The House is set to vote on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress next week, which are expected to pass from a party-line vote before heading to the Senate where they will die once and for all (unless Democrats try to pull this again).
The math simply makes a successful inquisition impossible for Democrats.
Republicans hold the majority in the Senate, 53-45, with two independents. Democrats will need 67 votes to impeach Trump. Not only would removing Trump from office require all Democrats to vote against Trump, but twenty Republicans as well (assuming that both independents vote the same). And Democrats aren’t even guaranteed a party-line vote in the Senate. Virginia’s Joe Manchin claims to be “torn” on impeachment, and the vote of Arizona moderate Krysten Sinema isn’t certain either, as her tendency to vote with the president has driven her colleagues nuts. Like Manchin, Alabama’s Doug Jones also represents a largely pro-Trump constituency, and faces pressure to vote against his fellow Democrats.
Meanwhile, the only Republicans at risk of defecting are the usual RINOs – Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, and Susan Collins. Additionally, the constituency of Maine’s Cory Gardner is left-leaning, so he may face pressure.
The betting odds on PredictIt imply a 9% chance that Democrats would be able to pull off a conviction in the Senate. The gamblers were giving it a nearly 25% chance of happening before the hearings began. Admittedly, I think the true odds are much closer to zero than they are to 9%.
Furthermore, Mitch McConnell will move to acquit Trump if/when he’s impeached in the House. As reported by The Hill:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to hold a vote to acquit President Trump should the president ultimately be impeached in the House rather than move to dismiss any articles of impeachment sent from the lower chamber.
An unidentified senator told CNN that McConnell would not call a vote to proceed to the House’s articles of impeachment unless he knew he had at least 51 votes to end the Senate trial, which would then trigger a vote on the articles themselves.
The simple majority needed to acquit Trump is much more likely than the two thirds majority needed to impeach, for obvious reasons.
So why are Democrats continuing this charade? To make a spectacle? So they can claim to have successfully impeached Trump – on paper?
Who knows, but they’ll be getting a wake-up call when they’re up for reelection.