Democrats' impeachment of Trump is way too thin
Where did the Trump impeachment go?
When House Democrats began selling tickets to their President Donald Trump Impeachment Theater -- shouting their outrage, preening on those late-night talk shows -- it was much meatier business.
It would be full of collusion with Russia, blackmail of Ukraine. It would contain extortion and go heavy on bribery.
The way the Democrats sold it, Americans were to expect some giant roast, bone in, with a rich, thick gravy, to feed a nation longing for justice from Orange Man Bad.
At least that's what Democrats promised. But that's not what they delivered for consideration for a vote by the full House, was it?
What they offered weren't High Crimes and Misdemeanors. They didn't serve up alleged crimes. Instead, they offered only attitude and rhetoric, without meat and bone.
They promised everything and yet ended up providing nothing, like air sandwiches offered to feed that angry mob they've stoked since the day Trump infuriated them by not losing the election to Hillary Clinton.
"I feel ... thin. Sort of stretched, like ... butter scraped over too much bread," said the plucky little Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, in "Lord of the Rings."
When Democrats began selling impeachment, they weren't little Hobbits, but giants to be carved in stone, with Old Glory behind them as they mouthed the words of Benjamin Franklin about saving the republic.
So, where has the impeachment gone, the impeachment that was promised?
Democrats ended up offering only two thin counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
But where were the serious crimes upon which to build a legitimate impeachment and convince Republicans to join them?
There are no crimes in this, only political arguments predicated on Trump's great sin:
He defeated Hillary with his 62 million deplorables, and the Democratic elites have hated him and them ever since.
The House Democratic impeachment of Trump does accomplish two things.
It drives independents to his side, even those who loathe his manner, his vulgarity and brutishness, because they see what the silkies of the left have done.
And it lowers the bar for impeachment, inviting some future Congress to impeach a president just because he defeated them.
Every president has been accused of abusing power by a Congress led by the other party. Consider Barack Obama, who promised to make his own laws when he felt like it, because, "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."
And the obstruction of Congress count? Every president has been accused of such by the opposition party in Congress.
If House Democrats wanted to force testimony from White House officials to get them to tell what they knew about Ukraine -- something Trump as president had the right to deny them -- they had a remedy.
Go to the courts to let the third co-equal branch of government decide. But Democrats didn't want to wait for White House witnesses. They wanted drama and all they produced was farce.
Yet there was real abuse of power in this story, which starts in that debunked Russia-collusion fever dream and weaves into Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president when he asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Abuse of power happened when Democratic presidential candidate and then-Vice President Joe Biden was Obama's point man in Ukraine.
Biden's son Hunter is a father's nightmare, a train wreck of a man. But the Ukrainian gas company Burisma didn't worry about his character or his complete lack of experience in the gas business.
Hunter was Joe Biden's son, who received at least $50,000 a month from Burisma.
Per Obama, Joe Biden had $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees for Ukraine. But he demanded that the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma be fired.
"I said ... I'm leaving in six hours," Biden bragged on video. "If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a b----. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time."
Quid. Pro. Quo.
So why were bribery and extortion removed from the Democrats' articles of impeachment? Because Joe Biden is their presidential candidate. And discussing quid pro quo, or extortion or bribery, leads right to Joe and Hunter Biden.
In liberal media accounts, Americans who see Trump Impeachment Theater as partisan hackery and farce are often belittled as morons. They're described as mindless idiots who've been sucked into the cult of Trump.
But constant media and political ridicule by the liberal elites can backfire, as it did here in working-class areas in 2016, and as it did just days ago in the United Kingdom with the overwhelming victory of Boris Johnson and the Conservatives over the Labour Party.
As it shrinks in stature, the House Democrat impeachment is beginning to resemble those much-hyped products that you find, forgotten and dusty, in the "As Sold on TV" aisle in dreary discount stores.
ShamWow, Nancy Pelosi.
Pull the Calming Comfort Blanket under your chin, Jerry Nadler.
Adam Schiff? Your easy-on Sock Slider is cheap at any price.
In another life, I trained for a career as a newspaper columnist by working as a butcher at my father's supermarket on Chicago's South Side.
I carved roasts, boned out beef necks, chopped chickens and sliced lunch meat. Some customers wanted their sausage sliced thin enough to see right through.
Like the House Democrats' impeachment of President Trump, sliced too thin, airy, with too little meat. Just butter scraped over too much bread.
(John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. His Twitter handle is @john_kass.)