The Articles of Impeachment, as of Tuesday heading to the House Rules Committee on their way to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, is not going anywhere in the Senate. How do I know... not because I trust the Republican Senate caucus to stand strong in times of adversity. I’d rather try to herd cats than whip votes in that body.

No, I know it’s dead because Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in essence said the Democrats’ decision to charge ahead with impeachment was not enough. Releasing a letter over the weekend to Senate Leader McConnell through the media rather than bothering to even transmit it via email to his counterpart seems more stunt than substance. In the letter Senator Schumer lays plain the strategy for the Senate Democrats.... to turn impeachment into another Kavanaugh hearing circus scenario by calling witnesses to try to make the case the House Democrats did not. The decision to move ahead, without waiting for courts to rule on the disagreement between Congress and the White House about executive privilege and the accessibility of the president’s advisors to Congressional oversight, was part of the Democrats strategy. The play now in the Senate is to muddy the waters with testimony they they think they can use in lines of questioning to damage Trump. And because Republicans have signaled the House case is not strong enough for removing the president, the new mission is throw enough mud and see what will stick.

It seems highly doubtful this will move past the presentations by the house managers before the Senate votes it down, as indicated by Leader McConnell on the Senate floor.

I’m looking forward to the continuing optics of impeachment, which is becoming more unpopular by the day, and Democratic Congressional representatives getting absolutely roasted at town halls and district events by people who are tired of the theatrics on display in the Democrat-led Congress.

And of course nothing these days happens in D.C. without some form of protest by the left, with another Resistance march happening as I write this column.

The theatre can be entertaining, even if repetitive.

When politicians who are constantly implying intent to a “living, breathing Constitution” that can change meaning depending on current societal whims start cherry-picking constitutional text and quoting the Founders out of context to support political narratives, all my alarm bells start to go off.

Fairness only seems to matter to Democrats when they aren’t in charge of something and want to make political hay. And they definitely don’t want to hear Republican House members’ calls for fairness during the impeachment hearings.

In the meantime, President Trump has been busy delivering on behalf of the American people, namely in the forms of jobs, trade deals and rising wages. In addition to record-breaking Wall Street numbers, which are great in their own right, Main Street is finally seeing a little more success, which translates to a little relief for us regular folks.

And as all of this is occurring across our television screens what is everyone else doing...Tinsel and shopping, stringing lights and singing carols, baking cookies and attending Christmas concerts. The public has already moved on.

If there was an actual, fact-based case for impeachment the public wouldn’t be nearly as tuned out, and there would be a decent segment of Republicans, none a fan or Trump or his tactics, already making a case for his removal.

It is the height of cynicism, and the depths of politics, to say that Republicans cannot have witnessed the hearings and testimony as offered by the Intelligence and Judiciary committees and come to a conclusion about the facts as Democrats are asserting - and find it lacking. No matter how hard the Democrats try and moralize otherwise.

At this point, more than a few members of Congress should be worried about only finding a lump of coal on Christmas morning.

In my corner of Tennessee, the tree is decorated, stockings are hung, and grocery lists are about to be made for Christmas dinner. Some presents still need to be purchased, but that is nothing new, my sister and I were famous for saving the shopping until the weekend before Christmas and then going on a major spree - usually not coming home until after dinner, and definitely not before making sure that everyone on our list was covered.

Gone are the days we went to 20 stores, though. I barely have the patience for five or six, especially when a majority of the wish lists involve video games, electronics and Hot Wheels.

One good thing about moving... I only have to wrap what I buy now, even though about halfway through, I like everyone else wonder how I managed to buy so much stuff!

This year, besides the ham and crunchy potatoes that will hit the table, I may try my hand at my mother-in-law’s homemade spaghetti and meatballs, which she served every year for Christmas. Fingers crossed I do it justice. If not Vince and Samuel will be sure to tell me.

Last year I didn’t go as crazy with the decorations, but I did manage to get everything out this year, and early enough that we actually get to enjoy them. I even broke my rule and let the boys help me hang the ornaments on the tree. I was extremely proud of myself for only moving a handful of the ones they hung to a better spot. Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting a little less OCD as I age.

Maybe not... as I sneak a glance at the plastic tote of coordinating wrapping papers and ribbons I choose each year and stockpile in preparation of those marathon wrapping sessions.

We got more than a little of Winter Storm Finley at my house, the back yard is still drying out 24 hours later, but I don’t think that we’ll get snow on Christmas again this year... a girl can hope, though. Maybe for my birthday instead. Who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us after the New Year?

And even though I might make a big deal about the tree, the food and the presents, the best part of the holiday is spending time with those we love, and rejoicing in our faith at the birth of Jesus. I know I will be happy to look across the table and see step-son Joe, who’s braving the crowds to travel to Tennessee this year to celebrate the holidays with us.

I definitely do not take for granted how special it is to have him here this year.

My family and I send our tidings to everyone back home... and a wish for all to have a very Merry Christmas, filled with love, kindness and joy.

And more than a little of the magic that makes Christmas so special.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at or by calling (209) 862-2222.