Mitt, let’s face it, there is a canyon of difference between how this impeachment will be perceived, both during this critical election year and far into our future (assuming we as a country survive that long) if Trump is acquitted with no Republicans voting to remove him, or if even one GOPer casts a ballot to do so. This is especially the case if the person who takes that courageous dive just happens to be the man who was the last GOP presidential nominee not named Trump, and someone whom the current president enthusiastically endorsed during that election of 2012 (which probably feels to you like it happened closer to 1912, as I know it does for me).

If no Republicans vote to remove him, Trump will be able to plausibly claim that the whole thing was a partisan “hoax” and that he did not even do anything wrong. After all, if he had, surely at least one current Republican in either the House or the Senate would have voted a life-long liberal from Manhattan, one who just cost the GOP control of the House, guilty of these charges.

Under this scenario, Trump’s re-election bid is obviously boosted, but the potential effect would go far beyond just impacting his chances of winning another term in office. It would set a precedent that such presidential behavior may not be impeachable at all. Someday, it could mean the difference between a Congress being able to remove an even greater threat to the Republic, or having that would-be king free to “abuse power” with impunity after the impeachment authority was rendered impotent in this area during this current fiasco.