Most conservatives I know are disgusted that the Senate is going to try Donald Trump even now that he’s no longer president. At the same time, most think that holding the trial will either benefit Republicans or be a political wash.
However, Andy McCarthy believes that it’s the Democrats who will come out as winners. He argues that the trial will “unite the Left while intensifying the Right’s internecine conflict.” He also says the trial will “distract attention from the new administration’s unimpressive start on vaccine roll-out.”
As to the latter point, I’m not sure how distracting the trial will be. I doubt that many Americans will follow it. Few want to revisit the tumultuous final days of the Trump administration.
In any case, if Americans believe Joe Biden is doing a poor job fighting the Wuhan coronavirus, a week-long impeachment trial of an ex-president isn’t likely to help him avoid a backlash.
But won’t the trial divide Republicans? It doesn’t look that way. It looks like the GOP, with a few “usual suspect” exceptions, will unite to vote against convicting Trump.
This will help the Party, in my view. It may demonstrate to Trump’s base that the GOP mainstream isn’t looking to throw Trump under the bus. The trial gives mainstream Republicans another chance to stand up for a man who still commands strong support within the party, and do so at no real cost.
The worst thing that could happen to the Republican Party right now would be for Republicans who have become ardent Trump supporters to drift away from the Party as the Trump presidency recedes. The hope is that, as Biden’s leftist presidency comes into its own, Trumpites will stay with the GOP on ideological grounds. An impeachment trial in which nearly all Senate Republicans back Trump should help keep the party united in the meantime.
Therefore, I’m guessing that the impeachment trial will either be a win for Republicans or, at worst, a non-factor in the ongoing struggle between the two parties.