Political wonks don't always get it right. Two months ago, I predicted Elizabeth Warren would continue to rise in the polls, while Joe Biden, wounded by multiple scandals, gaffes, a bleeding eye, Corn Pop, and stuttering attacks, would fall. In the latest national poll, Biden is up by 12 points, with nearly twice the number of Warren supporters. Yes, I have supped on humble pie and will again, I'm sure.
Sometimes it goes the other way. Last month, I predicted that House Democrats--especially from swing districts where President Trump won in 2016--would choose censure over impeachment. To be fair, it's still a long shot, but the fact that some Democrats are openly discussing the option is a silver-lining win for Trump, and a black eye on Democrat unity.
As reported in Politico today, the group of nervous Dems consists "of about 10 Trump-district lawmakers [and] included Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Ben McAdams (D-Utah.)."
If you live in their districts, give them a call. Here's a link to the Congressional telephone directory.
Censure is the logical choice. In a saner environment, it would prevail: Dems would get to slap Trump's wrist for hurting their feelings (while not abusing their power and torturing the country). But we live in a world where a screeching Swedish teen, a bartender from Westchester, a blackface Canadian, and a "throuple" congresswoman can dominate news cycles. Outrage begets more outrage, not levelheaded compromise.
The two articles of impeachment--abuse of power and obstruction of Congress--are backed by the flimsiest evidence imaginable: a few lines from a telephone call. There is no crime that resulted due to the alleged quid pro quo. Conversely, it appears that Schiff did commit a crime when he obtained phone call records of private citizens and reporters in clandestine fashion.
At the end of the day, Trump wanted notoriously corrupt Ukraine to right their ship before sending more aid. Further, Ukraine had been openly hostile to the Trump campaign in 2016. Keeping a close watch on the newly elected Zelensky was the correct thing to do.
The logical recourse is to simply drop the charges, but that would be too humiliating for Schiff & Company. Too many angry words spoken and weighty accusations made to let it drop now, especially for Schiff, Nadler, and Pelosi.
If impeachment does come to a Senate trial, we might see some defections--by Democrats. As reported by Breitbart today, there are a few Democrat senators who might vote against impeachment:
"Matthew Boyle reported Monday that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has yet to make up his mind on whether he would vote to convict Trump in the Senate. Sens. Doug Jones (D-AL), Kyrsten (D-AZ), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) did not answer whether they intend to convict Trump."
If you live in their states, call them! Here's the Senate telephone guide.
How ironic that Pelosi promised bipartisan support as a prerequisite for impeachment and didn't get it in the House (while there was bipartisan opposition), and now it appears there might be the same scenario in the Senate: partisan approval and bipartisan opposition to the removal of President Trump.
In the meantime, USMCA is a big win, and impeachment has fired up conservatives.
The Dems overplayed a bad hand. Censure would allow them to demonstrate some maturity. How refreshing! Trump would be spared the ugly mark of impeachment, and Congress could fold up the tent and get back to work. No one really wins, no one truly loses. In fact, censure would likely save a few blue House seats come 2020.
It's the right move for the party, but suicide for party leaders. How fitting that Democrats, all about divisive identity groups, would fail to do what's right for the party and the country to save their corrupt, decrepit leadership.
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