Saturday, November 9, 2019

Impeachment Is Unpredictable

Joshua Roberts/Reuters
We don’t know what new revelations might emerge or whether they would unnerve the president’s GOP support
Yes, it already seems like two eternities ago. But do you realize that, if we could turn back time just five weeks, no one would have heard of the “whistleblower”? Those of us who can find Ukraine on a map would be back to ignoring it — except to wonder when and why it stopped being the Ukraine. (It has to do with breaking free of Soviet tyranny, by the way.)
There is a lesson in there about unpredictability that the unpredictable Trump White House would do well to internalize.
See, nobody knows for sure how impeachment proceedings will go. Of course, we have heard again and again over the last five weeks (or is it three years?) that it is inconceivable Donald Trump could ever be ousted from the presidency. His firewall against being stripped of power (and, his supporters hoped, against the House’s even bothering to impeach him in the first place) has always been Republican control of the Senate, where a two-thirds supermajority is required to remove a president. Assuming all Democrats voted to convict on any article of impeachment, Trump would be assured of acquittal if he lost no more than 20 Republicans.
Notice, though, that there’s always been a caveat to such confident predictions: As long as there is nothing other than what we already know about.
Well, to repeat, just five weeks ago, we were all still muttering about obstruction of the Mueller probe, after years of muttering about collusion with Russia. There was some other grousing: a little emoluments clause here, a few undisclosed tax returns there, the porn-star payoff dressed up (as it were) into a campaign-finance violation, etc. Until late September, no one had heard of what has consumed us ever since: the whistleblower, the Hunter Biden hijinks, Ambassador Bill Taylor, the hard-to-follow DNC-server conspiracy theory, Rudy Does Kyiv, and so on.
Just six weeks ago, John Bolton was a disgruntled former national-security adviser Democrats loved to hate. Now, they’re thinking of him as a witness for the prosecution.
Read the rest from Andrew C. McCarthy HERE.

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