As I wrote last night, and as several sharp commenters (among them Yancey Ward) pointed out,
"The Constitution doesn't specify procedures. It seems to me, therefore, that ... [t]he vote having been taken in the House, the Senate may not have to wait."
Meaning, the Constitution simply says that the House votes articles of impeachment and the Senate has the sole power to try the case. Nothing about formalities before a trial can begin. If the managers (prosecutors) fail to show, the senators (jurors) can still decide based on the articles themselves. In regard to the question of what the Senate will do, "sources" maintain that the Senate GOP wants an acquittal vote rather than a procedural dismissal, which makes sense. We'll see. That's a question that will depend on questions that may to a great extent be peculiar to the Senate.
On the other hand, the big picture of what we're seeing is clear enough: it's an attempt, one more attempt, by the Resistance Dems to hold the entire government hostage to a partisan majority in the House. Pelosi has openly called the House a "superior branch" to the Executive, and she now seems to believe the House is the lead member of the Legislative branch as well. Cocaine Mitch is sure to differ and will carry the day on that. The courts will also ultimately side with the Constitution, if for no other reason than that the SCOTUS knows if Pelosi and the Radical Resistance Dems get their way impeachments and removals of SCOTUS justices will be the order of the day, starting with Brett Kavanaugh.
Lifson's seven reasons why this ploy are losers right from the get go are excellent. They mostly boil down to what we discussed yesterday--the rules of fair play, as embodied in the Constitution. That is exactly what the Dems ignored in the earlier stages of their Impeachment Theater, and are now trying to coerce the Senate to ignore. The ploy won't work, to begin with, and will backfire badly. Lifson's sixth and seventh reasons point to the certain political impact:
Sixth, the longer a standoff continues, the weaker Pelosi’s bargaining position becomes. She is obstructing the constitutional process.
Seventh, President Trump fights back, and she is handing him the best ammo he could wish for to castigate the entire impeachment fiasco, and to claim he is being denied his right to defend himself.
The strong suspicion is that this is a ploy born of desperation. To engage in this doomed battle surely tells us all we need to know about how much Dems fear the Barr/Durham investigation.
Trump will change what the word "impeachment" means to the country more than impeachment will change the Trump presidency. We are only days away from the word becoming meaningless.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) December 18, 2019
UPDATE 2: Somewhat informative interview toward the end:
UPDATE 3: Cocaine Mitch Speaks: The full half hour speech is in the second video. You can find the transcript at CTH: