What did Trump’s second impeachment accomplish? It certainly will not convince half the country that they were wrong to support him in November or that they are mistaken in their belief that the election was highly irregular and conducted in circumstances meant to favor his opponent. It will certainly not leave his supporters with the impression that his opponents acted against him in good faith.

As far as I can tell the only practical consequence of Trump’s impeachment will be normalizing what was once an extraordinary procedure meant to get around the problem of having a head of state from whom all federal legal authority flows at the head of a partisan government. The campaign to impeach Trump began before his inauguration and continued even after it had been completed. In the future, presidents will regard the most extraordinary censure our federal government can deliver as a partisan slap on the wrist, like being held in contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with an absurd subpoena.

The political currency of “impeachment” has been so thoroughly debased during the last four years that any attempt to argue against Wednesday’s proceedings would be as pointless as objecting to the congressional baseball game. I expect every president in my lifetime to be impeached on some absurd pretext or other, including Joe Biden.