House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters about the release by the White House of a transcript of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump is said to have pushed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
This week will kick off the Democrats’ attempts to make the impeachment process public (and therefore more legitimate than closed-door interrogations and cherry-picked testimony). The build-up to this has been as bitterly divisive as anything else that has occurred politically in the last three years, and the Democrats have now set expectations higher than ever – higher, even, than the expectations set during the Mueller investigation. If they can’t make something materialize and score the silver bullet they are so desperately trying to craft right now, there is still a very good chance this can backfire on them.
A lot of people who will read this will reject the notion in a couple of different ways. Some will point to released testimony and news reports and say the silver bullet has already been found. However, if the Democrats had found a true silver bullet, then the proceedings would already be made official and public and the Democrats would be charging in full speed to collect President Trump’s head. The fact that they are still searching, despite a lot of interviews already, suggests they don’t feel confident that they have enough yet.
Others will point to the President’s own words and the words of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney. But again, you don’t have the Democrats going out and planting their stakes solely in that ground, either. It’s shaky ground, at best, and the Democrats know it – it’s quite possible that one or both of those men are the most unreliable narrators on the political stage.
So, the Democrats are going to go public this week with, hopefully, enough momentum to score the political victory of a lifetime. Adam Schiff being at the front of this is objectively sketchy, given the fact that he coordinated with the whistleblower in the first place. Then again, the Democrats’ only other choice to spearhead this impeachment is Jerry Nadler, who has also routinely beclowned himself. It makes it tough to go into impeachment proceedings when your top lieutenants are making pathetic mistakes in the process.
What’s more, the Republicans are unified – while there may have been some appearances of shakiness on the part of Mitch McConnell, right now the top Republicans in the Senate appear to be full-on in support of the President. The Democrats do not have the two-thirds vote necessary to convict the President at this time.
What you have opposing you in the Senate isn’t just Republican loyalty. It’s one of the most meticulous, procedural veterans of the Senate we’ve seen in quite some time: Mitch McConnell.
There is a reason that he is in power, has remained in power, and has scored countless victories in good times and bad for the Republican Party overall. He is skilled at what he does and he has always maneuvered himself into some sort of position of victory in countless Congressional battles. The Democrats have the votes to send articles of impeachment to the Senate, but they don’t have the skill in the Senate to take on McConnell, and they’ll ultimately lose there.
And, when it comes down to it, the American people only have so much attention span for this kind of drama. They can and will grow tired of the constant shoving of the impeachment talk down their throats. They will tune out of the coverage, and when they do, the capacity of the Democrats to get their talking points out there is greatly diminished. Once that happens, only a conviction will win their attention – and their allegiance – back.
If the Democrats don’t score this victory here, then the Democrats will be failures across the board in 2020.