If there has ever been a clear example of an anticlimax, it was tonight’s two votes to impeach President Donald Trump.
Those of us who have been following the various investigations surrounding President Trump have long known that impeachment was inevitable. The need to hold him accountable has been obvious since the release of The Mueller Report, which recorded 10 instances of obstruction of justice. He displayed many indications of criminal conduct long before then.
The two votes on the articles of impeachment were nearly identical to the vote in October to open an impeachment inquiry. Polling on impeachment has remained stagnant for months: a bit less than 50% of America supports impeachment, and a bit more than 45% of America opposes it.
Almost nothing about tonight was unpredictable. And yet, what happens next feels unpredictable.
As a nation, we are in uncharted waters. Never before has a highly legitimate case for impeachment been put forth, only to meet nakedly partisan opposition from the President’s political party. Never before has the United States Senate and (in next year’s election) the American people been asked to consider in their decision making the evidence showing a President’s solicitation of election interference from foreign powers. Never before has a President refused to resign when the evidence of his crimes was so clear cut and obvious, and never before has a political party’s elected representatives chosen to support and cover for his criminal conduct unequivocally and unanimously.
So now that he’s been impeached, what happens next? Based on what we know, here are a few predictions.
- Conservative Media Outlets Keep On Keeping On, But Must Go On Defense. For the next month, all the conservative media outlets will have to churn out TV segments and clickbait articles defending Trump’s actions. They’ve already been on the defensive for quite some time, but now there will be greater pressure to do so. The conservative media ecosystem is the only thing providing the President with any legitimacy at this point, as they know it. Expect these outlets to become even more apoplectic and conspiratorial than before.
- Republicans in the Senate Will…