Right now it seems almost certain that President Trump will be impeached. Watching it one gets the deja vu that a European may have had in August 1914 when a regional scuffle escalated into a world war because the actions by the participants had a logic independent of the actual circumstances. The exercise does no one any good, least of all the Democrats who are jerking off their radical fringe by entering into an inquiry based on sheer bullsh** in an election year.
The good news is that the White House is taking it seriously and is doing an admirable job in holding the troops together. The vote on the “impeachment inquiry” last week passed without a single GOP vote and it had two Democrats dissent, making the vote against impeachment a “bipartisan” one and effectively branding the entire process as a Democrat effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
On the Senate side, the strategy is following two divergent tacks. First, Mitch McConnell has convinced President Trump to just not tweet about GOP senators who annoy him because ultimately he will need their votes.
Sitting inside the White House, Mitch McConnell gave Donald Trump some straightforward advice: Stop attacking senators — including Mitt Romney — who likely will soon judge your fate in an impeachment trial.
The one-on-one meeting last week between the Senate majority leader and the president covered several weighty issues including Syria, according to two people familiar with the conversation. But like everything these days when it comes to Trump, impeachment was high on the president’s mind.
And in this case, Trump appears to have listened to the man in the Senate who controls the future of his presidency.
The second part is being nice to senators:
President Donald Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don’t to get on board.
Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”
Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.
Republican senators on the ballot next year are lagging in fundraising, stoking uncertainty about the GOP’s hold on the chamber, and could use the fundraising might of the president. Trump’s political operation has raked in over $300 million this year.
This has set off the predictable howls from the predictable people:
The senators can raise their own campaign cash.
Any senator who accepts cash from @realDonaldTrump before the impeachment trial is guilty of accepting a bribe and should go to the slammer.
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) October 31, 2019
Just some observations on this. Impeachment is either a political process or it is a judicial process. You can’t claim that it is a political process that is conducted as though it is a judicial process because that would mean you are f***ing stupid. The equating of the the House inquiry and eventual vote to a grand jury is just dumb because in the grand jury process doesn’t exist to create a media narrative by way of convenient leaks. Generally speaking, members of he grand jury don’t coordinate directly with witnesses before they make their allegations and then stage manage the allegations in such a way to convict the accused in the media before any vote is taken. Grand juries don’t abruptly change the rules that have been in place for 50 years in order to go after a particular person. Adam Schiff’s silly little inquiry is not a legitimate exercise of Congressional power and President Trump should continue to do what he’s doing which is treat it with contempt and derision.
As, we are constantly reminded, this is a political process and the president’s powers are not limited by the existence of a scheme to impeach him, there is no reason to expect the President to sit on his hands and not actively fight the soft coup that is in process. He must retain 35 senators as allies to avoid impeachment. Obviously, he’d like to hold the GOP caucus together and shear off a few Democrats like Joe Manchin and Doug Jones. A bipartian vote to acquit in the 60 range coupled with a party line vote to impeach would pretty well drive a nail in the coffin on the Democrat candidate in 2020.
It is a good thing that Trump is taking this seriously. It is a good thing that he’s cognizant of the fact that the center of gravity is in the Senate and is using all of his power and influence to “work the refs.” That it has Richard Painter pulling wads of feces from his drawers and hurling it in rage against the walls and windows of his living room is just a side benefit.