The Cohen hearings would have been more upsetting were it not for the fact that we now live in a political news cycle in which they'll be forgotten in a couple of days.
Everybody keeps wondering where the bottom is for congressional Republicans, the point at which they eventually realize that they have more to gain from throwing Trump under the bus than they do by defending him with such pitiful obsequiousness. Days like Wednesday make me wonder if there is a bottom. Maybe there isn't, and this spectacle is going to be dragged out to some kind of unbearably awkward Third World dictatorship ending where the guy and his inner circle end up barricading themselves in the Oval Office and eating a bullet.
Or maybe the eventual ending will be boring and constitutional. Who knows. What is obvious is that the things Mr. Cohen says are less important than the evidence he may have provided, and if he has turned over signed checks (WHO COMMITS FELONIES WITH A CHECK?) then the investigators have hard evidence of a felony. Cohen is not, shall we say, a witness whose credibility will stand on its own, so even though he's probably telling the truth his statements are of reduced value.
But it's a real Hail Mary for the GOP to rally around the defense of, this man who was the close, trusted ally of the president for 10+ years and served as his fixer is a vicious lying scumbag felon. They appointed Cohen finance chair of the Republican National Committee in 2017, for christ's sake. To call that argument an insult to the intelligence of their audience is an understatement. It's beyond stupid and it relies entirely on the assumption that people will support it without thinking about it if they are told to.
Does it bring anything closer to resolution? Who the fuck knows, and frankly at this point it is probably to the Democrats' advantage for Trump to run in 2020 rather than a last-minute replacement president who would give the GOP the appearance of having rid itself of its cancer. But it's pretty clear from watching the pathetic display put on by the GOP members of Congress during those hearings that the problem runs far, far deeper than one man. Whenever the Trump show is over, I have a feeling he's going to take more than a few of these allies down with him. If you want to lose a night of sleep, try thinking about the fact that some large percentage of your fellow Americans watched that shitshow and liked what they saw. Some of them liked it a great deal.
Don't get me wrong, we're all going on a three-week bender when Trump is finished, but man, this is not a problem that gets resolved quickly or easily. The president is the symptom, not the virus.