The Democrats have made one thing perfectly clear throughout their impeachment crusade: they will not rest as long as Donald Trump is president of the United States.
Their obsession with impeachment has little to do with anything President Trump did, and everything to do with who he is. Democrats never expected to lose the 2016 election—especially not to Donald Trump—and resolved to correct the voters’ unforgiveable “mistake” even before the president took office.
The Democrats have floated the idea of impeachment over demonstrably fake Russian collusion conspiracy theories, tabloid drivel about porn stars, and even the president’s criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
With time running out before the 2020 presidential race gets into full swing, they seized on the only thing they had left: exaggerated “concerns” with a phone call to the newly elected Ukrainian president, padded with testimony from a slew of disgruntled national security officials upset that the president wanted to make his own foreign policy decisions, and a harebrained theory about how it was all illegal.
By any measure, the charade was a monumental failure. According to Gallup, in October, support for impeachment was 52 percent while opposition was 46 percent. Following the House impeachment hearings, those numbers flipped, with 51 percent opposing and 46 percent supporting.
Over that same period of time, Gallup also has Trump’s job approval increasing 6 percentage points, from 39 percent to 45 percent. Rasmussen has it increasing from 45 percent to 50 percent. According to Axios, impeachment is propelling Trump support in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, three key battleground states where he now leads every Democratic contender.
In the midst of declining popular support, is it any surprise that this nakedly political grandstanding failed to win over a single elected Republican, including those highly critical of Trump, while a few Democrats broke ranks and voted against impeachment because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for impeachment on such a flimsy basis?
Unfortunately, even this political disaster won’t actually be the end of the Democrats’ impeachment crusade. Trump’s free-market policies have fostered a booming labor market benefitting a broad cross-section of Americans. Trump’s success is an existential challenge to the leftist mantra that that more and more government is the most effective way to improve peoples’ lives. Coming on the heels of the Obama era’s government expansion, Democrats find Trump’s success particularly galling.
As soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got most — but not all — of her caucus to approve her articles of impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood ready to do his constitutional duty to receive those articles and begin the trial that will inevitably acquit the president of those trumped-up accusations.
That hasn’t happened because Pelosi hasn’t actually transmitted the impeachment articles to the GOP-controlled Senate, where she knows her impeachment folly will be dismissed as the debacle it truly has become. In a hilarious twist, one of the very law professors Democrats invited to testify before the House Judiciary Committee to argue for impeachment is now saying that President Trump hasn’t actually been impeached yet because of Pelosi’s stunt.
But even if President Trump is “officially” impeached, it will not change the significance of Pelosi’s stammering, indefensible explanation for delay. It included the statement, “Frankly, I don’t care what the Republicans say.”
Of course she doesn’t. This entire process has had absolutely nothing to do with upholding constitutional duties or about coming to a bipartisan conclusion in support of impeachment, as Pelosi said was so important mere weeks ago. It was always about putting on a political show for a rabidly partisan audience — and the show must go on.
The current Democrat talking point is that Pelosi is delaying to ensure there are fair procedures in place for a Senate trial. That’s a preposterous claim to make in the wake of a one-sided impeachment inquisition in which the Democrats restricted their Republican colleagues’ meaningful participation and declined to grant President Trump any due process in the name of expedience, which is now apparently unimportant. That won’t happen in the Senate, and Pelosi knows it.
Even if Pelosi does pass the articles of impeachment on to the Senate, that will still not be the end of it. Just as we saw after the special counsel report debunked their Russia collusion conspiracy theory, no setback can ever be enough to put a damper on the Democrats’ impeachment frenzy.
There will always be another “existential threat” or “constitutional crisis,” because in the minds of Democrat extremists, Trump himself is a threat to all they stand for, and removing him from office justifies whatever damage they might do to constitutional norms along the way. The show must go on, and it will.