I address you, Dear Reader, from some 36,000 feet above the fruited plain. But since, before embarking, news that Sen. Lamar Alexander, though a reliable Trump basher, had decided to do the right thing and vote ‘no’ on calling more witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump, I can say with confidence that the jig is up, at least for this installment of the Democrats’ febrile effort to rid themselves of the duly elected president of the United States.
The phrase ‘sea change’, I believe, comes to us from The Tempest. It occurs in one of of Ariel’s songs: ‘Nothing of him that doth fade/But doth suffer a sea change/Into something rich and strange.’ I suspect we are on the cusp of a sea change in public sentiment that I have been expecting for some time. It is this: the elitist narrative about Donald Trump has begun a process of mutation. Most die-hard proponents of the anti-Trump calumny — I am tempted to call them ‘bitter enders’ — will not give up their litanies. They have too much invested — and have too many left-wing money bags investing — in their hectoring to stop now. But the charges — that Trump is a Russian stooge, that he’s a man of ‘bad character’, that he abused his power by suggesting that the ostentatious corruption of Hunter Biden be investigated: all that is over, dead, burn the refuse and scatter the ashes.
The impeachment circus was merely repellent and absurd while presided over by Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff during the House proceedings to devise something, anything, that could be ginned up into something resembling — from a distance and as long as you did not look too closely — an impeachable offense. But now that the circus has moved into the Senate, everything has changed. For one thing, the president’s legal team has exposed the malevolent fatuousness of the Dems’ case. Patrick Philbin destroyed one contention after the next in his masterly response to the questions read by our latest game show host, John Roberts. Alan Dershowitz provided a magnificent and — unless you are Jonah Goldberg — unanswerable exposition of the Constitutional issues. And Jay Sekulow obliterated the Dems’ contention that calling more witnesses would be in the public interest with one of those made-for-TV ripostes:
Sekulow to Adam Schiff: ‘After 31 or 32 times you said you proved every aspect of your case…that’s what you said.’
Schiff: ‘We did.’
Sekulow: ‘Well then I don’t think we need any witnesses.’
Ouch. This is the point at which I should probably say that I felt sorry for Adam Schiff, but I didn’t, so I won’t.
This appalling farce and abuse of Congressional power was doomed from the beginning, and not just because Trump was never (unless you are poor, deranged Bill Kristol) going to be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate. No, it was doomed also because there was no predicate for impeachment — other, that is, than the apparently unshakeable conviction that it was an impeachable offense for him to be elected in the first place. And now, after the president’s legal team has exposed the utterly specious nature of the Democrats’ exercise in narcissistic exhibitionism, the doom that was foreordained has finally arrived. It’s possible that the hearse will have come to take the malodorous corpse of this political suicide away even before my plane lands. In any event, it is finished.
There are many who predicted (and I was one) that the Bolton gambit was just part of the Dems’ latest Kavanaugh strategy — a sort of Christine Blasey Ford with (somewhat) more facial hair to whatever Michael Avenatti or Julie Swetnick they had waiting in the wings with which to torment the gormless Republicans.
But mighty Mitch McConnell seems to have wised up to the Kavanaugh caper. The Republicans finally appear to have cottoned on to the perfidious nature of the Democrats’ modus operandi. Part of the sea change is that they are no longer going to let themselves be intimidated by the Democrats and their media shills (I am not talking about Grecian-formula candidate Mitt Romney: he’ll never learn).
Another part of the sea change is following on from the Wizard of Oz moment Trump’s lawyers precipitated. The curtain has been snatched away. The pathetic little man is exposed in all his impotent fury. The public sees this, takes it on board, and moves on. Meanwhile, Trump’s approval ratings continue to rise. He crisscrosses the country to rallies where tens of thousands of supporters camp out overnight to see and hear him. Trump also goes about his business as president. He contrives a huge Middle East peace plan, he signs a big trade deal that replaces NAFTA, he slogs on seeking a trade deal with China and, just now, with the newly emancipated United Kingdom.
I like to imagine Trump sitting down to breakfast: a couple Sausage McMuffins with Egg, perhaps, washed down with a Coke and a coffee. He has to be happy that the impeachment saga is behind him and he is probably speculating about which Democrat he’ll be facing in the fall. The fake Indian, the pro-Soviet socialist, or Mini Mike Bloomberg, a candidate whose appeal is unlikely to extend far beyond the boroughs of New York? Trump has probably discounted Joe Biden, as I have, not only because of his increasingly embarrassing flirtation with senility but also because so many of his corrupt actions have been caught on video.
The process makes it difficult for any other serious candidate to appear, though those little squeaky noises you hear from Hillary Clinton may suggest that she is contemplating another waddle down to the hustings. I change my mind every few days about who Trump will face. Right now, still at 36,000 feet, I will say it is going to be Bernie Sanders. But who knows? By the time we touch down Elizabeth Warren may have emitted just the right combination of smoke signals to make her appear as the anointed one.
Here’s the thing, though, it doesn’t matter. Whomever Trump faces, he will beat soundly. We’ll all discern this more clearly as The Narrative continues shifting and the sea change in public sentiment takes hold.