After more than six months of nonstop media hype, the impeachment of President Trump ended last night with a fizzle. And no one is taking it harder than those who invested so much energy, and emotion, into what they believed was their best shot at removing Trump from office.
After the Senate voted Friday against calling additional witnesses, any chance of Trump being convicted and removed from office were dashed — and Democrats, and many members of the media, entered a state of mourning.
CNN and MSNBC regularly featured talking heads bemoaning the end of America as we know it.
“People around the world are watching us, going, this is what you want for the rest of the world?” The New York Times’ Mara Gay said during an appearance on MSNBC. “I mean, what a sad, sad moment after, you know, 300 plus years of democracy.”
CNN’s John Berman said, “And Russia if you’re listening, 2020 is open for investigations!”
A popular talking point that emerged is that if Trump isn’t going to be convicted, that must mean he’s now a “monarch.”
“We are not supposed to have a king, that was the main thing,” MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid said of America’s founding. “Other than, you know, not wanting to have equal rights for women and black people and Native Americans.”
Her colleague, Malcolm Nance, agreed: “We have a constitutional monarchy, where Donald Trump is the supreme element of the state — like North Korea.”
CBS’s Stephen Colbert sounded utterly dejected: “It’s official, nothing means anything, right is wrong, up is down, Missouri is Kansas.”
Democratic lawmakers, when not arguing Trump is now an all-powerful monarch, claimed Trump wasn’t actually acquitted.
“If my Republican colleagues refuse to consider witnesses and documents in this trial, the President’s acquittal will be meaningless,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, foreshadowing what would become a ubiquitous talking point.
“You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “And you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses.”
NBC’s Brian William picked up on this theme, arguing, “Today’s acquittal does not equal an exoneration for the president, who will remain impeached forever.”
For more of the despair now radiating throughout the media-Democratic complex, check out the supercut above.