Moderate Dems from swing districts are panicking. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is making millions fundraising on impeachment.
It could be that U.S. President Donald Trump is playing checkers, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing chess.
But it could also be the other way around.
If Moderate Democrats are to be believed, the latter may be the way the wind is blowing into Election year, 2020. Moderate Democrats from vulnerable swing districts feel their reelection concerns aren’t being taken seriously enough by Democratic leadership.
It is difficult to see where Democrats intend to go from the Judiciary Committee and Rep. Jerry Nadler. If constitutional law professors who’ve never met Donald Trump- and weren’t privy to any information about the Ukrainian call in question- are being consulted for their learned opinions on the House floor, Democrats have no other material witnesses to call.
If House Democrats, led by a once impeachment-reluctant Nancy Pelosi, intended for the previous weeks of Congressional testimony by career diplomats disappointed in Trump diplomacy to move the needle of public sentiment in Democratic favor, they failed.
Registered Democrats planning to vote Democrat in 2020 are certainly convinced of Trump’s unfitness for office; but they were convinced of that before and after the Mueller investigation and report, too.
Everyone else is largely unmoved. Even some Congressional Democrats are unmoved.
“For me, right now, I am struggling to see how the evidence supports impeachment at this point.” — Democratic Congressional Member, speaking on the condition of anonymity to CNN
The Democratic failure to get even one House Republican to break rank and vote for impeachment pretty much set the scene for the electorate to follow:
If House Republicans were unmoved by the Democratic case against Donald Trump, Republican voters wouldn’t be any more likely to be convinced.
Now, there are plenty of Democrats who think that Republicans are, without exception, an unprincipled bunch unconcerned with the fate of the Republic.
But if Democrats truly believe that 200 Congressional Republicans care more about Donald Trump’s political career than they do their own…well, perhaps those Democrats should consider voting for Trump themselves.
Anyone with that kind of talent deserves a vote.
Since Trump does not have magic powers, those Republicans must believe that allegiance to Trump will help them politically far more than opposing him would.
Meaning, those Republicans do not see a pathway where a sufficient enough case has been made against Trump to cost them at the ballot box for supporting him- even moderate Republican from swing districts.
Moderate Democrats, on the other hand, seem to have come to the opposite conclusion. There are even early warnings that House Democrats may have actually lost Democratic votes during the course of their impeachment inquiry, having failed to make a compelling case.
Meanwhile, in the Trump War Room, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has been openly taunting vulnerable Democrats for weeks.
A running total of the massive number of small money donations into the Trump campaign coffers is one thing. The number of zeros behind some of the fundraising numbers Republicans and Trump have been putting up, quite another.
But the worst thing perhaps, has been Parscale’s constant reminder to his Democratic opponents that many of the attendees who have been showing up at massive Donald Trump rallies across the country…are Democrats.
Democrats, it would seem, who are seriously ready to reconsider their allegiance to a party that seems too determined to take Trump down, but less determined to replace his successful economic policies with equally prosperous policies of their own.
While moderate Democrats are willing to do everything they can to avoid talking about impeachment on the campaign trail- and the prevailing attitude that it was and is a failed and failing partisan spectacle with no chance of removing Trump from office- the Trump campaign is spending millions in ads spreading the message far and wide:
Democrats have done nothing but impeach a President; and they couldn’t even do that right.
Pelosi’s talking points about House Democrats striking a blow for the sanctity of the U.S. constitution ring a bit hollow in Rust Best and Midwestern swing districts.
Putting aside the fact that Democrats now openly wax poetic about abolishing the electoral college, and other things many Americans would consider unconstitutional including forcible federal gun confiscation, it is difficult to sell impeachment as an ephemeral moral imperative for the sake of humanity.
The jobs and low unemployment rate that Donald Trump has brought to cities and towns in the Heartland are a great deal easier to communicate.
“We are so close to an election. I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.”
“I want to censure. I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and, under our Constitution, we will not allow it.” — Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.). November 24, 2019
What has vulnerable Democrats even more worried is the massive jobs blowout report just published for November.
With unemployment at record lows across the board, wage growth robust and Wall Street closing at record numbers, convincing middle class and working people who have benefitted to change horses is going to be all the more difficult.
With the economy this strong, the fallout from impeachment may be the least of moderate Democratic worries.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)