scandal in American history, and the Democrats, with the Russia hoax, Ukraine and impeachment now a spent force, are naked, so to speak. One can only imagine with what anxiety they are awaiting the findings of John Durham’s investigation and any criminal indictments that may accompany them.
Much will change between now and November, but this week has been a dark time for the Democratic Party, and a shining moment for America.