When Democrats in Congress began impeachment proceedings over the Ukraine phone call, many commentators predicted that conservatives would finally recognize Trump’s misdeeds. Congressional Republicans would desert the president en masse. The country would finally unite in disgust at the arsonist in the White House.
In reality, the impeachment trial quickly turned into a mostly partisan affair. It barely harmed Trump’s popularity. He was acquitted on a party-line vote, and gained an even stronger hold over the GOP. Doing the same thing all over again likely won’t have a different result.
Trump is more isolated now than he has been at any point in the past four years. Although about half of House Republicans raised some kind of objection to the Electoral College count, all but a handful of Senate Republicans ultimately defied his pressure to contest it. Right now Trump is set to leave office as a diminished leader whose attempt to subvert American democracy lost him the support of key leaders in his own party.