Trump triumphs as Democrats are unable to convict him in the Senate

In order to remove an impeached president from office, at least 67 senators must vote to convict him of the crimes with which he is charged.  That was never going to happen.  From the first, the House's articles of impeachment were merely a means to spend time in front of the American people impugning President Trump.  Nevertheless, it was deeply satisfying to see the House Democrats' impeachment efforts go down in flames.

On the first made up article of impeachment (abuse of power), 48 senators voted to convict Trump and 52 voted against convicting him.  The 48 senators supporting conviction included squishy Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and Doug Jones (Ala.), as well as Mitt Romney, an alleged Republican from Utah.  These 48 senators were a far cry from the bipartisan 67 Senators required to convict.

The Democrats fared even less well when it came to the second made up article of impeachment (obstruction of Congress).  This time, although the Democrats again held the party line, Mitt Romney tried to hang on to a vestige of dignity and decency by voting with the Republicans, resulting in 47 votes to convict and 43 to acquit.  Once again, as a statement about impeachment, the vote was a dismal failure.

With that vote, Republican Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn, the presiding officer, ushered all the Democrat House impeachment managers out of the scene of their most recent miserably failed attempt to undo the results of the 2016 election:

The faux impeachment was not just a failure on its own terms.  It was also a failure in political terms.  Even as Bernie Sanders, an unrepentant hardcore socialist despite the 100 million dead bodies socialism left behind in the 20th century, is gaining momentum, the impeachment effectively exposed Joe Biden, the alleged moderate, as a deeply corrupt politician who has used his political capital to enrich his family.  It doesn't help that Joe, a vicious man who's been wrong about almost every political issue since 1973, is showing signs of fatigue and possible incipient dementia.

Meanwhile, with Bernie sidelined for the impeachment, he was represented by the pretty and incoherent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose abysmal ignorance creates an effective smokescreen about the evil that is socialism.  Bernie might have done less well in Iowa if he, rather than Ocasio-Cortez, had been doing his trademarked hectoring, spit-flecked stump speech.

In addition to weakening their own party, the Democrats managed to enrage the American people.  Outside college campuses, mainstream media newsrooms, and Hollywood cocktail parties, Americans tend to like the idea of "fair play."  They were willing to give the Democrats a chance with the Russia hoax, but when that flamed out, Americans said to themselves, "Enough."

They realized that the Ukraine impeachment shtick had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with gaming the 2020 election.  That's not fair, they don't like it, and they threw their support behind the underdog in this charade: President Trump.  That's why President Trump — not despite the impeachment, but because of it — has the highest approval rating of his presidency.

The only question moving forward is whether impeachment is now a standard partisan tool or not.  The Republicans backed away from it in 1998, when not only did they fail to convict, but voters soundly shellacked them in the mid-term elections.

The problem is that, with America evenly divided politically, it's not entirely clear whether Democrats will be forced to pay the price for this expensive, time-consuming charade.  If they do not suffer a resounding defeat in 2020, Democrats will consider impeachment a routine part of their arsenal.  That will force Republicans to use impeachment as well.

Once that happens, America will effectively abandon her constitutional system, one predicated on voters electing the president every four years.  Instead, without virtue of a constitutional amendment, America will suddenly have an undemocratic parliamentary system, one in which Congress decides whether the president stays in office, regardless of whether the president's behavior is grossly illegal or not.

This scenario makes very real Benjamin Franklin's response to a woman who asked whether the new form of government was a republic or a monarchy.  "A republic," he said, "if you can keep it."

In order to remove an impeached president from office, at least 67 senators must vote to convict him of the crimes with which he is charged.  That was never going to happen.  From the first, the House's articles of impeachment were merely a means to spend time in front of the American people impugning President Trump.  Nevertheless, it was deeply satisfying to see the House Democrats' impeachment efforts go down in flames.

On the first made up article of impeachment (abuse of power), 48 senators voted to convict Trump and 52 voted against convicting him.  The 48 senators supporting conviction included squishy Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and Doug Jones (Ala.), as well as Mitt Romney, an alleged Republican from Utah.  These 48 senators were a far cry from the bipartisan 67 Senators required to convict.

The Democrats fared even less well when it came to the second made up article of impeachment (obstruction of Congress).  This time, although the Democrats again held the party line, Mitt Romney tried to hang on to a vestige of dignity and decency by voting with the Republicans, resulting in 47 votes to convict and 43 to acquit.  Once again, as a statement about impeachment, the vote was a dismal failure.

With that vote, Republican Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn, the presiding officer, ushered all the Democrat House impeachment managers out of the scene of their most recent miserably failed attempt to undo the results of the 2016 election:

The faux impeachment was not just a failure on its own terms.  It was also a failure in political terms.  Even as Bernie Sanders, an unrepentant hardcore socialist despite the 100 million dead bodies socialism left behind in the 20th century, is gaining momentum, the impeachment effectively exposed Joe Biden, the alleged moderate, as a deeply corrupt politician who has used his political capital to enrich his family.  It doesn't help that Joe, a vicious man who's been wrong about almost every political issue since 1973, is showing signs of fatigue and possible incipient dementia.

Meanwhile, with Bernie sidelined for the impeachment, he was represented by the pretty and incoherent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose abysmal ignorance creates an effective smokescreen about the evil that is socialism.  Bernie might have done less well in Iowa if he, rather than Ocasio-Cortez, had been doing his trademarked hectoring, spit-flecked stump speech.

In addition to weakening their own party, the Democrats managed to enrage the American people.  Outside college campuses, mainstream media newsrooms, and Hollywood cocktail parties, Americans tend to like the idea of "fair play."  They were willing to give the Democrats a chance with the Russia hoax, but when that flamed out, Americans said to themselves, "Enough."

They realized that the Ukraine impeachment shtick had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with gaming the 2020 election.  That's not fair, they don't like it, and they threw their support behind the underdog in this charade: President Trump.  That's why President Trump — not despite the impeachment, but because of it — has the highest approval rating of his presidency.

The only question moving forward is whether impeachment is now a standard partisan tool or not.  The Republicans backed away from it in 1998, when not only did they fail to convict, but voters soundly shellacked them in the mid-term elections.

The problem is that, with America evenly divided politically, it's not entirely clear whether Democrats will be forced to pay the price for this expensive, time-consuming charade.  If they do not suffer a resounding defeat in 2020, Democrats will consider impeachment a routine part of their arsenal.  That will force Republicans to use impeachment as well.

Once that happens, America will effectively abandon her constitutional system, one predicated on voters electing the president every four years.  Instead, without virtue of a constitutional amendment, America will suddenly have an undemocratic parliamentary system, one in which Congress decides whether the president stays in office, regardless of whether the president's behavior is grossly illegal or not.

This scenario makes very real Benjamin Franklin's response to a woman who asked whether the new form of government was a republic or a monarchy.  "A republic," he said, "if you can keep it."