Impeaching the United States electorate

Right from Wrong: The farcical hearings and debates went ahead nonetheless, and achieved the never-Trumpers’ desired goal. But it was a Pyrrhic victory.

Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is sworn in before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. (photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS/POOL/ABACA PRESS/TNS)
Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is sworn in before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019.
(photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS/POOL/ABACA PRESS/TNS)
The US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday evening to impeach President Donald Trump for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”
This didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all Republicans. The outcome, like the whole undue process itself, was predetermined. Most Democrats were unable to accept Trump’s election in the first place, going so far as to say that he hadn’t really won, because he garnered a majority of Electoral College votes, rather than popular ones.
That the Electoral College determines presidential victories was of no interest to those who wished to argue otherwise. This is why they admitted openly from the get-go – as soon as Trump was sworn in and entered the White House in January 2017 – that the effort to remove him from office was underway. Since then, they have been engaged in that pursuit with a vengeance.
Their delight at taking back the House following the 2018 midterm Congressional elections not only knew no bounds; it also gave them the false sense that ousting their nemesis, even well before the end of his first four-year term, would be an easy task.
The veteran Dems who had been around the block – and on the Hill – for a lot longer than the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – were a little more cautious in their assessment. They understood, though didn’t say so aloud, that the sitting president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterms.
Nor did they advertise the fact that the 2010 midterms, during Barack Obama’s presidency, resulted in the greatest loss of Democratic seats in the House of Representatives since 1938.
They also were aware that the only two presidents in American history ever to have been impeached – Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 – were acquitted by the Senate. It is not for nothing, after all, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some of her politically savvy Democratic colleagues initially were against going the impeachment route to rid themselves and the country of Trump.
The farcical hearings and debates went ahead nonetheless, and achieved the never-Trumpers’ desired goal. But it was a Pyrrhic victory.
In the first place, just as it was clear that the Democratic-majority House was going to vote to impeach the president, it is now equally certain that the Republican-dominated Senate will not convict him of the “crimes and misdemeanors” that the House’s kangaroo court determined he committed.
Secondly, the five senators currently vying to become the Democratic nominee for president succeeded in putting themselves in a tough spot. If and when the impeachment goes to the Senate for trial, Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) will have to be present throughout the proceedings, which could drag on for weeks, if not months. From their perspective, this means losing a lot of precious time away from the campaign trail.
As for former senator and current Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden: Though he stands to gain by having the above contenders tied up for a while, his predicament isn’t pretty. A trial in the Senate would enable the Republicans to place his son’s dubious business dealings in Ukraine on the table in a way that the Democrats previously prevented.
Third, and most important, is the fact that Americans of all political stripes either lost interest in the whole spectacle or were disgusted by it. According to recent polls, many independents and even some Democrats have come to consider it a political witch hunt, rather than an ethical endeavor to uphold the Constitution, causing a rise in Trump’s approval ratings.
So, if the House reps imagined that impeaching Trump would, at the very least, serve to stain his reputation – and therefore benefit the Democratic candidate running against him in November – they are in for a big disappointment. Furthermore, no matter who ends up on their ticket, Trump is likely to beat him or her at the ballot box.
Partisanship aside, incumbents rarely are defeated. This is particularly, though not exclusively, true during periods of prosperity. And the American economy, under Trump, has been booming, in spite of what “progressives” – especially the wealthy ones in Congress, Hollywood and the media – have been trying to persuade the less affluent members of the public to believe.
THERE ARE other reasons for Trump’s increasing popularity, of course. Among these is his unwavering support for the Israel, which he has exhibited in word and deed to such an extent that even many American Jews who never vote Republican grudgingly acknowledge that he’s been good on that score. In this category are Jewish Democrats concerned with the growing antisemitism in the party that they’ve always supported and wish to continue doing so.
Then there are Orthodox Jews – as well as many politically conservative and religiously diverse ones – who back Trump wholeheartedly.  
Still, even all 7.5 million US Jews put together make up only 2% of the total population, and a far smaller proportion of the electorate. Conservative Christians do count, however, demographically and electorally. As it happens, they overwhelmingly appreciate Trump’s pro-Israel policies, which include moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, defunding UNRWA and declaring that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are not illegal.
These are the people whose Christian values, symbols and rituals have been under assault by the Left. They are the citizens who want to hang the American flag on their lawns, sing the national anthem at sports events, have their kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school assemblies, and bask proudly in the glow of the great country that they’re fortunate to inhabit.
Trump restored their faith in those desires by replacing derision with respect, and by poking fun at the political correctness that’s been shoved down their throats for years. It’s no wonder that he fills every arena to the rafters with cheering crowds.  
   
More mysterious is the degree to which the Democrats are out of touch with the above reality. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t allow their party to be taken over by radicals who not only ridicule and delegitimize everything that has made America the most coveted address in the world, but promote policies that lead to decline and despotism wherever implemented. Take the former Soviet Union, for example. Or the present situation in Venezuela.
Moving too far leftward is a crime whose punishment is electoral defeat, as was illustrated last week in the stinging blow that was dealt to the British Labour Party and its socialist, antisemitic leader, Jeremy Corbin.
Democrats with their heads in the sand have been stressing the differences between the US and UK to avoid facing the same harsh truths.
Though they’re right that Brexit is an issue with no relevance in America, the other similarities are striking, especially the landslide victory awarded to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britons were not simply rejecting Corbin’s extremism; they were asserting superiority over a worldview and accompanying culture that is hostile to their healthy, upwardly mobile aspirations and patriotism. In this respect, Johnson has something crucial in common with Trump, other than being the butt of jokes about his hair. What the two men share is an optimistic view of the nation each has been entrusted to steer, and the ability to convey and instill confidence.
Which brings us back to the grave error made by House Democrats on Wednesday and during the weeks before. They thought that they were criminalizing the president’s alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine. What they actually were doing, however, was impeaching the character and credibility of anyone who cast a ballot for him in 2016, and of all those intending to do so in 2020.
Proof that this will lead to a landslide for Trump in November lies in the packed stadiums of exuberant voters who’ve been lining up to let him know they’re on his side, and to hear from him that the commitment is mutual.