Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 7 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/2/19

Half of America wants Trump removed from office. Why does the press keep shrugging that off?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (# of views)   4 comments
Author 22111
Message Eric Boehlert
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

From Daily Kos

Protest against Trump
Protest against Trump
(Image by mathiaswasik)
  Details   DMCA

With the House Judiciary Committee poised to take up the impeachment baton and hold a new round of public hearings this month, the Beltway press continues to absorb and echo Republican talking points that claim the inquiry isn't resonating with Americans. Because impeachments aren't legal proceedings, the messaging wars that surround them take on added importance. And right now, by treating as no big deal the fact that basically half the country supports removing the president of the United States from office, the media is greatly helping Republicans spread their preferred impeachment message: The inquiry isn't resonating.

"It's a disappointing -- if not unexpected -- response for Democrats, who had hoped to use the hearings to sway public opinion," the Associated Press recently reported, suggesting impeachment has been a political failure for Democrats because the hearings in recent weeks have not produced a tidal wave of public support. "Without that backing, it's virtually impossible to imagine Republican senators voting to convict Trump."

First of all, public support for impeachment could be 90% and it's unlikely that loyalist Republican senators would vote to convict Donald Trump, so that whole premise is skewed. But also, the press' preferred narrative about support for impeachment being stagnant just isn't accurate.

Since Democrats announced their intention to hold impeachment hearings, public support for the inquiry has jumped 16 points, according to the tabulation at FiveThirtyEight, with public support for Trump's removal from office increasing by seven points. That's solid confirmation that Americans are engaged on the issue and support the historic Democratic push to hold Trump accountable. It's especially impressive during these polarizing times, when partisans remain so entrenched on most issues.

But much of the press coverage treats this development with a shoulder shrug, stressing that since the start of the impeachment hearings, the polls haven't budged. But that premise is built on the fantasy that there was ever going to be a floodgate -- or an a-ha! -- moment where the masses raised up against Trump. That, of course, is not mathematically possible because the vast majority of today's Republican Party, including elected officials, has essentially adopted the radical position that Trump can do no wrong: that there are no crimes or misdemeanors that Trump should be held accountable for. Indeed, 68% of Republicans say there's nothing that could emerge from the hearings that would change their mind about impeachment.

That's the most important impeachment story that most of the press continues to look away from -- the fact that one of our two major political parties in this country no longer deals in facts and reality, and instead has willingly burrowed itself into a world of lies and fantasy, specifically when it comes to the issues surrounding impeachment.

In fact, some Republican officials are now actively working alongside a Kremlin disinformation campaign regarding Ukraine's role in American elections.

If more journalists openly acknowledged this crucial development regarding the GOP, the fact that Republicans aren't willing to support impeachment would no longer be treated as "news," and the press wouldn't portray Democrats as failing with their impeachment messaging. What's also completely lacking is any kind of historical context regarding how awful those impeachment poll numbers are for Trump.

When Republicans in the House spent 1998 impeaching Bill Clinton, Americans across the board rejected the inquiry. At no point during the partisan process did more than 30% of Americans support impeachment, and most of the time that number hovered around 25%. Republicans categorically failed to change the nation's mind about Clinton, who famously weathered the political storm with historically high approval ratings, logging a staggering 71% approval rating in a Pew Research poll.

Today, more than twice as many Americans support the impeachment of a Republican president than supported the impeachment of a Democratic president two decades ago. Yet the press portrays the Trump impeachment as a political and public relations failure for Democrats. How does that work exactly? Note that it wasn't until July 1974, one month before President Richard Nixon resigned, that a plurality of Americans finally agreed that he should be forced from office. Today, a plurality already feels that way about Trump, yet the press shrugs.

And the no-winner narrative remains constant. From The New York Times:

"House Democrats insist they are leading an impeachment inquiry into President Trump for one simple reason: His actions have left them no other choice. The president and his Republican allies argue that the inquiry is just an attempt to tear him down 'an illegitimate sham partisan process,' as the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, put it on Wednesday. But with the first round of public hearings wrapped up and another scheduled for Wednesday, which message is sticking across the country?"

The Times' conclusion? It's a toss-up: "As a result, support for or opposition to impeachment rarely climbs much higher than 50 percent in any poll." This is what you call missing the big picture, and most of the Beltway press is now doing it with regard to impeachment.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Eric Boehlert Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Even Trump lapdog Giuliani can't defend Trump's new ugly attack on Obama

White House stunned as Giuliani racks up new possible felonies for Trump

Trump loses it after "spy" briefing flops with both parties

In Rare Public Rebuke, FBI Humiliates Nunes For "Memo" Smear Campaign

Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh's $400 Million Payday

Trump's trade war backfires as red states defy him

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Jim Glover

Become a Fan
Author 504794
(Member since Feb 14, 2016), 1 fan, 104 comments (View Extended Stats)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Maybe half of America is fed up with the California Reps Schiff, Pelosi leadership and maybe the Press gets that it takes more than half of America to Convict and throw out a President.

Submitted on Monday, Dec 2, 2019 at 9:37:50 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (2+)
Help

Fred W

Become a Fan
Author 8452
(Member since Oct 30, 2007), 1 fan, 265 comments (View Extended Stats)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Wouldn't the measure of "success" be if the Senate were to convict? I don't understand what other measure there might be.

Submitted on Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019 at 2:27:41 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help

Charles Homer

Become a Fan
Author 511996
(Member since Aug 27, 2018), 1 fan, 161 comments (View Extended Stats)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Despite their haste to rid America of the Trump Presidency, there is one very significant problem that plagues Congress that they will do nothing to solve:

click here

It's no wonder that Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress and don't believe their representatives share their priorities.

Submitted on Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019 at 1:42:17 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help

Lee Beacham

Become a Fan
Author 502584
(Member since May 30, 2015), 1 fan, 669 comments (View Extended Stats)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

"basically half the country supports removing the president of the United States from office, the media is greatly helping Republicans spread their preferred impeachment message: The inquiry isn't resonating.


Could it be that the half of America has rights too? Since he was voted in, he stays until a majority says different. We have elections for that.

Submitted on Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019 at 8:20:34 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment