The circus came to Iowa last week and the clowns were simply hilarious, especially if you were of the Republican persuasion. The much-awaited Iowa Caucuses involve a bizarre method of choosing state delegate “equivalents” by having voters express their choice of candidates by standing in a particular area of the room. If enough standees don’t support a particular candidate, they have to express their second choice by moving to another space in the room or else leave. It sort of resembles a beginner’s class in square dancing. You can’t make this stuff up. It was always difficult enough to tabulate the results the old-fashioned way, but the young technical wizards in charge of the process this year this year relied on a hastily-developed, insufficiently-tested app to report results. It failed, of course, leaving the results incomplete for days, perhaps forever, and the Democrat candidates, who spent tons of money and time campaigning in America’s first state contest to determine voter support, frustrated and angry. Several of them then dismissed the importance of the Iowa caucuses anyway because Iowa is “just too white.” I guess it’s politically incorrect now to be too white which I always thought was an accident of birth.

The entertainment continued the following day in the House of Representatives as President Donald Trump delivered the state of the union address in the very chamber where Democrats had voted to impeach him and on the day before the Senate would acquit him. The president’s speech was a well-delivered recitation of his administration’s considerable accomplishments in its first three years, punctuated with poignant recognitions and awards. He showed uncharacteristic restraint by not even mentioning the House impeachment debacle. The actual entertainment was provided by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who demonstrated various facial contortions and smirks, while fidgeting with her copy of the president’s address which she later tore up for the cameras saying, strangely, that it was “the polite thing to do”.

Mrs. Pelosi once flew into a fit when a reporter asked her if she hated Mr. Trump. “I’m a Catholic,” she retorted. “I don’t hate anyone. I pray for him every day.” Uh huh. I can’t, of course, know what’s in anyone’s heart but I know what was written all over her face during Trump’s speech and it certainly wasn’t love. I guess she missed that catechism lesson that instructed us to love thine enemy. It was childish and disrespectful of the office of the presidency, of the Senate and of her own position. By resorting to rude and juvenile behavior of the sort we have often seen exhibited by Mr. Trump, she has lost any credibility for criticism of his behavior and manner.

The impeachment trial is, mercifully, over but the stain remains, not on the president as Mrs. Pelosi and her supporters have claimed, but on her and the other House Democrat leaders that engineered the first purely partisan impeachment of a president with no bi-partisan support, no evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor and with at least half of the population opposed to it. It took place with less than a year to go before the voters were scheduled to express their own choice at the polls. Mrs. Pelosi herself had only recently warned that nothing as serious as impeachment of a president should be attempted without bi-partisan support. Moreover, the process commenced without a vote of the entire House. So flawed was this impeachment that the charges should have been dismissed outright in the Senate as failing to rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

It would be good for the nation if we could agree that it’s finally over, that acquittal means not guilty under the law and that Congress can now turn to the nation’s real business but we know that Democrat leaders won’t let that happen and will continue to press for investigations. That’s because they have never accepted the voters’ decision in 2016 and never will. Failing to accept the certified results of an election is what happens in banana republics and unstable nations and it poses a danger to our democracy. Democrat leaders bear the blame for this and for lowering the standards for impeachment, ensuring that it will be used again by the House in partisan attempts to remove a president of the opposition party on purely policy grounds.

Democrat leaders knew full well that Mr. Trump would be acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate but they rushed the process through anyway in an obvious attempt to influence the results of the 2020 election. It has backfired on them and probably has increased the president’s re-election chances. At one point in October, Mr. Trump’s approval percentage according to Gallup was 39 percent. As of this writing, it’s 49 percent, a 26 percent increase. Nice work, Democrats. What do you have in mind for your next comedy act? How about nominating an angry, elderly Socialist for president, or maybe a former small town mayor who was virtually unknown a year ago or perhaps a woman who wants to tax wealth, is loose with the truth and pretended to be a Native American? Any of them should provide a few laughs debating against an incumbent presiding over a booming economy with record low unemployment who demolished a number of actually qualified candidates in the GOP debates prior to his nomination and who then went on to accomplish most of what he promised despite no political experience and zero support from Democrats in Congress.

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