You know it’s coming. We all know it’s coming.
Now that IMPEACHMENT! THE MUSICAL! has ended its short, bathos-filled run, the Crats will need to stir up another mud hole to bog down the president.
Because they love democracy soooo much, and they are worried to death about it, dontcha know.
They might, as Maxine “Word Salad” Waters has threatened, stage a sequel: IMPEACHMENT TOO! DEMOCRASAY IN SUPER-DUPER PERIL!
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 19, 2020
A sequel could backfire, though. Sure, Alyssa Milano, Rob Reiner, Robert De Niro, and most folks in the 90210 ZIP code would wet themselves with glee at Impeachment 2.0. So would Alexander Vindman, now that he’s got all that free time to watch TV. He might get invited back for another guest spot at congressional hearings.
But average Americans tuned out the first impeachment toward the end. Extending the IMPEACH THE M***ERF***ER! franchise with another installment might genuinely annoy a lot of Americans who remember when Congress used to do government stuff. The behavior of Star Wars fans could teach the Crats a few things: sequels are tricky and get judged against the past very harshly.
Politics runs on the fuel of entertainment now. As I have argued elsewhere, that’s why President Trump was able to win when he did. President Trump’s singular brilliance was to recognize that politics had fundamentally changed, then turn the change to his advantage. His victory would have been inconceivable five years before.
Some people love the president; some love to hate him. Everyone is caught up in the melodrama of the show, as the melodrama reaches new heights of unseriousness. The thing about telling tall tales like COLLUDING WITH RUSSIANS IN THE BUSHES! and UKRAINIAN QUID PRO QUOS! is that you’d better tell the tale *well.* If you don’t, it’s just silly.
To be sure, politics and government still have deadly serious consequences for some individuals and for the country. But for average Americans, politics amounts to reality TV, filled with endless turnabout and gotchas, CNN and Fox News confessionals, and schadenfreude.
The Crats must concoct some new high-concept rivalry to juice the wrestling match, or lose the attention of their own bloodthirsty partisans, not to mention undecided voters.
Here’s the problem in a nutshell: the Crats already dropped their A-bomb. Impeachment was the apex of their grudge quest, the ultimate attention grabber. Everything else is a letdown. Absent some huge plot development outside their control–like a war–there’s nothing more dramatic they can throw at the president now.
The best the Crats can do is to keep hitting the same high note in the faint hope that something grabs the public’s attention. Government-subsidized liberal news organ NPR asked Rep. Adam Schiff (D – Commifornistan) about the Crats’ next move. Schiff replied:
I would still like to hear from [White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] … What we’ll need to weigh is the need to validate Congress’ oversight authority, the need to make sure the American people understand the full length and breadth of the president’s misconduct, as well as others in the administration that were part of the misconduct. And at the same time, the imperative of keeping our legislative agenda first and foremost and striking the right balance between the two.
Translation: ” Blah blah blah … we’ve got bupkis.”
I mean, come on: “Make sure the American people understand the full length and breadth of the president’s misconduct”? Schiff is proposing to double down on snore-fest minutiae. That might rivet the attention of a handful of high-information Twitter hysterics with too much time on their hands.
But average Americans are busy, low-information voters. They follow the big developments, but that’s all. What most Americans know is: Uberprosekutor Mueller came up with a donut. The president beat the impeachment like a rented mule. Mitt Romney and his Holier-Than-Thou Honor Guard are sad and indignant. House Mother Nan-Nan Pelosi threw a public, speech-ripping fit. Adam Schiff looks ten years older than he did last week.
Meanwhile, the president is DOING THINGS. Average Americans won’t be able to list his accomplishments in great detail–but something about scores of new federal judges; a roaring economy; stretches of new wall; Europe finally paying its bills; a red line on China’s trade and intellectual property theft … Solid fare.
As for drama offerings: the president has nowhere to go but up. He’s been playing defense for three years. In dramatic terms, the president has been the cowboy who gets beat nearly to death by the outlaw gang at the beginning of the film. Everyone–including low-info voters–know that the president stands to mete out some epic payback soon.
Payback makes for riveting entertainment. The president has already begun, with the sacking of Vindman and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Supporters and critics will sit on the edge of theirs seats waiting for the poundings to commence, then discuss said poundings in exhausting detail.
Whatever sideshow the Crats manage, it will almost certainly be dwarfed by the president’s Commando rampage.