January 23, 2020

Democrats walked right into Mitch McConnells trap
As the Senate wrapped up its long, loud squabbling about the rules of the impending impeachment trial in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, it was obvious that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had successfully lured Democrats into yet another procedural trap. The louder the partisan shouting gets, the more McConnell has succeeded in making the president's crimes seem like just another day in a D.C. that is widely loathed by voters. Now in full control of the trial proceedings, and hence the president's fate, McConnell will hold his attenuated trial, the president will huff and puff about total exoneration, and Democrats, still scared of their own shadows and neurotically obsessing over losing a single white voter who can walk to a cornfield, will have kicked away yet another opportunity to properly leverage their power.It didn't have to be this way.When leading Democrats rushed to impeach the president this past fall over the unfolding Ukraine scandal, they were unwittingly playing into the hands of the president and McConnell. While I have always thought the political case for removing Trump was underrated for Republicans, there was probably never any significant chance that McConnell's senate would vote to convict the president. For some Democrats, that meant that impeachment itself was a dangerous waste of time that would inevitably result in a very public victory for President Trump.Others wanted to stand on principle, outcome be damned. But Democrats should always have considered doing what McConnell himself would have done if he had been in Pelosi's shoes — keep the inquiry open as long as possible, strategically deploy leaks and hearings at critical moments like the GOP's summer nominating convention, investigate every possible avenue of the president's wrongdoing in committee after committee, and then sit on it until the upper hand is yours. Maybe you impeach the president close to the election so the Senate has no time to convict. Or maybe you prepare two dozen articles of impeachment and hold onto them in case the president is re-elected. Then impeach him on Inauguration Day. The point is to recognize that the current Senate is an immovable object, and to figure out a way around it rather than plowing directly into it at 65 miles per hour.Pelosi herself seemed to belatedly realize the fundamental dynamic at play here when she refused for several weeks to turn over the articles of impeachment to the Senate. It's hard to believe that she or anyone else in the Democratic caucus thought that McConnell would conduct a fair trial. So what did they think was going to happen, exactly? I can't blame them for hoping for a sharper turn in public opinion against the president, but that ship had sailed long before the full House voted on the articles on December 18.The case for slow-rolling impeachment in the House was threefold. From a substantive standpoint, the White House's hyper-aggressive stonewalling meant that critical witnesses like former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and the Logorrhea-stricken ringleader Rudy Giuliani would not be heard from. The only person in the actual cabal who Americans got to see testify was EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Democrats feared their subpoenas would get tied up in court for too long, perhaps past the election, or that the rulings would not go their way. But it's not clear how that's not preferable to what is transpiring now.Would Trump's cronies have melted down under the pressure and admitted to everything under oath in some kind of Colonel Jessup moment? Probably not. But they would have had to perjure themselves and spend the rest of their lives worried about the emergence of new evidence, like witness-protected ex-mafiosos who sleep with a gun under the pillow in fear that they've been found. And they almost certainly would have slipped at some point and accidentally told the truth about something, a la Mick Mulvaney's "we do that all the time" press conference. The thing about a lot of these people is that they are both corrupt and stupid. They wouldn't hold up forever.The second reason was that there were obviously more shoes to drop. Yes, the basic outline of the president's wretched Ukraine caper have been clear since September: Giuliani spearheaded a campaign to blackmail the new Ukrainian president into announcing investigations into Hunter Biden's time on the board of the energy firm Burisma as well as the LSD-spiked fever dream that Kyiv, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Critical military aid was held up, and a White House visit conditioned on the announcements. The twin goals were sabotaging the 2020 election and undermining the findings of the Mueller investigation.The Giuliani end of this scheme always promised more revelations. And sure enough, over the past few weeks we've learned potentially explosive new details from Giuliani bagman Lev Parnas, including that former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was under surveillance and that her life may have been threatened by some collection of Giuliani's goons. And the more we learn about these efforts, the more questions we have about why and when the influence operation started and who in the Trump administration was involved. Ukrainian officials seem to agree, and have opened a criminal inquiry into the Yovanovitch affair. Does any Democrat in the House really think they've heard the last bombshell?The third reason brings us to McConnell. The moment they passed the articles of impeachment, Democrats were handing control of the impeachment process over to McConnell, the master manipulator who has outfoxed and wrong-footed Democrats at nearly every juncture over the past decade. The Senate floor defeat of his Obamacare repeal effort should be thought of more like Yankees closer Mariano Rivera blowing Game 7 of the 2001 World Series — a rare stumble that only highlighted how dominant he was the rest of the time. And like Rivera, who threw the same pitch over and over and over again, McConnell runs the same play every time, and Democrats still can't make anything more than weak contact.That play is very simple. If something will benefit Republicans and screw over Democrats, it will be done, as long as it doesn't explicitly violate the Constitution. The majority leader relentlessly uses the Democrats' instinctive protectiveness of good government, procedural fairness and professionalism against them, with a kind of weaponized cynicism that somehow still surprises people. He'll negotiate, only to capitulate to his hardliners. He'll sucker Democrats into compromise, only to then violate either the spirit or the letter of it, often both. He'll let his "moderates" make ambiguous remarks that give Democrats hope, only to whip them into line when it really matters.Democrats should have played keep-away from McConnell for as long as possible. Instead, they let Nate Cohn's Midwest polls and the Sunday show geniuses get into their heads and convince them that impeachment was some kind of grenade they had just enough time to pull the pin on and run away.That's what they did. And it did some damage. Fifty-one percent of Americans believe the president should be removed from office, according to one recent CNN poll, with 58 percent saying he abused the powers of his office. The president has spent months mewling about the unfairness of it all instead of making an affirmative case for his re-election. Every day he looks tinier.But now Democrats are realizing that they left the door open for McConnell to come in and sweep the shards under the rug. It's what he does best, and when he wraps this thing up before the Iowa caucuses and the public moves on, Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com Marianne Williamson backs Andrew Yang in Iowa caucuses because 'we need to lighten up' Michael Bloomberg gets another moderate mayor's endorsement from San Francisco's London Breed Bernie Sanders now has a dramatic lead in New Hampshire, new poll shows
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Comedian Brad Williams Considers New Drug for Dwarfism for His Daughter | TMZ
October 01, 2020
murme2fSnuY
Rep. Dwight Evans Says Trump Lost Pennsylvania with Philly 'Bad Things' Diss | TMZ
September 30, 2020
cPd0igHE-G0
Al Sharpton Fears Voter Intimidation After Trump's 'Proud Boys' Message | TMZ
September 30, 2020
VeGaKEFMyk4
BTS: Inside Their Variety Cover Shoot
September 30, 2020
gHo5v0Zko0c
'Julie and the Phantoms' Stars Cheyenne Jackson and Booboo Stewart on LGBTQ Representation
September 23, 2020
AmgkvK3xcJ4
John Cusack Says He Was Never Going to Play 'Breaking Bad's' Walter White
September 24, 2020
t8dtgMU4whA
Stuffing Your Bra, Counterfeit Private Jets & Principal Mom
October 01, 2020
_D_kyf9HFvo
Nina's Presidential Debate & "Bachelorette" Suitor First Impressions
September 30, 2020
BIpE9_-G0Mo
Stormi Webster Heads to School in Style
September 30, 2020
RDOP3ncuy7o
Dr. Pimple Popper wants you to do this to prevent 'maskne' | Page Six Celebrity News
September 30, 2020
ayS9LURlPy8
Ryan Dorsey blasts ‘absurd’ relationship allegations with ex Naya Rivera’s sister | Page Six News
September 30, 2020
7eywrOtZmEo
Sofia Vergara thought Joe Manganiello would be 'a lot of work' | Hooked Up to Hitched | Page Six
September 29, 2020
TI4XsntN01M
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Liberec - APOEL
01
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Cadiz
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Legia - Qarabag
01
Oct
UKRAINE: Persha Liga
Volyn - Nyva Ternopil
01
Oct
ENGLAND: League Cup
Aston Villa - Stoke City
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
FC Kobenhavn - Rijeka
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Standard - Fehervar
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Hapoel Beer Sheva - Plzen
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Ararat-Armenia - Crvena Zvezda
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Malmo FF - Granada CF
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Charleroi - Lech
01
Oct
EUROPA LEAGUE: Play-Offs
Cluj - KuPS
01
Oct
KAZAKHSTAN: Premier League
Kairat - Shakhter Karaganda
01
Oct
KAZAKHSTAN: Premier League
Astana - Kaspyi
01
Oct
AUSTRALIA: NPL South Australia
Adelaide Blue Eagles - Cumberland United
30
Sep
GERMANY: Supercup
Bayern Munich - Borussia Dortmund
30
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Burnley - Manchester City
30
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Brighton - Manchester United
30
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Real Valladolid
30
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Huesca - Atletico Madrid
30
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Inter Milan
30
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Everton - West Ham United
30
Sep
MEXICO: Liga de Ascenso, Apertura
Morelia - Dorados
30
Sep
MEXICO: Liga de Ascenso, Apertura
Pumas Tabasco - Atlante
30
Sep
USA: USL Championship
San Diego Loyal - Phoenix Rising
30
Sep
BRASIL: Serie A
Corinthians - Atletico GO
30
Sep
BRASIL: Serie A
Botafogo - Bahia
30
Sep
MEXICO: Apertura
Tijuana - Juarez
30
Sep
PERU: Primera Division, Apertura
Carlos Manucci - Sporting Cristal
30
Sep
BRASIL: Serie B
Cruzeiro - Ponte Preta
30
Sep
MEXICO: Liga de Ascenso, Apertura
Tapatio - Tepatitlan
30
Sep
BRASIL: Serie B
Confianca - Brasil de Pelotas
30
Sep
PERU: Primera Division, Apertura
Dep. Municipal - Universitario
30
Sep
SLOVENIA: 1. SNL
Olimpija - Gorica
30
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Eibar - Elche
30
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Atalanta
29
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Tottenham Hotspur - Chelsea
28
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Arsenal
27
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Juventus
27
Sep
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hoffenheim - Bayern Munich
27
Sep
FRANCE: Ligue 1
Reims - PSG
27
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Villarreal
27
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Newcastle United
27
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Leicester City
27
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Crotone - AC Milan
27
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Genoa
27
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Granada CF
26
Sep
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Borussia Dortmund
26
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Fiorentina
26
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Manchester United
26
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
26
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Chelsea
24
Sep
EUROPA LEAGUE: Third qualifying round
Shkendija - Tottenham Hotspur
24
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Manchester City - Bournemouth
24
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Lincoln City - Liverpool
24
Sep
EUROPA LEAGUE: Third qualifying round
AC Milan - Bodo-Glimt
23
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Leicester City - Arsenal
23
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Chelsea - Barnsley
22
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Luton - Manchester United
21
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Manchester City
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.