Four endings to the Senate’s impeachment trial – and none is good for Democrats
By: COREY LEWANDOWSKI
The Hill January 25, 2020
I would call these “predictions,” but that might be too generous of a term. These are facts — things you already know but may have forgotten amid all the noise about witnesses, documents, amendments and long, boring speeches. And, unfortunately for the Democrats, they aren’t going away.
Trump will not be removed from office. This was never even a hope for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or any of her caucus in the House that so enthusiastically celebrated the “somber moment” when they voted to impeach President Trump.
With 67 Senate votes required to remove, and 47 senators aligning with the Democrats in the upper chamber, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) knows he’s looking at an impossible task to generate bipartisan support for a partisan impeachment. He’d be much better served following the advice he gave during the Clinton years: “There’s no need to continue forward because there are certainly not two-thirds for impeachment.” Well said.
All Republican senators will vote together to acquit. There was a hope early on in the media that certain GOP senators would vote to convict the president due to perceived electoral worries or deep-seated personal animosities that news anchors discovered by mind-reading.
Some people who are now unemployed even predicted that, in a secret ballot, a majority of the Senate GOP would vote to remove the president.
It’s true that President Trump is not from the GOP establishment and has ruffled a few feathers since winning the party’s presidential nomination in 2016. However, what all these analysts and talking heads seem to miss is that, at the end of the day, impeachment is a constitutional process with constitutional guidelines as to what warrants impeachment and removal from office and what doesn’t.
With the House claiming that an interbranch conflict meant to be settled by the Supreme Court is “obstruction of justice” and that the nebulously-defined term of “abuse of power,” which has morphed to mean “whatever Congress doesn’t like,” meets the standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that necessitates a president’s removal, President Trump’s acquittal will be unified, and swift.
The longer this goes, the less America will follow it. Eleven million viewers tuned in to see the first day of this historically unnecessary impeachment trial. That would sound impressive, if not for the fact that closer to 14 million viewers tuned in to the first day of the impeachment inquiry in the House in November.
I imagine the 3 million or so viewers who lost interest between November and now were actual engaged citizens, while the remaining 11 million still tuning in are comprised of those watching TVs in airport terminals, hotel lobbies, restaurants and university common spaces left on for the sake of being left on.
The point is that very few people seem to be finding this process engaging, other than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). And if the first day of arguments, the Democrats’ big debut, didn’t bring the whole nation to the edge of its seat, don’t expect there to be any greater interest as our elected officials take more time to prove how dysfunctional Congress truly is.
The impeachment process will aid Trump in his 2020 reelection. This is the one that the House impeachment managers don’t seem to understand. The prosecution they’re running is built for TV, with soundbites and cut-in videos to match. Legal arguments, they have rightly concluded, are boring and less worthy of pursuing than an emotional appeal which they hope the viewers will eat up.
However, there’s an unintended effect of the “Trump fatigue” strategy they’re running on — one which they should rightly fear: Voters may see them, not the president, as the problem.
When you have a president who has overseen policies to help a record 158.5 million Americans be employed, to keep wage growth at or above 3 percent for 15 months in a row, and to make the stock market hit record all-time highs time and again, opposition to the president is opposition to his success. Renegotiation of trade deals to better support American farmers and manufacturers, increased security measures at the southern border to stem the flow of dangerous illegal drugs into our country, and the rebuilding of our military to ensure American safety and maintain peace through strength abroad are the aims that the Democrats wish to end — not for some new, deep allegiance to the Constitution that many of them never much cared for previously, but for their hatred of this president and the notion of a strong American nation which he represents.
In the United Kingdom, the opposition leadership tried for years to delay, confound and complicate the Brexit decision that the British people voted for, all in the hope that voters would become so disgusted with the whole ordeal that they’d just abandon it along with the Conservative Party, whose leaders encouraged Brexit in the first place.
After December’s election, the Conservatives have their largest majority in Parliament in 30 years — and the UK will be leaving the European Union at the end of this month.
Never doubt the common voter’s common sense.