It would have taken just one malign fool -- and nobody wanted to be That Guy bad enough, while many people had already decided they weren't going to let anyone be That Guy. It worked. The Press seemed a little let down.
Did the effort help? Maybe. Some. If you live in Virginia and gun rights matter to you, vote carefully and keep writing your elected officials. It's going to take a lot of convincing.
* * *
Tuesday's Post-Impeachment Senate Trial in our nation's Capitol got underway without anything more untoward than some Senators struggling to stay awake and a rare opportunity for members of the House and Senate to snipe at one another. They are inherently at odds -- the senior body slow, deliberative and resistant to change while the junior one is scrappy, (relatively) quick to act and responsive to the electorate. The spectacle of the House lecturing the Senate, and the Senate getting its back up over it, is rare indeed. Mr. McConnell and Mr. Schiff were bowed up like tomcats.
High points included a network news analyst quoting another pundit, "Never underestimate the amount of hard work the U. S. Senate won't do," and the delicious realization that the trial was proceeding under rules from the Andrew Johnson impeachment trial: the Senators (and everyone else) are "commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment." For a modern touch, no personal electronic devices were allowed in. The entire Senate had to sit down, shut up, and at least pretend to pay attention.
Low points? I'm not too keen on this rule where they start in the afternoon and run for at least twelve hours. It was criticized by Senate Democrats and they've got a point; it makes for long days and may tend to keep any real dramatic points a little less visible in live coverage. The flip side is, we can't have the circus in town for a month or more. The Senate does have other things to do. Another downer: this isn't as neat and tidy as the courtroom scenes in an episode of Perry Mason. It's a real trial, run by people with law degrees or at least a keen personal interest in rules and procedure. A lot of the trial will be as dull as ditchwater.
Politics is what we do instead of fighting in the streets, and if takes some dull stretches to keep it that way, I'm in favor of of them. The underlying fight is no less intense for all that it is cloaked in high-sounding language and procedures first formulated in the late 18th Century. Don't kid yourself -- Madison and the other Framers knew this day would come. You don't add a utility to the firmware if you don't think it will ever be needed.