As the farce that is the Republican-controlled Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump unfolds, I find myself turning toward the coming Democratic primary elections as a sort of tonic against the madness that is this trial. It’s not that I don’t support the impeachment: I emphatically do and could happily add a half dozen more charges to the list. But I can already see the writing on the wall: the Republican Senators plan to carry water for their president and this entire process is going to be play acting of the very worst sort.
It’s not that the players lack seriousness. The Democratic House managers believe the president should convicted and removed. The Republican Senators are determined to protect their man. And so we all go through the motions, in the process making a sham of the Constitution.
The resilience of the American experiment is thus being tested. Watching that process unfold is disturbing and scary. In his closing remarks on Thursday evening, House impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s emotional conclusion pointed out the fact that the Constitution demands we make decisions between right and wrong. Then he made the most important point: “The Framers can’t protect us from ourselves.”
It boils down to just that. We have our republic. Can we protect and keep it?