Lots of drama, not much action - until next November.
IN HOLLYWOOD PARLANCE this might be called a spoiler.
Here's what to expect with the impeachment drama in Washington. There will be hearings marked by partisan bickering. Then majority Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to approve articles of impeachment against President Trump on a fully, or at least nearly, straight partisan tally. Next, the U.S. Senate will be tasked with holding a trial for Trump, presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court. As quickly as possible majority Republicans will move the Senate along to a decision, which on a fully, or at least nearly, straight partisan tally will dismiss the articles of impeachment.
At that point President Trump will claim vindication. Expect a world class tweetstorm.
MAYBE IT CAN be argued that all this is necessary for various reasons, not least of which is the fact that poll after poll says a strong majority of Americans support the impeachment inquiry while the country at present is evenly split on whether Trump deserves to be removed from office. Those numbers are much higher than similar polls conducted at this stage during the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries.
Call us crazy, but we still cling to a naive belief that public sentiment matters, even if evidence suggests partisan politicians no longer pay much heed beyond the base.
What does matter to many people is fact and truth. Over the course of the public inquiry evidence will be gathered and presented, witnesses will testify under oath and tough questions, presumably, will be asked and answered.
Even though the script seems preordained - House will impeach, Senate will dismiss, Trump will claim victory - when the process is over the people will know more than they know today.
THE POLL THAT COUNTS is the one which will be determined in November 2020. When the Democrats and Republicans are done spinning and President Trump is done tweeting, voters get the final say.
The same guy stays.
Or he's fired and the new man or woman takes over.
Thus is the genius of the Founders confirmed every four years. Slippery politicians, the spinning party faithful, the donor class, the lobbyists and influence peddlers, all fill the air like a toxic cloud day-in and day-out. But on one fateful day, every four years, they all chew their fingernails in anxiety as the American people go to the polls and deliver a verdict without appeal.
One set of partisan firebrands will indict President Trump. Another set of partisans will swat that aside.
The real jury gets the case next November. Don't forget to fulfill the job the Founders assigned to you. Pay attention. Then vote.