The reboot of last year’s big political flop, otherwise known as Trump Impeachment, hit the big stage in DC this week. The Senate kicked off the show with a debate about the constitutionality of the whole thing. The old rule of vaudeville was that you start every show with some jokes to warm up the audience. It is good to see Washington bringing back the old traditions for their political dramas. To the shock of no one, the Senate voted in favor of the claim that this nonsense is constitutional.
The one thing missing from this reboot is the boggle-eyed lunatic who was the master of ceremonies for the first one. Adam Schiff is sitting this out. There is some debate about whether having a paranoid schizophrenic be the star of the show was the reason the first try at this was an embarrassing flop. They also had the fat guy who poos himself in public as the co-star. The whole thing turned into a poorly made version of Dumb and Dumber, which is a problem when you are putting on a drama.
The early reviews say this reboot is looking like the high school version of an old Broadway musical. The writing is good, but the people playing the roles are far too small for the costumes they are wearing. Even without Trump looming over it as a reminder that our politics have long ago descended into farce, the idea of impeaching a man who is out of office is too much to overcome. The public is mostly ignoring it, despite the month long hype about the imaginary insurrection.
Like so much the shadowy cabal that runs this place has done over the last several years, this stunt just serves to undermine the system they operate. In a world where massive election irregularities are ignored and dismissed by the politicians, it is tough to take those same politicians seriously when they bang on about their democracy or imaginary threats to it. If they were really worried about their democracy, maybe they would do something about the voting system.
What this looks like is theater for the people inside the wire so they can be reminded there is a wire, and it must be maintained. The green zone they have erected for themselves is not simply an overreaction. It is a symbol of the spiritual and cultural divide between the people running this place and the rest of us. The hive minded have now created a physical manifestation of their world view. From now on, people inside will be made to show they are loyal to inside, not outside.
Putting that aside, the thumbless people behind this farce are creating a new set of problems for themselves with this. American politics has always been a game of bad cop worse cop. One side tells 20% of white people they will push through some nation wrecking scheme, while the other side tells 40% of white people that they will not roll back the last nation wrecking scheme, but they will stop this one. This has kept white people engaged in a process that has slowly dispossessed them.
The rigged election and the response to it broke this system. Despite the Republicans pulling all the usual tricks in an effort to scare their voters in Georgia during the special election, many of those voters stayed home. The old gags did not work, because the election put the lie to those old gags. Impeachment promises to hammer home this point to tens of millions of white people. One party hates them, and the other party really hates them. They do not have a voice in this system.
We have already seen some Republican Senators shed their skin suits, revealing their scaly natural exterior. Six of them slithered over to the other side, coiling around the legs of their master, to vote in favor of this farce. You can be sure they will be voting to convict when the time comes. Conventional wisdom says the Senate will not get the votes to convict, but given the state of things, that is not a good bet. The GOP would love to be rid of Trump forever and this is how they do it.
If you assume that a third of the GOP senators hate Trump and his voters, that is roughly 15 votes right there. Then you have the deluded members who think they can inherit that vote if Trump is forced off the stage. They think their kinder gentler populism will win the day. Then there are those who are taking bribes. The level of corruption in Washington is such that we have to assume all of them are on the pad. Maybe the ChiComs tell them to support a conviction.
Either way, the whole thing will most likely further undermine the Republicans as the security fence for the Democrats. This is very bad for the political class, as it further reinforces the notion that there are now two sides. Those inside the razor wire green zone and those outside it. Given the general cluelessness of the people running both parties, this is a very dangerous environment for them. They need to people trusting in the system, even if they do not trust the people running the system.
There is one interesting side story to this. Trump put up a solid defense of himself in the first impeachment circus. He hired competent lawyers and treated the whole thing with far more respect than it deserved. This time he has hired a B-team that is more concerned with melodrama than the process. It may be that Trump would welcome a conviction and disqualification. This lets him go back to being a gassy blowhard on-line, without having to deliver any of the things he promises.
Another bit of subplot here is that the larger show that was the “great fortifying of our democracy”, which looked a lot like coup, is coming to a close. This is the last bit of the drama the new regime can use to distract from reality. That reality is they own the mess they created in their effort to overthrow the system. The crumbling economy, the Covid fiasco, the bloated financial system, all of it. They will not have Trump to kick around anymore, so they will own what comes next. Good luck with that.
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