After a lifetime of being insulated from criticism, the Lemony Snicket character Carmelita Spats acts with unshakable confidence in her talent as a performing artist. Vicious and cruel, she subjects her victims to a twirling dance that ends with her signature sign off, “And my name is Carmelita!” Fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events—or anyone who recognizes the archetype of the “stage” child—might feel a twinge of déjà vu as Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) demands the rigging of the Senate trial with rules that allowed his hippity-hoppity kangaroo proceeding in the House to reach its predetermined result—the impeachment of President Trump.
Ugh! “Do we have to watch this?” everyone seems to be asking.
Like a family held hostage by an untalented stage child’s living room performance, there’s no escaping Adam “Carmelita” Schiff’s vanity. The House managers will get to perform their show to a captive and paralyzed Senate audience. It must be agony to watch untalented congressmen deliver nauseating speeches about supposed commands of our Constitution.
Schiff brayed that Trump’s actions were, “the trifecta of constitutional misconduct justifying our impeachment.”
To what section of the Constitution does he refer? The part he made up, of course.
The Constitution of Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is a “living” Constitution. “Living” means that the actual text is irrelevant. The Schiff-Pelosi Constitution means whatever they say it means. Demanding submission to a law that changes on the word of man is a demand for submission to that same man.
A Schiff-Pelosi victory would mean, as the president’s attorney noted, that the 2016 election would be undone and that President Trump would be eliminated as a 2020 ballot alternative to the Left’s goal of one-party rule. Their act here calls to mind the “elections” in the former Soviet Union which featured ballots with only one choice.
Trial By Tedium
Like a doting uncle, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indulged the Schiff tantrum and bullied the Senate. Anything short of a circus show trial with new witnesses who will surprise everyone, Schumer bloviated, would be a “cover-up” and tantamount to hiding information and evidence from the American people. Schiff, like so many spoiled children, is used to having the power to rewrite the rules to his games until his victory is assured. Anything less is “unfair.”
The president’s attorneys patiently explained over and over again that the House has only itself to blame for coming to trial without being ready. The House had the power to subpoena witnesses and documents but waived those rights to rush it through. It’s not appropriate for the Senate to shore-up the vague and flexible charges of the House. These arguments reverberated in the august Senate chamber but never penetrated the impervious wax in the partisan’s ears.
The Democrats don’t bother to respond. They’re just waiting for their turn to speechify some more. To whom are the House Democrats even talking? The celebrated impeachment inquiry ratings were a dud. The Senate trial threatens to be even more tedious. Democrats wasted an entire day fighting a losing battle over getting new witnesses pre-approved by the Senate. Instead, the House now has to make its opening arguments based upon the case it developed in the House. “Impeachment means ready for trial,” I recently wrote. And they are so not.
Among Senate Republicans, there are at least two skeptics and one noted NeverTrumper. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) would probably stick it to Trump if he thought he could get away with it. But a screeching, preaching Schiff failed to convince even the Romney choir. In an early indication that even the Trump-loathing senators will not dance to Schiff’s tune, Romney cast his vote against pre-approving surprise witnesses.
What passes for drama is the question of whether John Bolton will testify.
The former national security advisor has teased Democrats with a promise to testify if subpoenaed. What will he say? Witnesses say he described the Ukraine scandal as a “drug deal.” If the underlying facts still matter (and they do not appear to matter at all anymore) we are asking President Trump to forebear any inquiry into the corrupt shenanigans of Hunter (son of the former vice president), his no-work job, and the apparent protection his father Joe provided Hunter’s employer in exchange.
Did the Obama-Biden Administration observe a Trump immunity when candidate Trump ran in 2016? Bolton apparently will join the chorus condemning the president for not observing Biden’s privilege. That sounds a lot like the swamp complaining about the draining. But didn’t Trump promise to do that draining? If Bolton, in fact, testifies to this effect, his testimony still will fail to answer the even more relevant question: So what?
We are told that Trump’s questions about Biden are of consequence because the answers might help Trump get reelected. By that measure, he should also be impeached for cutting taxes and regulations because the subsequent economic boom gave him an advantage in the 2020 election. And if we’re being honest about the situation (why start now?), that is the heart of problem Democrats have with Trump: his success.
Senators will silently endure Schiff’s prancing and twirling in his new special make-up that suppresses those rosy apple cheeks. Precious legislative time and the personal lives of all involved have all been put on hold to indulge his vanity. The farce interferes with our democracy as it detains senators Warren and Sanders from their legitimate and legal efforts to unseat the president in the upcoming election. Senators of both parties undoubtedly do not appreciate being dictated to by the lower House. House Democrats already have plans to repeat the farce after this one fails.
The best solution will be the deterrence of a humiliating and bipartisan smackdown of this hijacking of the world’s greatest deliberative body.