Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, waits to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, as the 116th Congress begins. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The breathless coverage on which Republican Senators want to hear from more witnesses and which ones don’t is born not out of its true news value, but out of the compulsion on the part of our media (left and right) to extend the drama – and, therefore, the coverage and ratings and clicks – of the impeachment trial.
Let us assume for a moment that Romney, who has said he is a vote for more witnesses, was joined by Lamar Alexander (who isn’t), Susan Collins (thus far unclear), and Lisa Murkowski (thus far unclear) in voting to allow for new witnesses. Let us also assume that they get John Bolton AND Mick Mulvaney. How does that actually affect the end result?
The fact is that Romney waited until Alexander said he was against more witnesses, giving him the chance to support something that wasn’t going to happen. Just to be safe.
Still, at the end of this whole thing, Romney isn’t going to vote to remove Trump from office. He will release a carefully crafted statement saying the Democrats just didn’t make their case and the witnesses did not provide any damning evidence. He will be joined by Collins, Murkowski, and Alexander in making that statement. Further, even if they were convinced, the Democrats still wouldn’t have the votes to remove Trump from office.
And they know that.
Our media, across the political spectrum, also knows this. Deep down, they know that this coverage over witnesses and who will vote to allow them and who won’t ultimately doesn’t matter. Both sides came to their conclusion on Trump before this ever started. We knew the results before the Articles of Impeachment were even drafted. If you didn’t know it, you haven’t been paying attention.
That’s not an endorsement of either side, and it’s not an endorsement of the process. The fact is, from start to finish, this whole thing has been annoyingly juvenile. If it ends today, fantastic. We can move on to the next thing Trump says that offends us/the next thing the Democrats try to accuse Trump of that’s utterly stupid. With an election in ten months, we’ll have forgotten this before the Democrats even find their candidate.
It’s a joke. It’s all a joke.