Congressional Democrats finally impeached President Trump. Now what?
That’s a question many Democrats are asking themselves as the cumbersome impeachment process moves forward into the Republican-controlled Senate, which will conduct a trial next month. It’s a foregone conclusion that Trump won’t be “convicted” and removed from office by a Senate controlled 53-47 by the Republicans, especially when 67 votes are required to remove the president from office.
Trump-hating Democrats who have insisted on impeaching the president can identify with Brer Rabbit, who entangled himself in a briar patch and couldn’t find a way to get out of it. A more apt political analogy might be to recall the Vietnam Quagmire our “best and brightest” got us into 40 years ago. Thanks to many clueless and/or misguided politicians, proud American warriors were forced to withdraw from Vietnam with their tails between their legs in an ignominious conclusion to a war that tore our country apart. I remember it well.
And just 20 years ago there was a similar impeachment process in Congress against ex-President Bill Clinton, who was impeached by the House and absolved by the Senate. Serial sex offender Clinton groped a young White House intern in the Oval Office. “So what?” his enablers said. “The economy is good. Nothing to see here; let’s move on.” Does that sound familiar?
The Trump impeachment process also reminds me of what William Shakespeare wrote many years ago about a lot of “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Well, maybe not nothing, but not much of anything. House impeachment managers Adam Schiff of California and Jerrold Nadler of New York, a pair of unpleasant “progressive” Democrats, went on and on about Trump’s alleged transgressions but in the end didn’t even accuse the president of specific “high crimes and misdemeanors,” only of abusing his power and “obstructing Congress” — pretty thin gruel for an impeachment.
Mercifully, after weeks of contentious public hearings in the House, the Senate trial early next month, presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, will be short and to the point. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says House impeachment managers will present their case followed almost immediately by a vote on the two articles of impeachment. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a week, permitting Congress to get back to the business at hand, including healthcare, international trade agreements and comprehensive immigration reform.
Many political analysts, including yours truly, think the impeachment fiasco will help President Trump in his quest for a second term. The American public may be evenly divided over whether the president should be removed from office, but Democrats are under water in states they need in order to win in the Electoral College. The real victims of this impeachment are the 31 moderate Democrats running for reelection in congressional districts won by President Trump in 2016, including first-term Congresswoman Susie Lee from a suburban Southern Nevada district that Trump won.
Washington Examiner Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon summarized the impeachment process accurately when he wrote that “Democrats have spent more than a month explaining what’s wrong with President Trump . . . but the more they explain, the less convincing they become.” That’s my conclusion after watching much of the public testimony in the House.
Oh, and by the way, there’s the matter of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and his $50,000 to $80,000 per month contract with a corrupt Ukrainian oil and gas company. Do you think Hunter Biden might have been hired because of his last name, just maybe, when his father was in charge of Ukrainian policy for ex-President Obama? Stay tuned . . .
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.