Political warfare will continue until morale improves.
Now that the presidential impeachment saga has come to a merciful end, what’s next?
The answer, unfortunately, appears to be more of the same. The die is cast — President Donald Trump remains in office while Democrats remain confronted with the problem of how to oust him from office, whether by the election in November or the next round of impeachment politics.
Those who hoped that Trump’s acquittal after his trial in the Senate might bring — at least temporarily — a cessation of hostilities could not help but be disappointed by the most recent intemperate displays.
Speaking at a prayer breakfast, Trump went out of his way — as he generally does — to stick it to Democratic Party leaders.
“As everybody knows, my family, our great country, and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” he said.
Not to be outdone, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doubled down on her nationally televised performance that featured her emphatically tearing the president’s State of the Union speech in half.
She told members of the House Democratic House Caucus that “he shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech.”
“What we heard last night was a disgrace,” Pelosi told her fellow Democrats, who responded with a standing ovation.
President Abraham Lincoln said to his political foes near the end of the Civil War that “we cannot be enemies, we must be friends.”
Trump and Pelosi have embraced the opposite approach — we cannot be friends, we must be enemies.
So that is, most probably, how things will be at least through the remainder of this year.
In fact, almost everyone in the political arena seems to be angry with almost everyone else.
The public faces the unappetizing prospect of a vicious presidential election campaign.
Democrats not only must endure that but also contend with what’s becoming an increasingly bitter campaign for their party’s presidential nomination. Party power brokers appear to be lining up to stop Bernie Sanders’ campaign by any means necessary. Sanders’ leftist supporters can be expected to respond in kind.
In Congress, Democrats control the House while Republicans run the Senate — and never the twain shall meet, at least not very often.
Can’t we all just get along? Obviously not!
The entire impeachment mess first grew out of and then built on resentments stemming from Trump’s surprise 2016 win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
As a consequence and egged on by Trump’s endless provocative comments and tweets, Democrats set their eyes on impeachment even before there was anything to impeach him about.
The Russian collusion allegations amounted to nothing, as did the famous Mueller report.
The matter could have been concluded but for Trump’s ill-advised phone conversation with the Ukraine president where he mixed politics and foreign policy. Democrats quickly pounced, but it’s been clear from the beginning that Trump would be impeached in the House — on a mostly party-line vote — and acquitted in the Senate — on a mostly party-line vote.
The bottom line is that it was sound and fury signifying nothing but scorched-earth politics while leaving members of both parties feeling aggrieved, perhaps permanently so. The same thing happened after the Republican House impeached former President Bill Clinton and Democrats in the Senate ensured his acquittal.
It’s tempting to call for both sides to set aside their personal feelings and work for the common good. But it’s also pointless, because even though their mutual antagonisms are personal, they are also rooted in ideological disagreement.
So the fight will go on and on. It won’t be pretty, but it won’t be fatal.
The country at large is prospering even while our elected officials in D.C. will remain at loggerheads.