As of Wednesday afternoon, October 2, the salient features of our impasse remain as follows, IMHO:
- 25 percent of our population believe they have a right to rule over the rest of us, and therefore, their guy, Donald Trump—destined by God to bend us to His will and their will—can do no wrong, nor can his critics do any right.
- Trump seems to grow more unhinged by the hour.
- The markets are shaky, and financial markets are way down today.
- Senior officials are lawyering up, and some are already beginning to bail on Trump.
- Trump’s stonewalling isn’t working this time, because Congress already has the blue dress and the DNA analysis, because withholding evidence implies that the evidence you’re hiding would be really bad, and because more stonewalling just adds another article of iimpeachment.
- The trade standoff with China is unresolved, and does not look like getting resolved.
- Republican empty suited politicians are not being supplied with any Trump “defenses” other than l’etat c’est moi and any Trump detractors are traitors.
- Republican empty suited politicians are growing worried, because Trump’s “arguments” will appeal to part of their voting base but repel another part of their voting base, not to mention anyone who might be sitting on the fence.
- Kevin McCarthy’s attempt to argue that the July 25 “transcript” meant something other than what it said fell flat on its face, and scared the bejesus out of the other Republican empty suits.
- Logically, Trump’s would-be defenders are reduced to the fallback argument that, a la the Clinton impeachment, yes it happened, and yes it was bad, but it wasn’t impeachably bad.
- But (1) the fallback argument is unpersuasive, and will tend to repel some of the voters they need to win. And (2) the White House is providing no support for the fallback argument.
- Republican Senators face a Senate vote on conviction and removal with no arguments to make other than, All Hail Trump Who Can Do No Wrong. In a context where Trump is getting crazier and crazier. And the economy is in trouble.
This is not an argument that the Senate will in fact convict and remove. I doubt it.
It IS an argument, and a prediction, that the process will play out in such a way as to drive a deep wedge between a tribal majority and a somewhat more rational minority of the Republican Party. And that is a good thing.