by Tom Swift

It’s not the verdict that scares. It’s the deliberation to reach that verdict. The president was not just let off the hook; his behavior has been endorsed.

This changes everything.

We have failed before, we failed this time, we’ll fail again. The beauty of the system: we have always had correctives. We have always had the courts and, failing that, elections. We can’t count on those anymore.

The “world’s greatest deliberative body” said today it doesn’t need to hear the actual case in which the president shook down a foreign leader at war with an adversary, causing deaths and putting our national security at risk, in order to launch an investigation into a political rival so as to cheat in an election, because the actual case has been proved and, well, we’re fine with that.

The president got caught trying to cheat in the election and not only will he be allowed to still stand in that election he can keep cheating if he thinks that would be, in the words, of one of his lawyers, in the public interest. There really are no words.

Just don’t let anyone tell you this is politics as usual — that old bromide about two sides that can’t get along. That’s bullshit. Worse, it’s lazy. This is different. This changes the game. It changes the game forever.