President Donald Trump is sure to take a victory lap after his expected acquittal by Senate Republicans in his impeachment trial.
However, that victory may turn out to be short lived.
Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief David Lauter writes that acquitting the president without even calling a single witness to testify will enrage Democratic voters and let the Democratic Party campaign against the Republicans as the party of corruption.
"Widespread sentiment that the Senate acted unfairly matters not only because it limits Trump's ability to claim victory, but because it gives his opponents a powerful grievance to use against him and Republican senators in swing states," he writes. "Over the next several months, that sense of grievance could grow as Bolton’s full account becomes public or if the White House carries through on efforts to block publication of his book by arguing that much of it involves classified information."
This will be particularly bad for the GOP, writes Lauter, because "the belief that your side has lost a rigged contest has provided powerful fuel for U.S. political campaigns going back at least as far as 1828, when Andrew Jackson used the 'corrupt bargain' by which he lost four years earlier as the grievance to rally his supporters to victory."