I am a politics junkie. On election nights, I sit glued to the TV set, watching mesmerized as 1% of the votes come in from a state whose ultimate choice is a foregone conclusion. I loved Chuck Todd as long as he was the numbers guy on MSNBC and promptly fell out of love when he was promoted to Meet The Press, transferring my affections to Steve Kornacki. I recall once – I think it was in 1965 or 1966 – when I was on my way home from a conference in Italy, I stopped in England to see Ernest Gellner, whom I knew from his time visiting Harvard [he briefly dated my sister.] Ernest and his family lived in a country cottage south of London. It turned out to be election day in England, and even though I had neither interest in nor knowledge of English politics, I sat fascinated in the little living room watching the results come in. All of which is to say that I stared at my kitchen TV set until the very last vote was tallied yesterday in the House.
As I have often remarked, there are two sorts of people, Eeyores and Tiggers. I am a Tigger. Show me a glass slightly damp from the dishwasher and I will describe it as half full. So I will now offer a wildly optimistic series of predictions. Like all of my predictions, they are worth no more than the few thousand bytes it takes to record them, save for the last of them, for which I have evidence.
1. The House will impeach Trump, probably before Thanksgiving. In all probability few or no Republicans will vote to impeach.
2. The Senate will hold a trial whose perfunctoriness will probably be determined by whether John Bolton complies with the subpoena soon to be issued. If Bolton testifies, and if his testimony is damaging to Trump, McConnell may be compelled to hold a real trial in the Senate.
3. In any case, Trump will not be convicted by the Senate.
4. Trump’s supporters will be energized and outraged by the trial, but that will subside well before the election, since Trump will still be in office. The failure of the Senate to convict Trump will outrage our supporters, and that outrage will build, not subside, as we go through the Primary season and into the election. Democratic turnout next year will be enormous, as it was in 2018.
5. Trump will be beaten by a progressive Democrat [not by Biden], we will hold the House, and we will take the Senate.
6. Trump will not go quietly, and for years to come we shall be dealing with the deep-rooted resentments he is mobilizing, not creating, in scores of millions of Americans.
7. Some time around Inauguration Day 2021 my first YouTube Kant lecture will hit 150,000 views.