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Democrats Have A Three-Part Plan For The Politics Of Impeachment

Mueller investigation by numbers
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is facing a growing insurrection from the Far Left of her Democratic Conference who are demanding the immediate impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The New Yorker’s John Cassidy reports that at a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi held off the radicals and secured support, at least for now, for her policy of allowing various existing congressional inquiries to proceed with their investigations of the President. After the meeting, she told reporters, “We do believe that it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law . . . and we believe the President of the United States is engaged in a coverup.”

A coverup of what was not then, nor was it subsequently, explained by Speaker Pelosi or any other Democrat.

According to Cassidy’s analysis of a Washington Post report, about twenty-five House Democrats have called for the opening of an impeachment inquiry. They and many other members of the majority conference claim to be aggrieved at Trump’s refusal to respect the division of powers laid down in the Constitution. They are also reacting to the anger of many Democratic activists and supporters, who want to hold the President accountable for his alleged obstruction of the Mueller probe, his alleged racism, his alleged corruption, what they consider his boorishness, and his assault on practically everything they hold dear.

The problem for Democrats is that there is little substance to any of these charges – Trump’s “corruption” and “racism” are liberal fantasies. Robert Mueller and his cadre of “angry Democrats” could not make a case for obstruction of justice after a two-year investigation and boorishness is hardly the kind of “high crimes and misdemeanors” contemplated in the Constitution.

According to Cassidy, Pelosi is thinking longer term. Her goal is to turf Trump out of office in November, 2020, and win a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress. The key to doing this, she believes, is to replicate what the Democrats did during the 2018 midterms: adopt a broad approach that appeals to centrist and nonaligned voters and also to confirmed Democrats, and avoids letting the radical Leftists in her conference get too far out in front of the American public. From Pelosi’s perspective, a rapid move to impeachment looks like more of a threat than an opportunity, and it’s not hard to see why she thinks this way.

Cassidy reports in a telephone poll carried out over the past week, researchers at Monmouth University asked people, “Do you think President Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the Presidency, or not?” Thirty-nine per cent of the respondents said yes; fifty-six per cent said no. The proportion supporting impeachment had fallen by three percentage points since the pollsters asked the same question in March.

But that is not deterring Democrats from talking-up impeachment, although according to Mr. Cassidy it does affect Speaker Pelosi’s strategy, and here’s why.

The Monmouth University pollsters also asked this question: “Looking ahead to the 2020 election for President, do you think that Donald Trump should be re-elected, or do you think that it is time to have someone else in office?” Sixty per cent of the respondents said it is time for another President.

Is it possible that more Americans will come to support impeachment?

Cassidy says they might if Democrats can convince them that Trump “is raising his middle finger at the division of powers enshrined in the Constitution.”

Perhaps his refusal to allow testimony from his former aides, starting with Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, will have an impact. In the Monmouth University poll, a majority of respondents said that McGahn and Robert Mueller should appear before Congress. If Mueller does testify, what he says could be highly consequential opined Mr. Cassidy.

Here's the bottom line as John Cassidy sees it: Should public opinion move firmly in favor of impeachment Speaker Pelosi would almost certainly move with it. Her objection is based on politics rather than principle. But, for now, she believes that the wisest course is to move on three fronts; let the existing inquiries play out, while aggressively challenging the Trump administration in the courts and amping up the messaging about Trump being engaged in a coverup.

We think that Mr. Cassidy has sketched-out the Democrat plan pretty accurately, which makes it imperative for the President’s supporters to aggressively push back on the Democrats’ narrative that the President is perpetrating some kind of “coverup.” A good place to start is to hit every social media platform, letter to the editor column and other public fora with the question “Cover up of what?” every time a Democrat or Left-leaning media personality surfaces to make the charge.

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