Don Oral | November 25, 2019
The House Impeachment Inquiry is over. Was there evidence that President Trump should be impeached? Yes. Was it compelling? Evidently not. In a strict legalistic sense, the original meaning of High Crime and Misdemeanor was met. In the popular imagination it was not. How do I know? The latest Emerson Poll shows that 48% do not think that the President should be impeached, a rise of 5% since September. Only 41% now think he should be impeached.
Nancy Pelosi (and I) was right. The inquiry should not have taken place now. (I advocated let’s beat him in the election first, then impeach him if we lose. Both Presidents Nixon and Clinton had the impeachment inquiries in their second term. I have no idea what Pelosi thought was the best course of action). But the Speaker bowed to pressure from the base. What’s done is done. Unfortunately, the public has seen this as another Benghazi and they are not entirely wrong. We needed to convince 60% to 67% of the American people, especially in the battleground states, that Trump perpetrated impeachable offenses. That is the threshold for bringing enough Republicans over to make the results bipartisan. We failed.
Where do we go from here? First we go to court. Adjourn the hearings until Pompeo, Bolton, Giuliani, etc. are subpoenaed and the court decide. I’m not a lawyer, but I think the law is on our side. If the Supreme Court disagrees, take a page out of the Republican playbook and rail against the activist, politically motivated Republican judges. Second, call the Republicans’ bluff. Hold hearing on alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Let Nunes and Jordan call all the nonsense witness they want. Expose the fraud and lies they are perpetrating. Keep the heat going. Third, hold hearing on the violations of the Emoluments Clauses. Not sexy, but enriching oneself in office might resonate with the public.
Will Hurd (R-TX) was right in his closing remarks. Many of us were advocating Trump’s impeachment from before his inauguration. Many Americans, especially in key states, see Democrats at coastal elites who look down contemptuously at small town, exurban and rural rubes. If the House rams an impeachment vote on a party lines basis, we will confirm this perception and most likely lose the presidency, Senate and many seats in the House. But who needs gun control, a woman’s right to chose, LGBQ equality, fair wages and taxation, affordable, universal health care, etc. when we can sit smugly in our living rooms and say, “Yes, we were right.”
We have to leave the progressive echo chamber. Turn off MSNBC. Stop reading Huff Post. Listen to the views of others. We won the head, but that is not good enough. We need to win the heart. We cannot do that if we insist on purity and don’t give those who may disagree with us on a point or two the benefit of the doubt. Remember we only won the House because of moderates who won purple and red districts. All the famous freshman progressives are from deep blue districts. We can bring the country leftward, but it can only be done incrementally. That is how the radical Republicans brought us here. We can do it but it will take patience. I probably won’t see it completed but if we act intelligently I am confident my children and grandchildren will.