The exception here, seemingly, is Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who has gone so far as to suggest that the House is already engaged in “formal impeachment proceedings.” This is the pretext he is using for requesting access to the millions of pages of raw material used by the special counsel investigation. The argument, if I understand it correctly, is that Trump is already in the process of being impeached on the basis of the unknown information that Nadler’s committee has never in fact seen but must now access. That’s principled liberalism for you. (As opposed to principled conservatism, which involves pretending that the oversight and investigation charades they performed during the Obama administration were patriotic exercises of their constitutional duty, but that the same sort of thing done by opponents of President Trump is lib whining.)

Does Nadler really believe that impeachment will go anywhere? Some of his allies in the House give a very different impression when they speak with barely disguised contempt of “the whole Al Green crowd,” which is something John Boehner might have said about Louie Gohmert. If it’s not a sincere attempt to censure the president in the hope of having him removed from office, what is it? A rally-the-troops gesture? A fundraising gimmick? Good evidence that politicians, so far from being busy, have almost nothing worthwhile to do with their time?