The asterisk

At National Public Radio, Ron Elving writes,

It has been said the president will always carry the impeachment as a mark. Some call it a stain, some a mere asterisk. Whichever it is, it would be substantially erased by re-election.[1]

Which the neoliberal (Democratic) party is doing everything possible to make happen.[2]

This impeachment is astonishing for the sheer vapidity of its charges against the black hole of misconduct, criminality, and hate that now resides in the White House.[3] But the neoliberal party is so fucking proud of itself as it claims to have done its duty.

When it was announced Wednesday night in the House of Representatives that all time allotted for debate on impeachment had expired, a cheer went up within the chamber. After a dozen hours of rancor and wrangling, there seemed for a moment to be an end in sight.[4]

Sure, I understand the need to call time on a political debate. But the irony here lies not in the emptiness of political speeches on the House floor but in the emptiness of the impeachment itself.

The only thing the neoliberal party has done is to redirect the progressive clamor for impeachment away from itself. It is otherwise an entirely empty gesture as the Senate will almost certainly vote to dismiss the impeachment without even hearing from a single witness,[5] an outcome whose only saving grace is that it might avert the violence that might follow a successful removal from office[6] but does nothing to resolve the deep divisions[7] on exhibit in the morality of polarization.[8]

You might say, but the election, as the National Public Radio analysis I have quoted here suggests that the people will decide the final outcome.[9] The neoliberal party is already throwing that election away.[10]

  1. [1]Ron Elving, “Trump Is Impeached, But There’s No Endgame In Sight,” National Public Radio, December 21, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790313280/trump-is-impeached-but-theres-no-endgame-in-sight
  2. [2]David Benfell, “How the neoliberal (usually known as Democratic) party may well lose in 2020,” Not Housebroken, December 7, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/07/how-the-neoliberal-usually-known-as-democratic-party-may-well-lose-in-2020/
  3. [3]For examples, see David Benfell, “The whiteness of impeachment,” Not Housebroken, December 15, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/15/the-whiteness-of-impeachment/; Noah Bierman, “‘Alt-left’ charged at ‘alt-right,’ Trump says, again placing blame for Charlottesville violence on ‘both sides,’” Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-blames-both-sides-for-1502828835-htmlstory.html; Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Thomas Kaplan, “Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa,” New York Times, January 11, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/us/politics/trump-shithole-countries.html; Kathleen Parker, “Trump has essentially declared a ‘race war,’” Washington Post, July 30, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-essentially-declared-a-race-war/2019/07/30/ad6ae554-b305-11e9-8949-5f36ff92706e_story.html; Jeffrey Toobin, “Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Charlottesville,” New Yorker, August 15, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trump-steve-bannon-and-charlottesville; John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz, “Trump vows congresswomen ‘can’t get away with’ criticizing U.S.,” Washington Post, July 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-day-after-distancing-himself-from-hostile-chant-trump-criticizes-media-for-its-coverage-of-his-rally/2019/07/19/9c094c16-aa12-11e9-9214-246e594de5d5_story.html;
  4. [4]Ron Elving, “Trump Is Impeached, But There’s No Endgame In Sight,” National Public Radio, December 21, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790313280/trump-is-impeached-but-theres-no-endgame-in-sight
  5. [5]Jacob Knutson, “Lindsey Graham says he’s not trying to be a ‘fair juror’ in impeachment trial,” Axios, December 15, 2019, https://www.axios.com/lindsey-graham-senate-impeachment-trial-b4d75ea6-7bc1-4f0f-94da-256a31209dbd.html; E. J. Montini, “Sen. Mitch McConnell breaks impeachment oath before taking it,” Arizona Republic, December 13, 2019, https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2019/12/13/sen-mitch-mcconnell-breaks-impeachment-oath-before-taking/2645862001/; Michael Wilner, Emma Dumain, and Francesca Chambers, “‘He’s the only hope we’ve got.’ All eyes on chief justice in Senate impeachment trial,” Sacramento Bee, December 18, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article238470443.html
  6. [6]David Benfell, “The least violent solution,” Not Housebroken, December 16, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/16/the-least-violent-solution/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “The sham (pick your partisan flavor) is on,” Not Housebroken, December 19, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/19/the-sham-pick-your-partisan-flavor-is-on/
  8. [8]David Benfell, “The morality of polarization,” Not Housebroken, September 21, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/09/21/the-morality-of-polarization/
  9. [9]Ron Elving, “Trump Is Impeached, But There’s No Endgame In Sight,” National Public Radio, December 21, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790313280/trump-is-impeached-but-theres-no-endgame-in-sight
  10. [10]David Benfell, “How the neoliberal (usually known as Democratic) party may well lose in 2020,” Not Housebroken, December 7, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/07/how-the-neoliberal-usually-known-as-democratic-party-may-well-lose-in-2020/

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