Well, it is over. Trump won, Biden lost. No, not the presidential race …
In a blow to pietists the world over, who believe devoutly in the power of prayer, President Trump was impeached despite Nancy Pelosi’s supplications on his behalf. I don’t meant to damn her for faint prayers, but all her genuflections failed to sway the Heavens Above. And so it came to pass that certain articles, embodying abuse of power and obstruction by Congress, were formally delivered to the Senate.
This had a powerful impact on Wall Street, which immediately shot up to record highs, not letting Pelosi’s bull upset the China shopping promised in the — you should excuse the expression — New Deal.
If the frame does not fit the Senate must acquit, so Trump received an ovation in the Oval and will keep on presiding. His job was not really in jeopardy, which was good news because we all prefer Alex Trebek.
This does not mean to say that Nancy’s gambit was a bad gamble because, regrettably, her overall strategy succeeded at least partially. Republicans spouting conventional wisdom wherever wise men convene have misunderstood Pelosi’s maneuvering from the outset. We can’t blame them for being confused by this witch hunt where the witch is the hunter.
Pelosi’s reason to coax the hoax is simple. She put President Trump on trial in the Senate, which annoyed him a good deal. Quite a few Republicans were unable to resist the temptation to posture and preen and pontificate, keeping open minds and open mouths, with each vacuous pronouncement getting further under the president’s skin. Even if President Trump can restrain his twitchy trigger finger, can he restrain his triggered Twitter finger?
So it is divide and conquer: The president against the senators. Although only Benedict A. Romney actually raised his mitt and voted his … er, convictions. Still, is there anyone who believes that this trial ended without several senators (Alexander and Collins and Gardner and Murkowski, et al.) winding up on Trump’s will-not-campaign trail?
With a 53-47 lead in the Senate and some tough races in 2020, the Republicans can ill afford vendettas between the president and key senators. Remember this formula: the type of senator most likely to distance him/herself from the president is the one in a tight race who thinks he/she needs moderate votes. Those are the most sensitive relationships for the president, and impeachment was designed to attrite those tenuous bonds.
Feint hard always wins this unfair lady, and Nancy has really sown the whirlwind for President Trump. In the Bible, Daniel prayed, and the Babylonian king threw him into a den of lions. Here, Nancy prayed and then threw the American president into a den of jackals. Still, the solemnity of the moment overcame her, and when the president finished describing the State of the Union, she started tearing up.
The big loser was Biden. Instead of arguing it was inappropriate to ask Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the Democrat managers maintained that there was nothing suspicious about Hunter’s activities. This opened the door for Pam Bondi to create 30 minutes of YouTube footage on the Senate floor all about Hunter’s get-rich-quick monetizing of his dad’s position as vice president. Even the chief justice as an individual was mandated to sit there and take it, an experience he certainly found taxing.
But a deeper secret was revealed as well, to the discerning. Video of Biden crowing to a crowd of heavy hitters in Davos about getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired was played again and again. In it he relates how he threatened the president of Ukraine he had six hours to fire the prosecutor, or he would lose a billion dollars in aid. He was told, “You don’t control that, you’re not the president.” He responded, “Go ahead, pick up the phone and call Barack.” The punch line is that by the time he left six hours later, “son of a b****, the prosecutor was fired!”
Anyone who has observed how human beings tell each other stories knows what this signifies. He is telling us that he was bluffing, that Barack gave no such instruction and certainly made no such condition. If he really was delivering a message from the president, what is he bragging about? His whole point is that he went rogue with no cards and pulled it off, because no one had the nerve to pick up the phone and call the president.
There is no longer any need to wonder why Obama is not endorsing Biden. This rascal traded on Obama’s name to enrich his family, and that is a high crime and a misdemeanor.