The Universal Notebook: Impeachment post-mortem  -

The Universal Notebook: Impeachment post-mortem 

Yes, yes I know, you’re just as sick as I am of all this impeachment business. We knew from the very beginning that Trump was not going to be removed from office. Senators took an oath before God to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws,” but only one Republican honored that oath. The rest had decided to acquit before the trial began, just as all the Democrats had decided the scoundrel was guilty before the trial began.

In retrospect, Democrats may have made a mistake keeping the charges so narrow. Trump is guilty of a heck of a lot more abuses and obstructions, as the Mueller report detailed. Now there is no way to hold Trump – or any president – accountable.

So Trump was acquitted, but he was not exonerated. He is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of justice despite his acquittal in the Senate for trying to extort Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden), and obstruction (refusing to allow anyone in his administration to appear as witnesses or to turn over any documents in response to congressional subpoenas).

It was maddening to listen to Trump’s attorneys arguing there was no evidence of Trump’s crimes.

That’s just because Trump and his GOP toadies wouldn’t allow any.

But the American people know Trump is guilty. He admitted he withheld defense aid in hopes of getting Ukraine to interfere in our election. His chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted it and told us to “get over it.” Ambassador Gordon Sondlund admitted it. Rudy Guiliani’s henchman Lev Parnas and former national security advisor John Bolton would have testify as much as well.

The only question I had after the sham proceedings is whether Republicans really believe all the nonsense they spout. Or are they just so scared of Trump and his followers that only Mitt Romney dared admit the truth?

Our own Susan Collins voted to acquit, saying she knew Trump did a lot of bad things but they did not rise to the level of removal from office. Since she only breaks with her party when it doesn’t make any difference, she really should have voted guilty.

Collins thinks Trump “learned his lesson” by being impeached. Is she really that naïve? Yes. She got suckered into voting for the Trump tax cut for the wealthy with an empty GOP promise to expand the Affordable Care Act. She got suckered into voting for accused sex offender Brett Kavanaugh on the promise that he would not tamper with Roe v. Wade. And now she has been suckered into acquitting a president who is guilty as hell. Or maybe she’s not so naïve after all. Maybe she just thinks we are.

In order for this country to awaken from the nightmare of Trumpism, Trump and Collins must be defeated in November and the Senate needs to be flipped. I greatly fear none of these things will happen.

Polls suggest a stray dog could beat Trump in November, but I believe polls lie as much as he does. Biden and Warren are fading. Bernie is the front runner, making Trump’s mouth water at the prospect of running against a socialist. Mayor Pete makes a lot of sense until he can’t explain why black people in South Bend don’t like him. Mike Bloomfield is a dark horse with deep pockets.

Amy Klobuchar is starting to look like our best hope, and that makes me nervous. I almost wish Nancy Pelosi were running. At least she always manages to upstage Trump and to get under his thin skin.

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