Friday, May 10, 2019

This is not a serious party. It has abandoned policy for litigation, and common sense for fantasies of Medicare for All, Green New Deals, abortion after birth, and slavery reparations. The Democrats assume impeachment will be Trump's Watergate. It may well turn out to be

The Real Democratic Agenda

Column: It's impeaching Donald Trump

 Matthew Continetti  May 10, 2019 

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi / Getty Images

And you thought Democrats won the House out of fear Republicans 
would drop coverage of preexisting conditions. That they wanted to 
spend this Congress addressing the cost of prescription drugs, 
building roads and bridges, resolving the legal status of DACA 
recipients, expanding gun background checks. Don't be silly! 
Rashida Tlaib let spill the real Democratic agenda back in January,
 when she said they were going to "impeach the motherf—er."

Democrats have a problem. The base wants to impeach President 
Trump, ASAP, but the public does not. Indeed, Trump's approval 4
rating is the highest it’s been in the Gallup survey, right around 
Obama's at this point in his term. The brute facts of public opinion 
suggest that the impeachment of Trump would look more like Bill 
Clinton's trial than Richard Nixon's. Not only would Trump remain in
 office; the backlash might deprive the Democrats of their 17-seat 
House majority.

For months, Nancy Pelosi's solution has been to walk right up to the 
line of impeachment without actually crossing it. Unleash committee 
chairmen to fire their subpoena cannons in every direction. Make 
unrealistic demands of Attorney General Barr. Have Swalwell and 
Lieu and the rest of the cable gang keep alive the conspiracy theory
 that the Trump campaign was in criminal cahoots with Russia. Drag
 out the process into next year, when a weakened and bedraggled 
Trump faces the eventual Democratic nominee. That way Pelosi gets
 the political benefits of impeachment without the costs.

It's not working. Pelosi's rhetoric has moved in the direction of 
Rashida's (minus the profanity). She's gone from saying Trump isn't
 worth impeachment, to saying Trump is goading the Democrats into
 impeachment, to saying Trump is "self-impeaching," if that's even a 
thing. She jokes about the jail cell in the basement of Congress, her 
Judiciary Committee has found Barr in contempt, and she shares 
Jerry Nadler's hysterical opinion that the United States is in the midst
 of a constitutional crisis because he can't read the grand jury 
information of a report you can download for free. On the other side
 of the building, Chuck Schumer is accusing Mitch McConnell of 
aiding and abetting a crime that Robert Mueller could not bring 
himself to say actually happened.

What changed? President Trump's preference for confrontation over
 consensus is part of the reason, but only a part. Congress and the 
president fight all the time. The reality is that impeachment talk is the
 only thing holding the Democrats together. Pelosi's heralded agenda
 is a flop. Her party is divided on health care, on immigration, on 
abortion. Whatever legislation she does pass is destined to meet 
the Grim Reaper in the Senate. The two-dozen 2020 candidates are
 uninspiring. There's no war to defund. And the economic headlines 
are dynamite.

Legal warfare against Trump obscures these weaknesses. Doesn't 
matter if no voter brings up Mueller outside the Beltway. Without 
teasing impeachment, no one would care about Democrats inside 
the Beltway. Two of three cable news channels are desperate for 
Trump scandals, real or imagined. The Democrats might as well 
give it to them. Or at least pretend to.

In recent weeks the Democrats have turned into a bizarre version of 
the caricature of Trump they regularly denounce. They lambaste 
Trump for indulging in conspiracy theories, but the Russia 
investigation has become their Benghazi, a scandal too complicated 
and not quite substantive enough to inflame the public imagination. 
They went after Trump for the "lock her up" chants at his rallies, but 
flirt with jailing both the attorney general and secretary of the Treasury,
 passed a New York state law directed at a single individual (forbidden
 in the Constitution as a bill of attainder), and speculate endlessly 
about how the president might one day end up behind bars. Pelosi 
says she worries Trump might not accept a loss in 2020 as Hillary 
Clinton says the election was stolen from her and the entire 
Democratic party indulges in the ludicrous fantasy that Stacey Abrams 
is the legitimate governor of a state she lost by more than 50,000 
votes amidst record minority turnout. 
their Waterloo.