Impeachment is going so poorly for the media and other Democrats that “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd was forced to broadcast false information to support it.
A graphic was posted on Sunday’s show that purported to identify how many people in the president’s party voted in support of an impeachment inquiry in the cases of Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. It accurately noted that 31 Democrats voted in favor of impeachment proceedings for Clinton. But it inaccurately claimed that a single Republican had voted in favor of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment rules last week.
There are multiple problems with this graphic. For one thing, zero Republicans voted with House Democrats last week. Zero point zero. Zilch. Nada. None. For another, Todd’s team is hiding the bipartisan nature of the opposition to the vote last week. Not only did not a single Republican vote with Democrats, two Democrats voted with Republicans in opposition.
Todd knows that no Republicans voted for impeachment, despite the graphic he put up on national television. In fact, he said during the show, “I have one with an asterisk here. I don’t know what you do with Justin Amash. It’s not a zero. At the same time, he’s not a Republican anymore.”
I know what you do with that, Chuck. You don’t lie and call him a Republican. Todd himself gave Amash national media attention for leaving the Republican Party in dramatic fashion, interviewing him two weeks prior. In the first six seconds of the interview, he noted twice that Amash was not a Republican.
The impeachment inquiry, such as it is, has tremendous struggles. It’s been conducted in secret, with heavy control from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the man who falsely claimed for years he had evidence of Trump’s treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election. The inquiry is being handled by him because the more appropriate committee chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., made a mess of the previous impeachment efforts by mismanaging his hearings with Robert Mueller, John Dean, and Corey Lewandowski. In fact, the Mueller hearing was such a disaster for impeachment efforts that it more or less killed a multi-year effort put in place by Resistance bureaucrats and their supporters.
Schiff has told witnesses not to answer questions when those questions would help Trump, and has badgered witnesses who were deemed insufficiently supportive of his efforts to undo the 2016 election. He and the whistleblower both lied about their coordination prior to the complaint being filed. And while he originally demanded the whistleblower’s testimony, after that coordination was revealed, he has attempted to prevent the testimony during which difficult questions would be asked.
Worse, the witnesses thus far can not point to a single crime, much less a high crime, for which to impeach the president. Instead, the witnesses either broadly support the president’s handling of foreign policy or are livid with rage over his disagreement with their foreign policy views.
While the losing faction in 2016 has great trouble with Trump’s less interventionist foreign policy, it is not actually grounds for impeachment. Even if one were to take issue with that foreign policy, nobody has been able to point to a single crime that took place in any interaction with Ukraine, much less one committed by the president, which is a serious barrier for an impeachment inquiry.
Also, unlike the Russia collusion hoax, Republican politicians aren’t falling for it at all. For impeachment to have even a scintilla of legitimacy, it must be broadly bipartisan. That’s not my opinion, it was the standard Democrats held until moments ago.
In March, Pelosi told the Washington Post, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.” A year earlier she said, “Impeachment is a very serious matter. If it happens, it has to be a bipartisan initiative.”
Years prior, Nadler himself said, “There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come. And will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”
The only Republican to be broadly supportive of the latest anti-Trump effort is Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a man whose opposition to Trump is seen as more ego-based than principled. In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of Americans showed that only 2 percent of Americans view Romney “very favorably,” and only 18 percent view him favorably at all.
Polls that were working very hard to show growing support for impeachment have seen decreased support as Americans learn more about the probe, settling into a proxy for questions of Trump’s approval or favorability. National Review editor Rich Lowry noted in that “Meet the Press” panel that even in a poll that showed a slight majority of Americans favoring impeachment, a larger majority opposed removal in favor of waiting to see election results in 2020.
Polls also show that impeachment is disfavored in critical battleground states. And according to the latest Fox News poll, only 38 percent of independents favored impeachment. With Republicans and Democrats mirror images of each other on the issue, that’s a huge problem for Democrats and the media.
Inside of newsrooms, broadcast studios, and Twitter, impeachment is going according to plan. Outside of those bubbles, it’s not. Republicans are handling efforts to unseat Trump much in the way that Democrats would handle efforts to unseat Barack Obama or Republicans would handle efforts to unseat George W. Bush. They’re not finding them remotely compelling. And until they do, even the more feckless Republican politicians aren’t going to fall for impeachment unless they’re heavily incentivized to do so by outside interests.