McConnell’s Goal: Keep the Impeachment Trial Short and Boring

Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

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Jonathan Chait says that Republicans screwed up by refusing en masse to allow the introduction of new evidence into President Trump’s impeachment trial:

The victory is Pyrrhic. Given that a vote to remove is almost inconceivable — Trump could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and all that — the trial is fundamentally an exercise in shaping public opinion about Donald Trump and his abuses of power. By voting to withhold evidence, Republicans are placing themselves in the unpopular position of abetting a cover-up.

Nah. Mitch McConnell obviously has one overriding goal here: to keep the trial short and the public bored enough not to watch it. Refusing to allow new evidence is part of that: it ensures that nobody bothers turning on their TV in hopes that something new and exciting will happen. It won’t. Since Democrats have little choice except to repeat stuff everyone knows already, what’s the point of watching?

As long as the trial is short and dull, McConnell wins. Very few people even know who John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney are, let alone whether they avoided having to testify.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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