If you accept the premise that the Republican Senate isn’t going to convict and remove Donald Trump no matter how this impeachment trial goes, then the best possible outcome for the Resistance is that nonpartisan Americans watching at home see the trial as a Republican-orchestrated farce. Then they’ll presume that Trump is guilty, and they’ll be eager to punish him – and his Republican Party – in November.
If only for the sanctity of democracy, you may not want to actively root for the impeachment trial to be a clown show. But it turns out the Senate Republicans have decided to give us a clown show, and so we might as well accept the reality that it’ll increase the odds of Donald Trump’s downfall in November. It’s only day two, and the GOP is already treating the trial with such open disdain, Michael McAuliff of New York Daily News says he counted twenty-one Republican Senators missing from their seats during trial presentations today.
Yes, Mitch McConnell made a point of not allowing the TV cameras to show the area where the Senators sit. But still, reporters in the room are noticing, and they’re reporting it. If these antics keep up, this is going to become a prevailing media narrative about how the Republican Senators aren’t taking this seriously.
Donald Trump mistakenly thinks that this kind of open disdain for the impeachment process helps him, because he’s still only able to think in terms of what will impress his existing base, even though his base alone isn’t even close to being large enough to put him over the top in 2020. We can only presume the Republican Senators are openly mocking the trial so they can score points with Trump. But that’s fine, because it’ll cost Trump and the Republicans with the voters in the middle in 2020. If they want to turn this trial into a clown show, it’s to their detriment.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report