With the explosion of the whistleblower story this week, I’m being asked if credible allegations that Donald Trump is extorting Ukraine to undermine Joe Biden will finally — finally — break the political logjam preventing congress from holding Trump accountable for his actions.  I do think there is a well-placed urgency around this story that distinguishes it from the scandals surrounding the 2016 election because it is happening in real time. But is that enough to change things? This may be a good time to reflect on the fundamentals shaping the politics of the moment:

What could pick the lock on a dynamic like this? Perhaps the unfolding of the Ukraine story will provide sufficient energy to accelerate the Democrat’s slow-motion march toward impeachment. Maybe it will fuel a simple high-octane narrative about treachery that will spark widespread outrage and give Democrats the public opinion cover they crave. Or maybe Democratic leaders will see that despite the accusations against him, Trump is capable of using the Ukraine story to taint their presidential frontrunner and decide that the risk of calling him to account through impeachment is less than the risk of letting him run the same play he used against Hillary with her emails. It’s even possible that Democrats will evaluate the national security implications and decide to act in spite of the political risks. If so, this could be an inflection point. But if the Ukraine story propels Democrats to use the power they have to prevent Trump from acting with impunity, it will not be because it changes the political fundamentals. Instead, the story will have to be consequential enough to overpower them.