It seems like long ago, but only three short weeks have passed since House Democrats assured Americans that a rush to vote was necessary before Christmas. President Trump, they claimed, posed a clear and present danger.
At the time of the House Impeachment shenanigans, House Democrats argued that former national security adviser John Bolton need not be subpoenaed. But now, they say, the Senate must subpoena him. Otherwise, the trial won’t be fair.
Nancy Pelosi’s Political Calculation
Did the Speaker think she could dictate to Mitch McConnell? The Senate Majority Leader says he has enough votes among Republicans to begin a trial “with opening arguments on both sides and a decision on witnesses to come later.” Reports the WSJ, “That’s what the Senate did for the trial of Bill Clinton.”
Democrats’ Damaging Ongoing Cynicism
The political risk for Democrats is that all of this looks more cynical by the day. In one sense this is truth in advertising, since this impeachment is so weak, the process was so rigged, and the votes were so partisan. But Mrs. Pelosi is also trivializing what ought to be an important check on genuine presidential abuses. Her precedent could do lasting damage.
The cynicism seems to be weighing even on Senate Democrats, who have begun to lose patience. “The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” said Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) this week. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them (it) over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
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