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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/6/19

Will Impeachment Re-elect Trump?

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to be of two minds on impeachment. She has repeatedly said no to any immediate impeachment of Trump. She gravely warned that Trump is goading and taunting her and the Democrats to go ahead and try to impeach him. Trump sees this as his ticket back to the White House in 2020. This will fire up his base by allowing him to go into full blown victim mode. He can wail that he's being hectored, harassed and tormented by vindictive, sour grape Democrats still fuming that he won the presidency, and determined to wreak their revenge on him.

Polls show that there a lot of people that buy that notion. There are as many Americans who think that impeachment is a bad idea as those who back it. Polls also show that independents who will be a big factor in the presidential election for the most part don't like the idea even though a lot of them don't like Trump either.

Then there's the memory of what happened with Bill Clinton. He was impeached by the House. Then it was the GOP controlled House that went after him. The Senate didn't convict, and Clinton's public popularity numbers went through the roof. If he could have run for a third term in 2000, he would almost certainly have been reelected in a landslide.

Even with that memory and the peril of handing Trump an invaluable election issue, Pelosi pivots in the next breath and says that Trump must be held accountable. That seems to imply that impeachment is still on her table as an option.

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The question that Pelosi correctly zeroes in on as legions of Democrats relentlessly hound her to get the impeachment show on the road is will a House impeachment gambit help or hurt Trump more than it helps or hurts the Democrats? It must be put that way for two practical reasons. One impeachment will be almost exclusively a Democratic show in the House since almost no GOP House Republican would ever back the effort. The other is that the GOP controlled Senate would never, ever vote to convict. These are immovable facts. So, if it's a strictly hard-nosed political partisan effort, it comes off as nothing more than a stunt, or at best an empty gesture done purely to satisfy hopped up progressive Democrats. But what about the Democrats who hail from districts that are anything but loaded with progressives? More than a handful of the newly minted House Democrats come from those districts. They are not in coastal California or New York City. There are a lot of Republicans, independents, and centrist Democrats in those districts who want nothing to do with an impeachment move, let alone fight, by their representatives. Such a battle would cause undue strain and give the GOP an opening to take back some of those seats lost in 2018.

However, here's the other reason Pelosi is walking the tightrope on impeachment. A compelling case can be made that going after Trump with impeachment will energize Democrats. This is not a small concern given that the Democratic presidential candidate field is way overloaded with all of them struggling to find a unifying message that will stir enough Democrats to storm the polls in November 2020. Whether impeachment is that message or not could be less important than in showing that Democrats aren't afraid to fight for a political principle despite the political risks and the saber rattle from Trump and the GOP.

The gung-ho impeachment Democrats got a big boost when Special Counsel Robert Mueller again implied that Trump had committed crimes and that if it wasn't for the legal constraints of going after a sitting president, he could have been indicted. He punted on it, but the punt was aimed at Democrats by practically inviting Congress to go after Trump through the only means at its disposal, and that's impeachment. At least, that's the way a lot of Democrats are reading Mueller. Pelosi among them. This is what's behind her saying that he must be held accountable. But does accountable mean impeachment?

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The brutal reality is that it's either that or nothing beyond trying to oust him at the ballot box in 2020. But that's an eternity for many Democrats who say that in that time span Trump can and will continue to wreak even more damage on everything from continuing to pack the federal judiciary with hard-line reactionary judges to obstructionist department heads to horrific policies on trade and all else.

The Democrats best bet is still booting Trump out of the White House in 2020 at the polls. It won't be easy. He will have a united GOP behind him, a king's ransom in campaign cash to play with, the fawning attention of much of mainstream media, his tweet bully pulpit, and the appearance of a bustling economy to crow about. The worst thing is to give him yet another weapon in his arsenal. Trump sees impeachment as that weapon. Many Democrats don't. They see it as their weapon. If they're wrong, it will help re-elect him.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of The Impeachment of President Trump? (Amazon Kindle). https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075XSXJM8 Free Amazon Reading Friday June 7 and Saturday June 8

He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.

