As the impeachment proceedings barreled along we listened to the whip counts, do they have enough votes to block testimony from eyewitnesses? Frantic lunches with potential defectors produce alarming headlines. Bolton implied he would love a chance to testify under oath. Parnas practically pleads to be subpoenaed.
In the middle of the chaos, the eye of the storm is Senator Mitch McConnell. Calm, benevolent, impassive, almost inscrutable, or he would be if hadn’t made his position clear. He might as well be Donald Trump Jr. except the title is taken.
They were never going to call witnesses. It just gives them something to act concerned about. Besides, Alan Dershowitz has made clear what the strategy is already. If Trump did it, it was fine. “He broke the law, but he did it for you.”
Bolton is being assailed by the Republicans with as much venom as he used to hear from the Democrats. It is much nastier these days, with a conservative Pastor claiming Jesus would have beat the bejesus out of Bolton, (that isn’t verbatim, it was just too good to resist) and wished he would have done so himself when he had the chance. It poses some deep theological doubts when an ordained minister who has visited the Oval Office is essentially offering himself up as a surrogate enforcer for the Holy Ghost. But, anything is possible in Trump’s America. Trump didn’t say it, no, but he didn’t admonish the pastor either.
By now they have voted on witnesses and documents and it isn’t difficult to predict the outcome. I will predict 53 to 47 against. All of the carping and complaining about the lack of substantive evidence was all just window dressing. There isn’t enough proof in the world to change McConnell’s mind. Whatever Trump lacks as a politician he has an iron grip on the Senate Majority Leader and his clan.
Which brings us back to the unsettling question of Trump’s presidency, the tweetstorms, the angry tirades, the thinly veiled threats. There is something un-presidential about the man. Some anti statesman attitude. A barely controlled instinct for self-aggrandizement that is beneath an elected official, an egomaniacal brashness that tarnishes everything he touches.
If Dershowitz was right and it is not a crime to commit a crime if you feel it will result in your re-election then God save us. Because the world today is wired so tight that every move in Washington reverberates in Moscow and Pyongyang. It ripples through Riyadh, Tehran, Berlin and London. We are always one miscalculation away from the last mistake. Does anybody really think Trump is qualified for that responsibility?