Impeachment talk is dominating the news. That’s too bad, because there’s no shortage of other critical news from Syria to Iran and Hong Kong. But that’s the bitterly partisan world we live in so we’ll just have to get used to it.
The Democrats seem to have gone through what physicists call a “phase transition.” This is what happens when water turns to steam or a snowpack becomes an avalanche. The particles are the same, but the system dynamics have radically changed.
The House of Representatives has wanted to impeach Trump since before he was sworn in, but they couldn’t pin down a set of charges. Now the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president has radically changed the dynamics and impeachment seems inevitable. There’s no point in reciting the pros and cons.
Republicans say the call was friendly, pointed to 2016 bad acts and that there was no quid pro quo. Democrats say the call was an invitation to a foreign power to intervene in the 2020 election by targeting Joe Biden. Take your pick.
The point is there’s no middle ground. Both sides have their narratives and never the twain shall meet. All that matters now is politics and votes.
The Democratic impeachment momentum is unstoppable and the 218 votes need to impeach are rapidly falling into line. Expect an acrimonious six weeks and impeachment before Thanksgiving. What happens then?
The articles of impeachment go to the Senate for a trial. This article gives a preview of what to expect in the Senate. Republicans have 53 votes in the Senate. It takes 67 votes to remove a president from office. If all 45 Democrats and two independents vote to remove, it will still take 20 Republican defectors to remove Trump. That won’t happen, not even close.
In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham have said the “whistleblowers” will have to testify publicly and Hunter and Joe Biden could be called as witnesses.
The entire trial may be wrapped up in a matter of days and finished before Christmas. Trump will have the last laugh. But it will be a rocky ride between here and there.
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