 

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
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Dennis Kaiser

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In case it doesn't the Dems are trying hard by propping up Biden as their candidate.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 6, 2019 at 2:45:18 PM

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Maxwell

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

I'm afraid you're right. And I hate to echo that worn phrase falsely attributed to Einstein, but there they go doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 6, 2019 at 3:42:04 PM

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Well, I'll say it again, I'm not voting for a corporatist.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 6, 2019 at 4:53:14 PM

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John Zwiebel

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The success of impeachment depends entirely on what the charges are. Any impeachment based on the Mueller report is doomed. There is little to nothing in that report. Mueller's claim that: If We Were Sure Trump Committed No Crimes, 'We Would Have Said So', is a school-yard taunt to convince Democrats (and Trump haters) that there really is some "There, there".

OTOH, Trump is guilty of many crimes and openly flaunts the law using the "executive powers" clause to claim monarchical justification for whatever he chooses.

But the Democrats want that same power. They are convinced that they can take back the White House and then it will be there turn to enrich themselves at the expense of the "rest of us". Obamacare is a prime example of this fraud. It covers more Americans but not all Americans, because that is choice that best serves the interests of the Health Insurance companies and moguls.

So, the Democrats will not impeach and even if they take the White House, nothing will change.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 6, 2019 at 5:03:40 PM

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The time is not yet right for impeachment. But an impeachment inquiry in the House is clearly overdue.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 6, 2019 at 9:45:49 PM

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Reply to Paul Cohen:   New Content

Greetings to Longwood Court, Paul & Bonnie.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 7, 2019 at 4:30:56 PM

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I think that it depends on which propaganda campaign has the best chance of persuading the most people.

Trump and Republicans will continue to make the claim that those investigations are a witch hunt by the Democrats who are part of the deep state who are the evil demons. You did hear about the woman who said she was shocked to hear the Muller report did not exonerate Trump but that she only listened to conservative news. The propaganda campaign by conservative media is already hard at work and it is working on those who listen to them.

Democrats need to have an effective counter to the conservative media's propaganda campaign if they are going to defeat Trump and Republican politicians. Health care and climate change are two main policy issues that American voters care about; while currently impeachment is not very popular. So from a purely political (votes) standpoint it seems to me it is best to focus on policy issues and to leave impeachment as something that is warranted by Trump's actions but that Republicans in control of the Senate will choose to shirk their constitutional duty to convict him because they are just as corrupt as Trump.

I do think Democrats should keep the Muller report findings going with a view that Republicans in the Senate guilty of standing behind a corrupt President. I think Democrats should come out and say that Fox News is the propaganda arm of the corrupt Republican party and they are feeding you false information and keeping you from the truth (show the video clip of the lady who was shocked to hear she had been duped by the conservative media).

In short try to make it so the public hears that Muller says the evidence is overwhelming that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice and he should be removed from office for those crimes and at the same time Democrats are proposing legislation to provide health care for all that will save you money and to deal with the problem of climate change that are affecting us all (including farmers in the Midwest with record flooding).

Submitted on Friday, Jun 7, 2019 at 1:57:15 PM

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The problem is the Democrat Party is more conservative than the Republican Party and they continue to attempt to keep those Progressives out of bounds in their efforts to win even the nomination to be elected. They have said they will boycott any group who sponsors a progressive in primary elections within the party. They are silencing Sanders and Gabbard in this campaign. They remain unconvinced that Sanders would have thrashed Trump in 2016 as they roll out Biden as their next Hillary for 2020. The leaders of the party are merely content with business as usual as they collect their bribe dollars from special interest groups, MIC, oil, big PHARMA, etc. To them, that's all that matters, collect their money and point fingers of criticism, blaming that damned Senate for not even presenting any meaning bills.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 7, 2019 at 2:36:44 PM

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No one cares about obstruction of an investigation of a a crime that wasn't committed. Just like no one cared that Clinton lied about getting a blow job.


If the Democrats impeach based on the Mueller report, they will "enjoy" the same results Dan Rather had exposing Bush's failure to show up for ANG service.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 8, 2019 at 1:36:43 PM

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