It Ends As It Began. But The Middle Is What Matters
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is ending exactly the way that it began. The Trump defense began the day, and their arguments were the same pathetic, thin gruel that they led off with. They blamed the Democrats for a purely partisan impeachment, claimed that they failed to prove their case, and trotted out a literal plethora of phony, nonsensical reasons why the presidents power was all encompassing enough to allow him to abuse it.
The Democrats response has been superb, and it’s because of their delivery and attitude. The Democrats are not wasting their time retrying the case against Trump in their closing arguments, from their point of view, they have already convicted Trump, on all charges. When they refer to their case, they’ve referred to it only generally, using words like proven, and guilty. Instead, they are drawing references to Alexander Hamilton, Nixon. morality, fairness, truth. and the constitution. And they are tying the GOP Senate caucus to Donald Trump, with barbed wire. They are remind every GOP Senator that their vote will tie them to Trump for all of history, making them accessories to his crimes.
And so, it ends the same way that it began. But the arguments, while almost identical in content are different this time around. It’s different this time around. It’s different because of context. And in any serious argument, or critical decision, context is everything.
Here’s how it’s different this time. When the two sides gave the same basic opening arguments, they were nothing more than a bunch of lawyers bickering back and forth. Because, when they made those arguments, the jury, and in this case I’m referring to the American people, there was no context. It was just an argument, empty words with nothing to back them up.
But now there is context to those arguments, and a ton of it. The Democrats spent 24 hours presenting a powerful, compelling, blow-the-doors-off indictment of Donald Trump, rich with documents, testimony, people, places, and times. They didn’t replay their case in their closing arguments because they didn’t have to, people got it the first time. And in response, the Trump defense spent less than half of their allotted time presenting their case. And in their case, they never touched a single piece of evidence, never contested a single fact laid forward. Instead, they whined about the process, and blamed the Democrats for being a bunch of partisan hacks. And their closing argument was only more of the same. And their contempt for the American people was manifest, simply because the fix was in.
Adam Schiff’s closing summation was a tour de force, one likely to be played in future law classes on how closing summations should be done. But Schiff’s closing argument was actually geared as much, if not more for the jury of the American people than the GOP Senate. Schiff hammered at justice, he hammered at fairness, he hammered at decency, he hammered at the rule of law, and he excoriated Trump as lacking in all of them. Schiff hammered the GOP Senate for their expected upcoming votes, making them co=conspirators in Trump’s crimes. And he came right out and said it, Trump is a bad guy who cheats, and he’ll cheat again.
Schiff’s argument was aimed at the American jury, not the GOP Senate jury, and it was pitch perfect. Because the American jury already largely agrees with Schiff and the Democratic prosecutors. Trump’s poll numbers are in the low 40’s, the majority of Americans wanted witnesses and documents, the majority agree that Trump broke the law, and even before the completion of the case presentations, half the country wanted Trump removed. The Senate Republicans are going to acquit Trump, but Schiff and the Democratic case managers were speaking to the American jury, the ones with the ultimate power. over everything.
It doesn’t take a political savant to figure this out. Following the vote to acquit Trump, the Democrats are going to hammer the sham trial without witnesses and documents, and the illegitimate faux acquittal. The Democrats will feed and fuel the anger and outrage at the GOP for the trial and result, and I’ll be amazed if multiple polls don’t ask if the American people feel that Trump’s acquittal in the Senate is legitimate. And if they do, Trump is not going yo like the outcome.
With their case presentation, and especially their closings, the Democratic case managers gave the eventual Democratic nominee for president, along with every Democratic challenger for Senate an unending source of 30 and 60 second spots. The Democratic presidential nominee can feed the anger and hammer the GOP Senate for their vote, and call Trump’s acquittal illegitimate, which will drive him insane. Every Democratic Senate challenger can feed the anger, and hammer the GOP incumbent for his vote. And because this is the gift that keeps on giving, even Democratic Senate incumbents can hammer their challengers with this, demanding that they tell the voters how they would have voted as Senators, a demand for which there is no right answer for Republican voters.
So it ends as it began. And while it was irrelevant what was said at the beginning, what was said in the middle was critical, because it gave context and definition to what was said at the end. And while the Democrats can’t control the GOP Senate vote to acquit Trump later this week, they sure as hell can try to influence the bote of the American jurors this coming November. And that’s the jury that can change history. Don’t touch that dial.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen