As the Senate impeachment trial drones on, Americans, in large numbers, are tuning out. Most have more important things to do such as working for a living and raising families than to listen to politicians pontificate. If they have any spare time, they would probably rather be entertained or catch up on actual news. Listening to Democrat impeachment managers Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler bloviating endlessly on into the wee hours provided clues as to why so many Americans have such a low opinion of professional politicians and of Congress in particular.
Americans are also beginning to focus in on the election campaign which begins in earnest with the Iowa Caucuses. However, three of the top Democrat contenders for their party’s presidential nomination and the third of the senators up for reelection, are forced to sit silently at their Senate desks as the trial drags on, for who knows how long if witnesses are called, giving frontrunner Joe Biden and former mayors Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg an advantage.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is free to tend to the real business of government, forging trade deals with China, Canada and Mexico, hinting at the possibility of another with Europe, attending the WTO meeting in Davos and basking in the respect that usually attends a world leader presiding over the world’s largest and most robust economy that provides jobs to just about anyone willing to work.
With attention shifting to state primaries, Democrat candidates in a still-crowded field will spar among themselves over who is the most socially “woke,” who is the greenest of green, who can offer the most free stuff and above all, who can beat Donald Trump. That describes the state of the Democrat party today. On the other hand, without serious opposition from within his party, the incumbent, with a huge campaign war chest, which has grown since impeachment, will continue to draw large and enthusiastic crowds at his rallies, while continuing to conduct the nation’s business.
The impeachment trial will, sooner or later, conclude, not with a bang but a whimper, leaving taxpayers to contemplate the huge cost in time and money of this exercise in futility for which Democrat leaders and candidates should be held accountable by voters in Novembers. It’s important that they are, not for reasons of retribution, but to send a forceful message that the extraordinary powers of impeachment were only intended to remove a dangerously incompetent and lawless president who poses an existential threat to the nation and must never again be used in an attempt to remove a president for political purposes or policy disagreements. If this partisan impeachment attempt is not formally recognized as an abuse of power on the part of the House of Representatives, it will surely be used again in partisan attempts to remove or cripple a president for policy differences and invalidate an election result or influence an imminent election.
While Democrat leaders have been focused throughout Mr. Trump’s term almost entirely on domestic issues and efforts to remove him from office, the real threats to our nation lay elsewhere. The world keeps turning and remains a dangerous place. North Korea’s nuclear threat remains unresolved but at least Mr. Trump has forged a face-to-face relationship with Kim Jong-un. Iran remains the world’s leading exporter of terrorism but at least Mr. Trump has drawn a line which the mullahs now know they cross at their own peril. China and the U.S. are still mutually-tolerant economic rivals but with divergent interests which could quickly change the relationship to an adversarial one. A showdown may occur over freedom of navigation, the future of Taiwan, cyber warfare and continued theft of U.S. technology.
Yet Democrats, when they pay attention to foreign relations at all, seem obsessed over Russia and Ukraine. To be sure, Russia has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. It is not, however, an economic rival with its second tier economy almost entirely dependent on oil and gas. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, its economy has worsened and its aging population has declined. Russia is not a friend, but ensured mutual destruction prevents nuclear conflict and has at least kept the relationship stable. It behooves us to keep it that way. Democrat efforts to brand Russia as an enemy don’t help much.
Russia may be a threat to Ukraine and Georgia and other former Soviet states on its eastern border with large ethnic Russian populations, some of whom want to reunite with Russia but that is their problem or Europe’s, not ours. They are not members of NATO and we are under no obligation to defend them. Ukraine has a serious corruption problem and is certainly not an ally of ours, contrary to Mr. Schiff’s repeated assertions. One might fairly ask why we are even providing it with military aid in the first place.