So, now it’s official. Buckle your seat belts, kids, because it’s gonna get real hot and heavy from here on out.
And I have some advice for anyone who thinks they can beat Nancy Pelosi in a game of poker: Don’t bring your kids’ tuition money or the deed to your house with you. You’ll go home without both, I can assure you. After roughly a month of listening to Trump and Republicans bitch and moan about the “process” of the impeachment inquiry being unfair, Pelosi has finally heard enough. Today, the full House voted on a resolution to make the impeachment inquiry official and to move the hearings from closed door sessions to public. Be careful what you wish for, GOP, you may not like it.
If you thought the opening statements of Bill Taylor and Alexander Vindman were compelling, just wait until both appear in front of the cameras for millions of people to see and hear. These two will make John Dean look like the mailman delivering the phone bill.
As expected, both the White House and Republicans complained about the very thing they were calling for. But this was not about appeasing a party that has, at this point, lost all credibility. This was about serving notice that Democrats feel they now have enough evidence to move forward with at least one article of impeachment, and over the next several weeks, they will make their case to the American people.
None of this is good news for Trump. Despite all the bravado, the last thing he and his sycophants want are public hearings in which witness after witness will nail shut his coffin. I’ll say it again, Mitch McConnell does not want this nightmare on his door step. In fact, the majority of Senate Republicans would prefer not to have to deal with this, especially Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona and Cory Gardner of Colorado.
Watch the polling closely here. If the needle begins to move in the swing states towards impeach and remove, Trump may be in a precarious position. It’s one thing for the national polls to show support for removal from office; it’s quite another when the polling from the part of the country that typically decides presidential elections goes against you. And unlike the last two presidents – Clinton and Nixon – who faced impeachment, Trump has never been popular. If he loses the Rust Belt states, he’s finished, and he knows it. I fully expect House Republicans to go into full bat-shit crazy mode once the public hearings start. If you thought storming the SCIF was over the top, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
And that’s why it’s imperative that Adam Schiff keep a tight rein over the proceedings. Don’t go chasing any Republican rabbits down the hole. Just keep it simple. So far he and the other Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee have been incredibly disciplined. Good, they will need every ounce of that discipline over the next few weeks as Republican after Republican will attempt to turn this inquiry into a circus. It’s the only card they have left in their hand. Face it, when all you have is a pair of duces and the other side has a royal flush, it’s kind of hard to win.
Forget about John Bolton. There are plenty of witnesses who can make the case for impeachment. Yes, it would be great to watch him turn the screws on his former boss, but by the time a judge rules on whether he should testify, the public will begin to lose interest, and that’s the last thing Democrats want. Given the normal attention span of most people, I believe it would be a mistake to go past Thanksgiving. Hold three weeks of hearings, move to a vote on articles of impeachment, then drop it in McConnell’s lap.
The Senate trial should take about two weeks, depending on how thorough old turtle face wants to be. Then sometime just before Christmas, we should know if the GOP has a soul or not.
It sure as shit doesn’t have a spine.