House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was sad. If anyone wanted to know why, she explained that impeaching the president was a sad but necessary thing to do. To reinforce the idea that she was sad, the Speaker of the House had donned a funereal, black mid-calf dress made of the finest sackcloth, with a matching ash-colored purse. She hardly needed to say that it was sad, looking like a pall bearer, obviously mourning the day the Democrats finally and reluctantly caught up with the great orange whale.
There he blew, harpooned at last, impeached. Given the solemnity of the occasion, Ms. Pelosi forbade all laughing, elongation of lips, or showing of teeth. There would be absolutely no somersaults or champagne toasts among this most solemn body of painful-truth-seeking octogenarians. To ensure that she, herself, did not admit to any inner glee at the passage of the two articles of impeachment, Ms. Pelosi added quick-setting cement to her morning routine of botox injections, her facial muscles beautifully frozen into a nearly eternal symbol of sadness with a hint of gloom.
When the sad news was leaked by the still unidentified CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramela, that for all Nancy’s enforced droopiness, some Democrats and media types were celebrating openly, high-fiving in nearby watering holes for the political-media class, the Speaker showed them how an impeachment was to be conveyed by projecting saintly sounding words from the sacred US Constitution on the walls of the House Chamber.
“No one is above the law,” she intoned for those who could not read the words themselves. “It’s right there in the Constitution,” she said, before hesitating in a moment of senior confusion, and then adding, “Or is that the Bible?”
And everyone agreed the words were solemn, wherever they came from, and that doing one’s duty was even more solemn than it had been before, and that in forcing Democrats to impeach him, President Trump had made all Americans sad, and even dopey with the urgently-felt need to discover some patina of historicity to the proceedings, a need to find meaning among all the millions of forgettable untruths politicians had told, all the non-alcoholic beer they had swilled with fake, made-for-tv crowds.
Because, if impeachment was a sad thing for the country, and if people felt that, then the people would remember this day, and know that something happened, and that it was good, a sign of something, a sad sign.