The Ukrainian arms shipment may be the only thing in the public forum, but the full message in the cloakrooms is that Trump is the guy who wanted better relations with Russia, who said he might accept Crimea's accession to Russia, who called off a military strike on Iran, who tried to withdraw troops from Syrian, etc. All these things defy the neocon "interagency consensus" that the Democrats, their witnesses, and the Republicans hold so dear, and they are being spun into a case that Trump must go, because, as Pelosi said, he is "undermining our national security." This is the only pitch the Democrats want to make and are making, and that has a slight chance of succeeding with enough Republican senators. As I've indicated before, the timing suggests that Pelosi and/or Schiff may have indications, from interactions we are not seeing (Watch out for Bolton!), that it might work.
A very slight chance. From everything we have seen so far, this is moving toward a political disaster for the Democrats--if defeating Donald Trump were the measure of that.
Except, at the end of the day, the Democrats do not care if they fail spectacularly, since their main objective is not to impeach or convict or beat Trump electorally, but to protect the Washington consensus--to undermine the rising social-democratic demands in the party and keep the US on its interagency-assigned imperialist and Zionist trajectory.
That is the thing "above politics" to which they proclaim their ultimate fealty, misspelling it "constitutional duty."
Sure, they would like to replace Trump, who's too crass and unreliable, but only with someone who will be more reliable for those purposes. Otherwise, they are quite willing to stomach another four years of an ignorant, weak, and vacillating Trump, whom the neocons have been pretty successful at pushing where they need him to go.
As Canadian columnist Rick Salutin asks, and answers: "Does this mean party bosses would rather lose control of the country and presidency than cede power in their party? Absolutely."
It takes only a minute of thinking past CNN/MSNBC's blaring insistence that everything is going swimmingly for impeachment, which will be inevitable after the next blockbuster witness, to see how utterly stupid this is. Once this gets into the Senate, it is going to be child's play for the Republicans--who will now control the witnesses and evidence--not only to go into the weeds of Biden-Burisma and Clinton Foundation corruption, but, as the Washington Post (WaPo) reports they are considering, to "scramble the Democratic presidential race" with a "lengthy impeachment trial" that would "[keep] six contenders in Washington until the eve of the Iowa caucuses or longer." Much longer. Why not? Gotta be scrupulous in doing that "constitutional duty."
Of course, two of those captured-in-Washington contenders would be, per WaPo, "the leading progressive candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren." As Republican John Cornyn says: "Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden might like that." The Democratic "party bosses" know it too, so they may not be un-amenable to this Republican strategy.