For one brief shining moment on Saturday, the Trump show trial actually threatened to turn into the real deal, with testimony from real human witnesses to enhance the speeches. The disturbing film footage of the Capitol riot, complemented by Trump's own spittle-inflected incitement voiceover, should have been a prima facie case for unanimous conviction. But that would have meant that the acquitting GOP senators' own lust for power and fear of Trump took second place to meting out justice.
Then, just as suddenly as the Democratic impeachment managers moved to extend Impeachment 2.0 into a case that even the most hardened Republican would be forced to squirm through, they folded. It seems that the Senators of both sides of the Duopoly have so much love in their hearts that they simply could not bear to miss Valentine's Day at home. Also, with such a prolonged exercise in justice that human witnesses and other supplementary evidence would entail, Joe Biden would be thwarted from his sublime reaching across the aisle and making friendly deals with some of the same 47 GOP senators who had just voted to acquit Donald Trump, giving their tacit stamp of approval to an attempted coup.
Now, to be fair, an extension of the trial would also have opened the door for Republicans to call their own witnesses. Nancy Pelosi, for example, would have been raked over the coals, forced to answer why she didn't request beefed up police protection for her members on that fateful day, despite plenty of warnings of mob violence. It also would have opened up the dreaded Hunter Biden can of worms.
Therefore, the public is being asked to empathize with the Democrats' political dilemma and to actually believe that justice will eventually prevail once the Dems get around to congressional investigations into the insurrection - after of course, they pass Covid relief, accomplish immigration reform, address the climate catastrophe and "do" health care.
In other words, politicians on both sides of the aisle will give each other cover as they try keep their respective rancid cans of worms glued firmly shut until they finally rust and crumble into the memory hole of nothingness.
And meanwhile, the media will do its own part of making the story about all the "breakout stars" of Impeachment Theater, and how the show trial was, at its very essence, their audition for higher office.
"Though impeachment is an inherently political process," as Politico dishes in a piece about the latest manufactured group of rising stars to entertain and seduce and distract the viewing public,"elected officials typically don't like to admit that working as a manager can come with electoral benefits. They were required to walk a careful line when making the case that Trump incited a mob at the U.S. Capitol. Still, strategists from both sides of the aisle acknowledged their roles likely furthered their careers."
Not that the legacy stars didn't also have their moment in the sun. Nancy Pelosi theatrically "crashed" the post-acquittal press conference of Democratic impeachment managers to deliver yet another bravura performance of a "scathing" indictment of Republican cowards, while demurring that "it had not been my intention to come for this press availability."
Since the show must always go on, the national corporate media are either already camped out at Mar-a-Lago or en route in order to cover the widely anticipated opening act of Donald Trump's Revenge Tour Refusing to cover him is not an option for the press, because their clicks and ratings have dropped so precipitously since he left office. Film of an empty podium at his gilded Florida palace is bound to attract more eyeballs than the latest White House press briefing, Since Biden Spin Doctor Jen Psaki has asked that reporters submit their questions in advance, the better for her to answer them truthily and transparently, there is no longer even that element of unscripted surprise and comedic improv so essential for the maintenance of good ratings.
While the corporate media performers are attempting to stave off the boredom and tedium of not having Trump fill their empty spaces, they're promoting daughter in law Lara Trump's quest for a North Carolina senate seat and drumming up publicity for daughter Ivanka's own moves to oust Marco Rubio in the Florida senatorial primary. Because no matter how tainted, political dynasties must never be allowed to die.
In other news, a study by the esteemed British journal Lancet reveals that fully 40 percent of all Covid deaths in the US could have been prevented. These deaths are not only attributable to the incompetence and corruption of the Trump administration, they are the direct result of the free-market neoliberalism of the last 40 years, not to mention the colonial and imperialistic roots of American society itself.
One of the Lancet group's prescriptions, sensibly enough, is the implementation of single payer health care in the United States. But it can't even get a theatrical floor vote in the Democratic-controlled House. And Biden has infamously vowed to veto such a measure, commonly known as Medicare For All, should it ever reach his desk.
There are too many rusted cans in the landfill known as American democracy to count. And don't even get me started on the worms.