January 24, 2020 - Friday
Impeachment: Here Today, Yawn Tomorrow
January 24, 2020
If the impeachment drudgery is putting the senators to sleep, it's no wonder Americans are tuning it out. According to the latest Nielsen ratings, millions of viewers are changing the channel -- and based on the president's growing approval rating, they wish House Democrats would too.
Even after marathon sessions -- 12 and 13 hours -- nothing Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) party has produced smacks remotely of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" threshold the Constitution sets. Still, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has kept his word on the "fair and even-handed process" -- forcing Republicans to sit and listen through days of painfully uncompelling testimony. "Everyone can see now there's nothing there," Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) told me on "Washington Watch" Thursday. "I mean, God bless them, Tony. They don't have anything to present. And they've got to fill somehow two full days with such a bad case. They did it to themselves. But here we are."
As for the senators themselves, Mike says, there's a reason the cameras are trained on the people at the podium. While some senators nap, others have been seen passing notes, doing crossword puzzles, even making paper airplanes. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) even gave the GOP members fidget spinners, just to keep their hands busy. Even the famous "candy desk" is taking a hit, after hungry senators demolished the stash.
"Anecdotally," Congressman Johnson said, "I can tell you that many of them are having a very hard time staying awake. It is so dreadfully boring..." Which is no wonder, he says, since "this is the most vapid evidence-free case for impeachment that has ever been presented certainly in the history of this country." And regardless of how much ranting and raving the case managers do on the Senate floor, there's no suspense over the outcome of the trial. The only real suspense will be in November, when voters decide how severely Democrats should pay for this sham.
"It's the first time a single party has ever advanced an impeachment case like this. And it's specifically what the founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution warned us against, because they knew that it would weaponize the impeachment function of the Constitution. They were they were terribly afraid of that outcome because they knew would open a Pandora's box. And that's what they've done here. So they can't walk it back. It's too late. They're trying to do as much damage as they can to President Trump going into the election cycle, hoping against hope that it will have some sort of effect in the election outcome and the turnout. I think it's going to backfire."
At the very least, Mike pointed out, Pelosi's party won't have a single accomplishment to run on. "... We haven't done any work of substance in the House for almost a year because they've been on this impeachment quest. The American people want us to get back to work." Meanwhile, work is all the administration has done -- protecting life, religious freedom, securing our borders, improving our international relations, negotiating better trade deals, boosting the economy, creating jobs. As White House counsel Pat Cipollone said, "We should end this ridiculous charade and go have an election." But an election is exactly what Democrats are trying to avoid. And after the disaster of these past 11 months, who can blame them?
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.