The Heat Is On

Somewhat satisfying, though hollow and predictably unfinished.

This is how it feels the morning after the House impeached Trump for a second time. What a distinction. Does #45, in private—or maybe for all to see—have a shit-eating grin on his face? Does he feel a perverse pride in having the ignoble distinction of being the only President in American history to be impeached by the House TWICE, within a year? And this most recent iteration with at least a bit more bipartisan support.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell still can only summon a selective sense of expediency. With little hint of urgency, he proclaims that the Senate trial won’t start until the day before Joe Biden is scheduled for Inauguration. It doesn’t matter that there is precedent for impeachment after someone leaves office. It matters more that having this weighty task to tend to at the same time a new, Democratic administration tries to implement its agenda may be exactly the kind of distraction that has McConnell salivating and twirling his invisible Snidely Whiplash moustache. Mitch wants to keep the new administration off balance, from hitting the ground running. That prospect is what gets him up in the morning.

Who does this with a clear conscience? Has there ever been anyone who’s so willing to stand in the way, to play politics while opportunity passes by, and while so much is unraveling? He has to know that Trump indeed incited insurrection, that a fucking pandemic with all its fallout continues to rage, yet all of that can wait while he has one more opportunity to gum up the works and orchestrate a power play.

It is hateful. It is calculated. It’s not genius, it’s not “good politics.” It is negligent, criminal, ignorant of ghastly need, ignorant of history and who it is he still, for some reason, appears willing to protect. He could have reconvened the Senate today if he wanted to.

There was no time like the present to ramrod the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice a week before the election. But the current predicament, somehow, is different? Not as urgent?

McConnell’s days as Majority Leader are numbered, but he seems intent, before he leaves, on setting the table for the Biden administration, minus utensils. And maybe he’s afraid of the Base. It’s the first time in a while that being a member of Congress comes with a more realistic threat of bodily harm for doing the right thing. Or the wrong thing, depending on whose flag you’re flying.

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