Three years after President Donald Trump captured the White House, Democrats are aggressively pushing a partisan impeachment inquiry while several of their attempts to undo the 2016 election have already failed since Trump took office.
On election night, President Trump shocked the political establishment and won a big victory in the Electoral College with 304 votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 227. While Democrats keep noting Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million, her extra votes came entirely from within California, proving the worth of the constitutionally created Electoral College and serving as a critical reminder that the United States is indeed a republic, not a democracy.
Regardless, Democrats have repeatedly called Trump an illegitimate chief executive and have pursued radical conspiracy theories to oust the Republican president ever since inauguration. From arguing the president is mentally unfit to serve to alleging that Trump is a Russian agent — which, after a two-year special counsel investigation with unlimited resources found that not one person on the president’s campaign, let alone the president, colluded with the Russian government — Democrats have now honed in on an even weaker case to make their latest move on impeachment.
In August, details of an anonymous whistleblower complaint lodged against the president surfaced in media complicit in Democrats’ efforts to remove Trump from office. The complaint, which has since been made public, focuses on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where the president allegedly conspired with the Ukrainian government to investigate political opponents at home.
The unredacted transcript of the call was shortly declassified and released to the public following media reports of the anonymous whistleblower complaint, which was marked as “credible” and “urgent” by the intelligence community inspector general but not by the Department of National Intelligence.
The big reveal from its release? That Trump requested the Ukrainian government investigate corruption and the origins of the nation’s role in peddling the grand Russian conspiracy theory that did irreparable damage to the United States. That’s the alleged “high crime and misdemeanor” Democrats have based their latest impeachment efforts on.
Nevermind that releasing the transcript of a conversation with a foreign leader is unprecedented and hampers U.S. foreign relations with other countries, the constant efforts by Democrats to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election are hurting the nation.
The Mueller investigation dominated the news cycle for years, distracting politicians and the media from focusing on real issues the public cares and ought to care about. It also impeded administration efforts with lawmakers to pursue policy objectives critical to the public’s interest, forcing the White House to instead combat a cooked-up conspiracy theory asserting Trump to be a Russian agent.
While the Trump White House has certainly enjoyed some important successes in the past three years, from passing landmark tax reform, appointing a record number of federal judges to the bench, and achieving an impressive deregulatory agenda, the never-ending calls for impeachment from Democrats have derailed important policy goals, even those that are bipartisan.
Once House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California opened an impeachment inquiry in September, which wasn’t voted on by the full chamber for more than a month, all legislating came to a grinding halt. There were several important measures going through the process, too, including a bill to lower drug prices, a critical and bipartisan objective. Now, the “Lower Drug Costs Now Act” that was being shepherded through the House Ways and Means Committee has been dismissed by many as a dead effort.
Matt Weidinger, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, writes that the bill’s demise is a direct result of Democratic impeachment efforts, where the forces pushing for impeachment have driven the policy debate to the left, prompting Democrats to take a partisan approach to crafting the bill. When the measure came up for consideration in committee, it passed along party lines and is expected to be rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate.
The failure to compromise on this important legislation is harming Americans desperately in need of lower drug costs, and it’s thanks to Democrats’ refusal to accept the results of an election three years ago that its future is now in peril.
A monumental trade deal now also hangs in the balance over impeachment. Since the executive branch finished negotiations for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) last November, it has been up to Pelosi to bring legislation ratifying the treaty up for a vote. Mexico has already ratified the agreement, but the United States and Canada have not.
Some have been more optimistic about getting the agreement passed through Congress and signed by the president, as Pelosi said Thursday that a deal with the administration on the final details could be “imminent.” The White House is hoping to get the agreement through the legislative process by the end of the year as the 2020 election approaches, whereas no agreement on the deal could lead to years of new rounds of negotiations to replace the outdated existing agreement under NAFTA.
The fact is, impeachment brings legislating to a grinding halt. The American public would be better served if Democrats followed the will of the people and came to the table to work with the constitutionally elected president rather than spending three years drumming up conspiracy theories to reverse the results of a free and fair election.