Minutes after a visibly aged John Roberts gaveled the end of the impeachment trial on Feb. 5, I experienced a couple surprises, two more than I expected, say, in December when acquittal in the Senate for Donald J. Trump looked certain. A few points:
1. Denying Trump two days of the most complimentary press he’d garnered since Van Jones said Trump Became Presidential after 2017’s joint address to Congress. He expected Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama to defect; he got instead a bipartisan vote in which the junior senator from Utah sided with the Democrats on Article One. Enamored of bipartisan heroes, Beltway journos found one in Willard Romney. The nature of their infatuation wiped out the glow of the State of the Union.
2. Mindy Moderate of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado’s Democratic opposition have campaign platforms.
3. I hope Sanders and Warren canvassers in Alabama work like hell to get Jones reelected.
4. Moderate Democrats are better than any Republican.
5. Let me repeat: impeachment was worth. Vacillating for much of 2019 between assuming impeachment a waste of time and, once decided, castigating Speaker Nancy Pelosi for what looked like an unbecoming lethargy, I realized in the fall impeachment looked just and necessary even at the risk of Senate exoneration. What is the point of oversight of this creature if you do nothing? The Democratic Party believes in laws.
6. History shows how Trump uses vindication as the impetus for lawlessness. Expect crazier shit as we approach his re-nomination and, worse, the fall.