For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
The die is already cast in the House. There will be articles of impeachment. Somewhat surprisingly last night, House committee member James Himes indicated in response to a question that the House Intelligence committee may try to start winding down the open hearing portion of the impeachment inquiry by the end of next week.
This says a couple of things to me. For starters, it tells me that the Democrats have decided on a very finite and limited basis for their articles of impeachment. They are going to focus their articles of impeachment on the extortion and bribery allegations, and the witnesses they’re calling are so rich in knowledge and testimony that they can streamline the process.
The second thing that it tells me is that the Democrats feel that their message is getting through, and resonating. 13 million people tuning in to a dry congressional proceeding ain’t a bad days work. And when even the Trump Ministry of Propaganda has Chris Wallace saying, “You couldn’t watch and listen to Ambassador Yovanovitch testify and not feel sympathy and empathy for her if you have a pulse,” and co-anchor Brett Beir calling out Emperor Numbus Nuttus by saying “The GOP members were doing a good job of controlling the hearing until Trump’s inflammatory tweet, then they had to spend the rest of the session praising Ambassador Yovanovitch to try to mitigate the damage,” you’re losing the media war. And don’t think that every nightly new broadcast didn’t pay that standing ovation for David standing tall before Goliath.
So now, the focus on the next inevitable step, the trial, will shift to the Senate, and Mitch McConnell. Let me make this clear, from where I’m sitting, this country has not seen a more amoral, craven, corrupt, power hungry politician since Huey Long. And unlike his idjit boss, who can’t even handle a simple shakedown scheme, McConnell is very proficient at using every ounce of his power.
As Majority Leader of the Senate, McConnell will draft the rules of the road for the upcoming Senate trial, much like the Democratic majority proposed and passed the rules for the impeachment inquiry. And even at this early stage, McConnell is already considering two procedural steps for the trial that could show that either he’s terribly miscalculating, or he’s the most devious sumbitch of all time.
For starters, Yertl McTurtle has already stated that he plans to hold a full and thorough trial in the Senate, not some one-and-done sham. That full and robust trial could include Saturday sessions. And it was reported earlier this week that McConnell is considering a more lengthy trial than originally conceived, possibly taking up the entire month of January.
This is a clear and obvious attempt by Yertl to interfere and tinker with the Democratic primaries. But it’s also a very risky, and potentially stunning dick move by McConnell. Because the whole reason that Traitor Tot is being impeached is because he tried to strongarm Zelensky to use a sham investigation to cobble up dirt on Joe Biden, to make him a softer target in the general election.
But if six Democratic Senators, including two top tier candidates, Sanders and Warren, are tied up all of January, including Saturdays, instead of hitting the stump in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina? Only two people come to mind, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg. Trump is being impeached for trying to take Biden down, and through either sheer stupidity, or Machiavellian treachery, McConnell could help give him a near stranglehold on the nomination.
The second thing I’m looking at with a microscope was actually referred to a few days ago by my good friend and colleague Jason Miciak. Jason reported that one of the issues McConnell was already considering was the final vote at the end of the trial in the Senate, mainly whether the vote would be a floor vote with a roll call, with every Senator casting his vote orally, or a “secret ballot” using paper, similar to most criminal jury and civil trials. This will be by far and away the most critical, consequential decision McConnell will make in the entire process, and he can’t help but know it.
Here’s why. While McConnell may be more authoritarian than Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both keep a close pulse on their caucus. I have written previously that multiple Washington reporters, in off the record conversations with sitting GOP Senators all say the same thing. In all cases the reporting has been the same. Trump will be acquitted in a roll call floor vote in the Senate. But, were there to be a secret paper ballot, with the Senator’s anonymity preserved from the voters scrutiny, there are 25 to 30 GOP Senators in the chamber right now that are already fully prepared to drop the hammer on Trump. His conviction wouldn’t even be close.
It all comes down to McConnell, and his political calculations. If McConnell decided that either A) he’s sick and fed fed up with Trump’s humiliating bullshit, or B) believes that Trump should not only lose the White House, but cost him his Senate majority, he could well decide to roll the dice with Mike Pence as the presumptive nominee for the GOP in 2020. And, cagey old bastard that he is, Yertl McTurle already has stone perfect plausible deniability built into the equation. When he gets furious push back at his handling of the vote, McConnell can piously point out that he went with a secret ballot to protect his vulnerable incumbents from the wrath of voters for casting their ballot based on their good conscience. I told you he was a slick little shit.
So, by all means, pay close attention to the upcoming House hearings, because there will be evidence presented that will be critical in the upcoming trial of The Mango Messiah. But at the same time, keep a close eye on Mitch McConnell and the Senate, and I mean right now! Because by far the most dramatic and pivotal decisions in the trial of Donald John Trump will quietly take place before the first day of the trial is even gaveled in. Just a word to the wise.
To know the future, look to the past. before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clockwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen