Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of dying has been overused as a metaphor for developments in the world of politics. But I can’t think of more fitting parallel for the words and actions of the Democrats as the presidential impeachment they so hastily and clumsily conducted lies close to death.
On Tuesday, the party as represented by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer entered the anger phase. Confronted with the suggestion of a one-for-one witness swap that would allow both former national security adviser John Bolton and Hunter Biden to testify at the impeachment trial, Schumer snarled:
There’s always a diversion. Hunter Biden has nothing to do with the facts of this trial. Requests to call Hunter Biden are an intentional misdirection, a distraction. They’re attempts to use the Senate floor to accomplish what the president of Ukraine couldn’t do.
Last night the Democrats embarked on the bargaining phase of the Kübler-Ross model. As the 16 hours of Q & A would to a close with the increasing likelihood that the Democrats’ push for more witnesses would be voted down, lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff broke character, announcing:
I will make an offer to opposing counsel, who have said that this will stretch on indefinitely if you decide to have a single witness Let’s [cap] the depositions to one week.
To make the desperate plea even more palatable, Schiff dangled the promise of allowing the Senate to go back to work:
In the Clinton trial, there was one week of depositions, and you know what the Senate did during that week? The Senate went back to its ordinary legislative business while the depositions were being conducted.
ADAM SCHIFF: "I will make an offer to opposing counsel: … Let's [cap] the depositions to one week. In the Clinton trial, there was one week of depositions … You want the Clinton model? Let's use the Clinton model."
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 30, 2020
The party as exemplified by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meantime, was all the way back at the anger phase, insisting that there can’t be an acquittal unless Republicans agree to let the Democrats have their own way right up to the bitter ed.
There still may be witnesses, mind you. And the effects of voting against a 19th and beyond witness may came back to plague Republican senators in November. But the stark reality is that the impeachment that Democrats struggled so hard to fabricate from whole cloth will die either tonight or early tomorrow, whereas the Trump presidency will live on.