For a few months, I have mostly mentioned impeachment in passing, mostly as part of an overall point in an article that slightly relates to it. But after a few months, and in particular, two weeks of the House Democrats rigging impeachment rules in their favor, denying due process for the President, and denying Republicans the chance to interview their own witnesses, we find that support for impeachment has either been ticking down as time went on or not really moved at all – neither of which are good for Democrats who need to gain ground in order for this to not be a total failure.
None of the witnesses the Democrats interviewed actually witnessed anything and could, at best, offer second or third-hand knowledge of the situation. Trump releasing the transcript of the July 25th phone call with Zelensky essentially ruined the Democrats’ efforts because now, they can’t say that something happened when it didn’t and hope that a vast majority of people believe them. With the transcript, we have the ability to read what was said during the call and find that no quid pro quo actually took place, or that, even if you wanted to stretch things a little, that it’s not exactly an impeachable offense to ask for a foreign government to investigate someone who happens to be a political opponent when they possibly and likely committed crimes in that country.
After all this time, we find several polls that have bad news for Democrats and one that attempts to keep Democrats energized about impeachment but ultimately is mostly fake news.
First, let’s look at the Huffington Post/YouGov poll. This poll shows that only 42% of all adults believe that Trump is guilty of withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens.
For the fact that we had roughly two months of non-stop anti-Trump propaganda (specifically talking about Ukraine and quid pro quo; the anti-Trump propaganda has been around for years at this point) and two weeks of hearings that supposedly were Trump’s “worst” weeks and the testimonies of the “witnesses” were “damning” and very “damaging”, 42% is hysterically pathetic.
It gets worse, too. 57% believe Trump is either innocent or are unsure about whether or not he is, which is devastating for Democrats trying to prove guilt and being reinforced by fake news sites that they are doing a good job. Granted, 26% of that 57% are unsure, but again, the Democrats are tasked with building a case to at least convince people that Trump is guilty, even if they cannot prove that, and are failing miserably at it.
Even worse than that, even among the 42% of those who say Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens, only 40% of them said that that is an impeachable offense. So out of the relatively few people who believe Trump is guilty, even FEWER people believe it’s an impeachable offense to do what he did, with the rest believing Trump’s actions were either “appropriate” (16%), “inappropriate but not impeachable” (26%), or are altogether unsure (18%).
So even out of the few people that the Democrats have convinced Trump did what they allege he did, the vast majority of these people do not necessarily agree with the idea that Trump’s actions are impeachable. That is hilarious.
Let’s move on now to a Politico poll. Prior to the hearings, support for impeachment stood at 50%. It now stands at 48%. Still higher than I honestly think they generally are, but considering it’s a DROP FOLLOWING THE SUPPOSEDLY DEVASTATING HEARINGS, that tells you an awful lot about how badly the Democrats messed up here. When support for impeachment of Trump drops AFTER Democrat-led hearings occur, that’s a clear-cut sign that the hearings were a massive flop. They were meant to convince people that Trump should be impeached and try and prove something nefarious occurred between Trump and Ukraine, but they had the opposite effect: less support.
Even worse for the Democrats in this poll is the support from Independents. Prior to the hearings, 37% of Independents opposed the inquiry. Now, that number stands at 39%. 44% of Independents now support impeachment, down from 47% before the hearings.
Again, considering the purpose of the hearings, this is devastating for Democrats hoping to build a case against Trump. Proving that Trump broke the law isn’t the point of impeachment. Yes, the basic premise is that impeachment should occur when high crimes and misdemeanors have occurred, but actually proving they happened isn’t necessary for an impeachment and removal. What’s necessary is partisan politics and the ability to convince the public, at least a sizeable majority, that the President is guilty, even if he or she isn’t, and they should be impeached and removed from office.
Impeachment is a political tool to get rid of the opposition, not a legal proceeding. And at this, the Democrats are failing abhorrently.
Even the one poll that attempts to keep Democrats from being discouraged (from CNN, if you can believe it) doesn’t exactly help them once you read a bit into it.
CNN reports that support for impeachment sits at 50%, with 43% disagreeing. On the outset, this is good for Democrats, but again, once you read into it, that changes. You see, these numbers are exactly the same as they were before the hearings. They didn’t improve following the hearings, they just remained the same.
And this is the only poll that says that they didn’t move, either. Considering the fake news hole that CNN is, you can bet that they oversampled Democrats to the point where the figures remained unchanged.
But regardless of what the case may be, not one of these polls is really a positive for the Democrats. Again, they have to build a case in favor of impeachment and have to convince people to side with them. They are either not improving in doing that at best (in one poll) or flat out shooting themselves on the foot (in multiple polls).
This, coupled with the fact that Trump’s overall approval is ticking up even in some of these polls, and the fact that both Rasmussen and Emerson report that 34%+ of African Americans support Trump, and you have a recipe for disaster for Democrats moving forward.
They are left with two terrible options: impeach a popular president with little support, sending it to Republicans in the Senate who will 100% vote to acquit and actually give the President due process (and most likely expose the dealings of the Bidens, thus hurting Joe in the long run as a Democrat candidate), or not impeach Trump and risk their base’s wrath and their donors clamping up their wallets, potentially losing the House in the process due to lack of support from their own base, let alone those outside of it.
Granted, I fully expect this to lead the Democrats to lose everything come 2020 no matter what choice they make (particularly if Biden is the nominee, which I doubt), but Pelosi has to choose the better of two terrible options.
I think the Democrats will ultimately vote to impeach the President, if only to save themselves from the ire of their base (which they should know very well, considering one hardcore Leftist Democrat has had to recant her statement that she opposed impeachment). Of course, the issue would then be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate, where they will give Trump due process and even likely choose to investigate the Bidens and expose their corruption (which isn’t all that hard to do) and eventually vote to acquit the President.
This impeachment sham will likely be remembered as the biggest political misstep in the history of this nation. And while I understand why the Democrats chose to pull the trigger on impeachment so quickly once the Ukraine story was out, it’s still a terrible misstep. The Democrats bet that Mueller would deliver the goods and that failed after two and a half years. Now, a year away from the 2020 election, the Democrats want to avoid Trump getting another four years as POTUS, and considering the weakness of their presidential field, they opted to rush into impeachment as soon as the story broke out.
The problem came when Trump released the transcript of the phone call, showing his innocence and stripping the Democrats of their ability to lie about what was in it (granted, they still tried to do it, but it obviously flopped). Of course, ultimately, Trump still did nothing wrong, but again, public opinion is what matters.
The release of the transcript threw a wrench into the Democrats’ impeachment hopes and now, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Democrats now have to pick their poison in whether or not to impeach Trump, knowing that neither will be good for them moving forward.
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