Will The “Impeachment Charade Fade Quickly”?

Will The “Impeachment Charade Fade Quickly”?

We have not yet had all the final speechifying where GOP senators attempt to justify their votes to make this the first US federal impeachment trial in history (there have been 15, mostly of judges) not to have any witnesses, as well as the foregone acquittal.  But the battle over how it will be viewed in both the short and medium and long runs is already going on.  A sign of this is a column in yesterday’s Washington Post by Hugh Hewitt entitled, “This impeachment charade will fade quickly,” with Hewitt viewing the “charade” part not to mean the refusal of the Senate to have witnesses, but the entire trial itself, which he Trumpisly declares to have consisted of “fake history,”  because Trump will be viewed in 50 years as an “outsize personality” with “a growing list of achievements.”  Claims like this will clearly underpin Trump’s reelection campaign, even as several GOP senators up for reelection will probably find that their votes for the charade of not having witnesses will not “fade quickly” and may well do them in, even if Trump manages to squeak through to reelection.

Here is the list of things Hewitt things are achievements, almost none of which I think are, and most, if  not all, will be viewed as mistakes or Bad Things 50 years from now to the extent they are remembered at all, my comments in brackets.

…rebuilding a U.S. military of $716 billion (and a new service branch, the Space Force) [not likely to be remembered, and if the Space Force really gets off the ground, which it probably will, nobody will remember it was Trump that started it], the appointment s of (so far) two Supreme Court justices, 50 appeals court judges and 133 district judges [quite aside from the awful blocking by McConnell of Merrick Garland’s sppointment, the apparently low level of competence of these highly ideolgical appointments, many young, will still be a millstone on our society 50 years from now, but not one people will priaise]. a massive tax cut [this is not even popular now and will not be any more so in the future, tilting to the rich while blowing up the budget deficit], 3.5 percent unemployment [this is the first item not actually bad, but not much due to him], the country’s exit from the Iran deal [worst foreign policy move by a president since W. Bush invaded Iraq] and the Paris climate accord [condemned already by nearly everybody on the planet outside Trump circles in the US with that not likely to be viewed more favorably as time proceeds]. clarity on China as the nation’s chief strategic competitor [I think Obama already had made that clear, but if this is supposed to be praise of Trump’s trade war with China, I do not think that will be viewed favorably 50 years from now, a farce], a renewed Israeli alliance anchored in the relocation of the U.S embasssy to Jerusalem [in 50 years probably to be viewed favorably by few outside of Israel itself and some evangelical Christians in the US, who are a declining portion of the population], the caliphate of the Islamic State destroyed [gets some credit for this, although basicallly followed policy set by Obama and OKing Turkish invasion of NW Syria to kick out local Kurds damages this], and “most wanted” terrorists Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Qasem Soleimani eliminated [OK on the first, although he nearly caussed that not to happen thanks to Turkish invasion of Kurdish territories, and second has been a botch, with lots of people dying as a result of it and none so far saved that I am aware of], partial construction of the border wall [the less said the better, and others have built portions of the wall without anybody claiming this was som great accomplishment of theirs]. and significant immigration reform through executive orders [I suspect he will be remembered for tearing children out of their mothers’ arms and outright blocking asylum refugees and others from many nations, all of which will be roundly condemned in the future], a regulatory rollback [with so much of that involving reducing environmental regs I do not think this will be viewed favorably in the future], the passage of the USMCA [a nothing burger barely different from NAFTA, although at least not outright bad like most of this], Obamacare’s individual mandate repealed {I do not know what will be the US health care system 50 years from now, but I am quite sure this act will not be remembered at all, much less as having helped improve it], and “right to try” and justice reform legislation passed [I am fine with this, but note Trump initially resisted it and only signed it after it passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support].

What is disturbing is that incessant repetition in the media of much of this may well please enough people all worked up about how Trump was mistreated by Dems in Congress that he might get reelected.  But with the exception of a very few items, most of this will be viewed as very misguieded and unfortunate 50 years from now, to the extent it is remembered at all.

Barkley Rosser