One of the persistent obstacles in getting to impeachment -- whether we're talking about the legal proceedings, the outcome, or just the word itself in the mouths of Democratic leaders -- is a fairly widespread public impression that when the House Democrats decide on impeachment, that's it, and things immediately get kicked over to the Senate, where the whole thing most likely just dies on McConnell's desk and gets voted down if it doesn't.
Democratic-leaning voters don't like this because it feels like handing Hair Furor an easy win. People in the Mild Moderate Middle don't like it because they haven't been persuaded impeachment is warranted so it feels like jumping to the end. And Republicans don't like it, obviously, but this misunderstanding allows them to make the case that due process is being eliminated and we're convicting a man with no trial.
Well, the trial is the part that happens in the Senate. Only they can convict. What the House does is the indictment, and if Speaker Pelosi meets with her caucus (tee hee) today and they decide on impeachment, it is not the end of the process but the very beginning. We're going to have hearings, hearings that have legal teeth the courts have denied the Democrats so far. For those in the Mild Moderate Middle who feel like the case must still be made, the case will be made... at length and in detail.
If one were to judge by the polls, President Nixon was a shoe-in to survive impeachment when the inquiry was opened. But once the facts were aired out on a national stage, his fortunes changed in a hurry.
Well, a relative hurry... the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they also grind exceedingly not very fast at all. I do not expect things to move quickly here, and in fact, if they do it will likely be because something has gone very badly wrong. Nixon resigned. I do not expect Individual 1 to go so quietly as all that. Frankly, the proceedings could easily stretch on a year and I think it would show some political savviness if they do. If the whole thing is doomed to die in the Senate, then why send it off to die? Bring on a year of Congress flexing its oversight powers, bringing out regular revelations about the depths of corruption within this regime, and then, with the case made to the people and only a few scant months to go before the election, then and only then hang it over Mitch McConnell's traitorous head and dare him to do what we know he must do.
A belief that impeachment proceedings will only help Donald stems from contemplating the future as though it will just be the present with one thing changed, that the public will still feel the same way about everything -- him, the Democrats, impeachment -- at the end of a long process as they did at the beginning but will only start changing their minds in response to the outcome.
And if we think a failure to convict exonerates him in the eyes of the middle, what must they make of a failure to impeach?
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