Just when it looked finished, the impeachment hydra grows another head.
“This doesn’t feel like an impeachment to me. Does it to you?” — President Donald Trump. December 19, 2019
When President Donald J. Trump addressed his jubilant supporters at a rally this week, he didn’t act like an angry and desperate man under siege. He didn’t seem like a President for whom the boat is slowly sinking as the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff circle like hungry sharks.
On the contrary, Trump seemed ebullient, relieved even. He spoke to the crowd as a man already vindicated. Someone who has used impeachment against the very people who have tried to wield it against him, and become stronger for it.
Not even Democrats themselves can argue that he hasn’t.
In contrast to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s sharp looks and “cut it out” gestures at her caucus in the House as she announced the articles of impeachment adopted, and her previous warnings to them to keep it somber, Trump seemed to be taking a victory lap.
For Trump supporters, the more House Democrats have tried to remove the President, the more convinced they have become that those with a vested interest in maintaining the sorry status quo in Washington are trying their best to get rid of Donald Trump.
They don’t see impeachment as a black mark against the presidency of Donald Trump; they see it as proof that Trump has been telling them the truth about Washington bureaucrats all along.
Not surprisingly, America seems to be buying it. Both for people who voted for Trump, and those independents or moderates who didn’t, impeachment has made President Trump more popular.
The most recent polls released show Trump absolutely crushing his Democratic rivals, every single one. This poll, needless to say, is not music to the ears of Democrats or the press.
With the economy booming, unemployment at record lows, a trade deal with China looking imminent and the recent passing of the USMCA, Trump is starting to look unstoppable even to Democrats at the Washington Post celebrating “impeachmas”.
All this amounts to a growing concern on the left that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be saving her black dress for Wednesday November 4, 2020.
Now, in a seeming gesture of last-ditch desperation, Pelosi has signaled she will not be sending House Democrat’s carefully prepared, focus grouped, and voted on impeachment articles to the Senate right away.
Ostensibly, Pelosi says she is holding out for more favorable conditions in the Senate, which she must know will never come. Republicans control the Senate, as everyone knows. This is why the case for impeaching Donald Trump needed to be made in the House.
Senate Republicans have no incentive whatsoever to impeach their sitting president in the midst of a booming economy and record low unemployment. House Democrats should have called the four witnesses they are now asking the Senate to call. Of course the White House would assert executive privilege and not let them testify, who wouldn’t?
That is what the Supreme Court is for, to settle disputes between the other two branches. House Democrats could get every scrap of information and witness testimony they need.
Why haven’t they done this?
Failing to send the articles to the Senate means that technically, Trump hasn’t even really been impeached yet. It isn’t official until the House- officially- informs the Senate. This makes the House Democrat’s efforts seem even more farcical and partisan.
The fact that the Stock Market is completely ignoring Democratic House efforts to impeach Donald Trump doesn’t say a great deal for the strength of the Democrat’s case, either.
“Markets are shrugging off the impeachment of President Donald Trump because he is not expected to be removed from office, and there should be no negative impacts on fiscal or monetary policy as a result.” — Patti Domm, CNBC Market Insider: “Here’s why the stock market is ignoring Trump’s impeachment by the House”.
Art Cashin, director of UBS Financial Services and noted Wall Street futurist, predicts strong stock market gains through 2020 and no Fed rate hikes for three years.
“Eight out of nine times that we’ve had an up year like we had this year, it’s followed by another decent up year. Not quite as strong, but still strong, and so I’ll go with history.” — Art Cashin
This failure to get public traction with impeachment efforts has Democrats scrambling at the end of the year to pass common sense things like the USMCA, which contains everything the Unions asked for- and more.
This is making Democrats seem even more unorganized and frenetic than ever.
“Investors have virtually ignored what’s going on in Congress. They care about the economy. They care about profits. They care about trade, and if they thought the president was in serious jeopardy of losing his job, they’d care.” — Jack Ablin, Cresset Wealth Advisors
Meanwhile, with impeachment as a distraction, the Trump administration and Sen. Mitch McConnell have managed to confirm another 13 Trump judicial nominees in their bid to leave no court vacancy behind.
It is both a headline on a satire news site and the truth: “‘Look, Is That Trump Committing An Impeachable Offense?’ Mitch McConnell Says, Distracting Dems While More Conservative Judges Sneak By.”
Appointing conservative judges, which is one of the things Trump promised to do on the campaign trail, is something that his evangelical voting base wants very much.
On the right, concerns about religious freedom are real. Especially with Democratic presidential candidates like Beto O’Rourke promising to revoke the tax-exempt status of any church that presumes to define marriage in a traditional sense, a standard maintained by many religions for thousands of years.
Wiser candidates, like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have publicly backed-away from such a position. They point out- rightly- that other religious groups besides churches would be impacted by such a move by the federal government, including most mosques.
On the right, objection to abortion, especially late-term abortion, is real as well. So is a willingness to donate time and money towards pro-life activism.
For religious conservatives who oppose abortion, it is not a question of women’s bodies or female reproductive rights. The pro-life lobby maintains that women’s reproductive rights doesn’t include the right to terminate someone else’s life. The anti-abortion movement is driven by a desire to protect the most vulnerable- the unborn.
In this area, too, Democratic overreach on legalizing third trimester abortions has galvanized the right, pushing them even further into Trump’s camp.
The legal right to bear arms is another area in which some feel their rights are being threatened. Democrats like, again, Beto O’Rourke have promised “Hell yes, we are going to take your AK-57”.
For these reasons, and others, some of Trump’s staunchest supporters, and former detractors, embrace him because of what he will leave behind more so than for the irascible mercurial man himself.
In this, Trump is not disappointing them.
Democrats in the House need to cut their losses. As Democratic candidate Andrew Yang cautioned his fellow Democrats during last night’s debate:
If Democrats are going to win against Trump in 2020, they are not going to do it with impeachment.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)