Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
In the 20th century, no Congress brought impeachment proceedings against a first-term president facing a reelection. Both the Nixon and Clinton efforts were aimed at reelected presidents, perhaps on the theory that there was supposedly no other means of bringing them to account once they had been elected twice.
In contrast, Trump faces reelection in about a year. The prevailing mood may soon be just to let the voters adjudicate his purported sins and for a year allow the Congress to get back to — or begin — governing.
The makeup of the Senate matters. Nixon resigned before House impeachment because he feared that, if he were impeached, there might be enough Republican senators to give the Democratic majority a possible two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict him, given that the media hated his guts and the economy was souring and draining public support.
Bill Clinton knew that impeachment, facts aside, did not matter much, because the Republican Senate majority was never going to find the necessary votes to convict him, the media was on his side, and the economy was still robust.
In Trump’s case, there is little likelihood that a Republican Senate majority will lose control of its membership to render a two-thirds majority guilty vote. The economy is strong, and impeachment will become unpopular when the public knows that it will not, and cannot, remove a president. The Democrats are more likely seeking a symbolic 51 percent conviction vote, and a year of “the walls are closing in” anti-Trump chant in the press.