Conrad Black has always brought a sense of the sweep of history into his political commentary. His recent article is on the current US political situation, and he concisely summarizes how we got here and what to expect. At American Greatness he writes Impeachment Will Fail Excerpts in ialics with my bolds.
Rank-and-File Republicans Have Trump’s Back
Donald Trump was a total outsider politically. He pioneered a new technique of parlaying celebrity and a system of intensive branding of his name and exposure as an impresario and reality television star, into an outsider candidacy, representing the anti-elites and all who felt short-changed by the yuppie-champion Clintons and Obamas and the indistinct Bushes. Like a big cat stalking a wildebeest, Trump changed parties seven times in 13 years, polling constantly, until he saw his target clearly and within range and he charged and seized it.
As Trump was running against all factions of both parties, the adaptation of the congressional Republicans in Washington to the Trump era was sluggish and is still not complete. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) have left and John McCain died, having killed health care reform and ordained that he have an anti-Trump funeral. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a sly old Kentuckian, has made the cut, as he assimilates to all changes in Washington.
But whatever the Republican congressional delegations think of Trump—and Flake may be right that privately many Republican senators would like to see the back of him—he has the rank-and-file Republican public behind him as only a few Republican presidents have: Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon at his strongest, and Reagan. Apart from a few ostentatiously pseudo-conscientious senators such as Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the Republican senators can’t desert him in the absence of serious evidence of his wrongdoing, and there is none.
The principal lesson of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018 was that there are enough sane and honest people in the Senate who will notice the absence of any believable incriminating evidence to produce a just decision. No serious person could make a crime out of the Ukraine “facts”; only rabid, witless, blood and publicity hounds (of whom the Democrats have no shortage), can claim that. But that is no longer the point. There was no believable evidence against Kavanaugh either, but only a balance of probabilities was required, at a time when any female denunciation from the past against a prominent man was accorded great credence. Yet even the most Trump-skeptical Republicans in the Senate stayed with Kavanaugh (apart from Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who paired with pro-Kavanaugh Senator Steve Daines of Montana, who had to attend his daughter’s wedding).
Desperate Hours, Self-Destructive Tendencies
The Democrats and their Republican kindred spirits in the Washington establishment, having completely failed to see Trump coming, and after complacently assuming they could jettison him on the Russian scam, relying on the slavish allies in the national political media, now realize their backs are to the wall and this is their last play.
It won’t work, and while they are trying to execute it, prominent figures of the previous administration will be arraigned for cooking up the Russian collusion fiction and inflicting it on the country by corrupting the FBI and intelligence services. This will not be an optimal ambiance for trying to remove a president whose conduct is sometimes outrageous but who hasn’t broken any laws.
No one should imagine that there will be much sobriety or solemnity in any of this. Being decorous is not the president’s strong suit at the best of times and his enemies are desperate. This isn’t the Nixon-Watergate crisis replayed; there have been no illegalities, and Trump has not squandered his political capital. Where there is still no conclusive evidence that Nixon was complicit in crimes, there were crimes by members of his entourage and he badly mismanaged the crisis; after the media had done their work, his party was running away from him.
Today Trump, not his party, enthuses the Republicans. His threat to the status quo, even more than his garish and sometimes oafish foibles, drives his enemies to such irrational extremes, and make Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Al Green and similar disreputables, almost indistinguishable from the party leaders.
The second notable development in the last week that has altered the political landscape is the outrageous, defamatory, and possibly insane charge by Hillary Clinton that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and the 2016 Green candidate for president Jill Stein, are “Russian assets” being “groomed” by the Russians for third party candidacies. This is the former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state. This is the same mentality that in its deranged perversity commissioned the fraudulent Steele Dossier, and gave us the Trump-Russia “treason” myth, on which she blamed her loss of the election. It didn’t work in 2016. The fervent efforts of the Mueller special counsel staff to produce something remotely indictable against Trump failed, and this final effort to remove the president will be a disaster.
But Clinton has given us a hint of what the world was spared when she was defeated. The Democrats are being led by a coalition of constitutional renegades, spavined political tricksters, and would-be socialist tyrants. They are speeding over a political cliff. The force of gravity will assert itself.
Sometimes these social manias turn on a dime and the rebound can be astonishing.
If this happens to the coup coalition, it will be the best thing for the US since Lincoln won the Civil War.