Theater of the absurd
Gamesmanship appears to be the order of the day in Washington, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spar over ground rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans just want the fiasco to end.
Without evidence Trump committed unconstitutional acts, majority Democrats in the House of Representatives impeached him last month. That should have set up a swift trial in the Senate.
What will happen there is virtually a foregone conclusion. Republicans are in the Senate majority, and by every appearance, they have not been persuaded Trump should be removed from office. Still, a trial must be held.
McConnell, R-Ky., is ready to proceed. The machinery for a Senate trial is in place.
But senators can do nothing until Pelosi-D-Calif., sends them the formal documents explaining that the president has been impeached by the House, and laying out allegations against him.
To date, Pelosi had refused to forward the necessary paperwork.
Pelosi and other Democrats insist Senate leaders must provide a list of witnesses who will be called during the trial — before the articles of impeachment are forwarded to allow the trial to begin. That is rather like a prosecuting attorney — in truth, the role Pelosi has adopted — attempting to tell a judge how he or she will manage a trial.
This is theater of the absurd. House Democrats engineered an impeachment inquiry calculated solely to attack Trump, not to provide justice. Now, they want to stage-managed the Senate trial, too.
It just won’t do. The ball is now in the Senate’s court, or would be if Pelosi would do her duty and pass it over. It is time to get on with this sorry mess.