“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,”—Kenny Rogers, The Gambler
The House impeached Donald Trump. Now the Senate is waiting for Speaker Pelosi to refer the articles to them for trial. Leader McConnell says there is zero chance that Trump will be convicted, and as of now is saying he won’t allow witnesses. In other words, the fix is in. Pelosi is playing a game of hold ‘em to influence Senate rules so that witnesses can be called, and a more meaningful trial can take place. How long she can hold out is uncertain.
McConnell says this proves that the impeachment case is so weak that the Speaker doesn’t want to refer. Minority Leader Shumer asks why wouldn’t the President want to have his men testify if he has nothing to hide? In the meantime, the process is in stalemate. The way I see it, there are two possible outcomes:
Pelosi relents and the articles are referred to the Senate, perhaps after achieving a few concessions, or not. A show trial commences, Trump is acquitted, and he crows exoneration. Then he goes about doing whatever he wants, rails against the liberal socialist Democrats, and claims he’ll be re-elected.
Pelosi continues to hold out and never refers the articles to the Senate, claims the situation is rigged. Constitutional scholars and pundits pontificate. Very little gets done. Trump crows exoneration, claims the impeachment was a witch hunt, and calls it impeachment light. Then he goes about doing whatever he wants, rails against the liberal socialist Democrats, claims he’ll be re-elected, and says he is America.
In the meantime, our national debt is through the roof, our infrastructure is crumbling, health care costs and drug prices are skyrocketing, climate is changing, and mounds of House passed legislation is languishing on McConnell’s desk.
America is polarized. We have been before in the 60s—1860s and 1960s—for example. 2020 is an election year. National polls show a number of Democrats beating Trump. But national polls mean nothing. It is all about the Electoral College, and the results of a handful of votes in swing states. Such is the state of the Union going into the new year. As Trump is fond of saying: we’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, somewhere in the darkness the gambler breaks even.