The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is shaping up to be a bit of an anti-climax. Once Tuesday’s jurisdictional vote was held, determining whether you could try someone who had already left office, and only decided 56-44 in favor of proceeding, the consensus quickly congealed that conviction was impossible. How could enough Republican senators vote to convict someone who they believed they had no authority to try?
As a consequence, Republicans, Democrats and non-partisan observers alike are behaving as if acquittal is foreordained. The goal is to get the trial over with as quickly as possible and to get everybody on the record as doing precisely what we all know they are going to do, rather