Time for House Democrats to cut their losses before it is too late to salvage the 2020 election.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) nee (D-NJ) switched parties this week in the wake of a strictly partisan impeachment vote.
At least, it was strictly partisan in favor of impeachment. Standing with united Republicans against impeachment were a handful of bipartisan Democratic holdouts, perhaps most notably Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who voted “present”.
One such was Rep. Van Drew.
That moderate Democrats from swing districts Trump carried in 2016 are between a rock and a hard place is no secret. Any Democrat that voted “yes” on impeachment will have to face voters at the ballot box in November.
And impeachment isn’t polling well in swing districts; voters are angry about it, if they think about it at all. Mostly, they are angry about the partisan distraction of a lost cause.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew has a better likelihood of being reelected than his Congressional fellows who voted their conscience rather than with their constituents. With Republican coffers to back him, Van Drew is well positioned to win in the general and will not have to face a primary, as he almost certainly would have from the left if he had remained a Democrat.
What is surprising, is that more Democrats from swing districts haven’t jumped ship. Not with the grass on the Democratic side of the fence looking less green by the day. “Democrats Have Failed to Prove Their Case Against Trump”, if you believe the Atlantic, as most liberals do.
Not only is impeachment underwater now with more Americans opposing than supporting, this change comes after weeks of Democratic, and media, efforts to declare Donald Trump guilty of bribery, quid pro quo, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and anything else that might occur.
Only none of those charges made it into the articles of impeachment ultimately, which seems strange considering how far and wide they were touted by a media still naively incurious about the motivations of politicians, so long as they are Democrats.
Yet, even now, the House is asking the Senate to call more witnesses in order to make their case, thereby admitting the weakness of their existing case into the record. The list of four witnesses, including John Bolton, should have been compelled to testify by the House.
As an invoking of executive privilege is the President’s right, Democrats in the House should have known, and likely did know, that they would need the Supreme Court to mediate such an impasse.
After the White House invoked executive privilege, serious House Democrats would have gone to the governmental body designed by the constitution to mediate disagreements between the other two branches in just this sort of case. The judiciary branch could have compelled these witnesses to testify.
Unserious Democrats not interested in anything but the court of public opinion might do otherwise. That House Democrats refused to do this, citing the amount of “time it would take” is telling.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is positively thriving on impeachment. Since impeachment proceedings were announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump and the Republican National Committee have raised a truly eye-watering sum.
The RNC has a whopping 63.2 million cash on hand; in November alone it hauled in 20.6 million. The Trump campaign and the RNC have also added more than 600,000 new small online donors to their ranks. This is more small dollar, and first time donations, than any Democratic candidate currently in the field can claim.
Facing his supporters at a rally this week, President Trump was positively ebullient. It’s no wonder: He’s won.
If House Democrats had made their case in the House, they wouldn’t need additional help from the Senate. Nor will House Democrats be getting any help from the Senate; it’s a weak case.
More than a few unfortunate facts are hurting the House’s case against the President.
First, the key material witness in the case says the crime never happened. Ukrainian President Zelensky has repeated told the U.S. and international press that he felt no pressure to investigate the Bidens and knew of no conditions under which the aid would not be rendered.
In spite of many media assertions to the contrary, no substantive account of Hunter Biden’s business activities in the Ukraine has ever been given beyond what Hunter Biden was willing to say in a televised interview. No inquiry, no investigation by any U.S. government body has ever been conducted.
The most Hunter Biden was willing to say was “Yeah, it was probably bad judgement. And yeah, I probably got the job because my last name was Biden.”
The Democrat’s impeachment case against President Trump is weak, even in the court of the public opinion. But the case against Joe and Hunter Biden is straightforward and easy to understand.
Former President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. hasn’t given a cohesive response on the campaign trail, nor has he made any attempt to explain why the situation wasn’t addressed until Donald Trump brought it out into the open with the Zelensky call.
Repeating to the American people that what Hunter Biden did “wasn’t illegal” isn’t as good a defense as the Biden campaign team thinks it is. In many ways, it is even more damaging than an outright admission guilt. That such schemes certainly aren’t illegal is the problem.
As they say in rural America: “If it ain’t, it ought to be.”
Worst of all for the Democrat’s impeachment case may be the fact that the aid was in fact rendered- aid that the Obama/Biden administration never gave- and Hunter Biden didn’t so much as lose his lucrative board position. He resigned after public pressure.
It is time for House Democrats to stop pretending to be sad about impeachment, stop pretending impeachment is going to go further, and get back to work for the American people.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)