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Ross: Why go through a Trump impeachment?

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Oversight and Government Reform Committee Acting Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) hold a news conference following the passage of a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry centered on U.S. President Donald Trump October 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. The resolution, passed by a vote of 232-196, creates the legal framework for public hearings, procedures for the White House to respond to evidence and the process for consideration of future articles of impeachment by the full House of Representatives. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The House easily approved a public impeachment investigation, the question now is – can Democrats make it into a spectacle worth interrupting a soap opera for?

I predict they are going to have trouble stretching a 30-minute phone call into something that threatens the Republic. It’s already getting repetitive. I’ve heard “quid pro quo” more than “Kars for Kids.” The Democrats may try to fatten it up by folding in the Mueller Report because cable news will cover anything.

But will it really?

Is Wolf Blitzer really going to fill his enormous video wall with old pictures of Paul Manafort and Rod Rosenstein? The nation’s been there. Once was enough.

So why go through all this when the Democrats know impeachment won’t remove Trump? Do they think he’ll resign like Nixon? He can’t resign because he would lose the protection of the Justice Department’s 5th Avenue doctrine.

No, this is really about 2020. It’s about energizing Democrats and getting Trump voters to stay home to ensure that he loses no matter who runs against him. That is a reasonable strategy, but only if the hearings can turn a quid pro quo into must-see TV.

The trouble is you’d have pretty good quid here, but the quo leaves something to be desired. Now the Clinton impeachment? That had a quo! You could interrupt a soap opera with that and nobody knew the difference.

You can hear Dave’s commentary every morning on Seattle’s Morning News. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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