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Assault on America, Day 156: Trump bashers’ conduct defies apples to oranges comparison

Pelosi and impeachment
An old saying goes, “You can’t compare apples to oranges,” yet when it comes to politics in the Donald Trump era, a lot of people are still offering improbable comparisons that defy reality. Trump’s presidency has proven so inimitable it’s difficult to say just how it fits within the realm of American history -- not bad considering we’re only two and a half years into his first term.

With all the buzz surrounding the recent release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report (and his pathetic impromptu press appearance last week), naturally there’s great divergence on the meaning of its findings, with Republicans seeing no collusion and therefore no possible obstruction crime and Democrats grasping at anecdotal tidbits and straws trying to uncover something -- anything -- they can use to further their mission to cut short Trump’s presidency.

A growing number of House Democrats appear bent on impeaching Trump despite a complete absence of “high crimes and misdemeanors” required by the Constitution to systematically remove a president. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s seemingly wedged between those Democrats demanding Trump’s scalp no matter how politically damaging it would be for the party and the wavering rest of her caucus, many of whom avoid eye contact when asked to provide an opinion on the matter.

Up until now conventional wisdom indicated impeachment would be a political disaster for Democrats. With memories of Bill Clinton’s trial still fresh in most Americans’ memories, it’s widely believed a similar parading of Trump before his inquisitors would turn people off.

One “expert” begs to disagree, however. Marina Pitofsky reported at The Hill, “An American University professor who has correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections says President Trump will win the 2020 election unless congressional Democrats, ‘grow a spine,’ CNN reported.

“Allan Lichtman, a political historian, said Democrats only have a shot at the White House if they begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, calling the decision both ‘constitutionally’ and ‘politically’ right in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election…

“’Let’s not forget, impeachment is not just a vote in the House,’ Lichtman said. ‘It involves public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry, and, what everyone forgets, a public trial in the Senate in which House prosecutors present evidence, present documents, make opening and closing statements.’”

It’s true, an impeachment trial would be one heck of a sideshow and draw tremendous interest from all parts of the American ideological spectrum. The House Democrat “prosecutors” would hem and haw, home in like a laser on a word or phrase in a heavily redacted document here and there and generally attempt to paint Trump as the most corrupt and compromised cad ever to dwell in the DC swamp.

“Chucky” Schumer, Patty Murray and every Democrat senator running for president (which seems like all of them) would nod along with each “shocking” revelation with audible gasps frequently heard from the gallery. Democrat senators would regularly excuse themselves from the proceedings feigning illness at the disgusting content like jurors presiding over a gruesome murder trial.

No Broadway production ever demonstrated so much dramatic theater.

Meanwhile, outside the capitol building the protesting crowds would swell to enormous size -- both those dragging around symbolic nooses supported by Antifa strike forces wielding urine bombs, clubs and any other weapons that won’t land them in jail. The pro-Trump side would peacefully highlight the witch hunt atmosphere and wonder where “civility” went in our culture.

Liberal cable talk show hosts would set up booths adjacent to the star chamber and interview various “witnesses” and “experts” who would share judgments on the just concluded testimony. Watching them you’d think everyone in America agreed with the Democrats -- that Trump is the clown prince of deplorable manners and has wiped away the dignity from the office. They won’t be able to articulate exactly why it is Trump deserves impeachment, but they’ll do their darndest to show how angry they are!

Inside the senate chamber as the final vote nears there’d be measurable tension. The outcome wouldn’t be in doubt, of course, but the news media would cheer on a handful of wishy-washy establishment Republican senators who might join Democrats in the takedown Trump effort. In the end only someone like Sen. Lisa Murkowski would go along with the Democrats, however. No Democrats would break with “Chucky” to vote to save Trump. The tally is taken, the president isn’t impeached and everyone looks around helplessly wondering, “now what?”

Elsewhere the citizenry will be in shambles, divided between the pro-impeachment and pro-Trump factions. Neighbors will no longer speak. Families will split up. Lifelong buddies will burn pictures and mementoes from their friendship’s best days. Leftist thugs will beat up anyone daring to don a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Who knows? Maybe there’ll be renewed calls for secession from deep red states.

All the while the 2020 presidential campaign will rage on, with the two dozen or so Democrat candidates unable or unwilling to talk about anything other than Trump and how he’s used his position to escape justice. They’ll make it sound like Robert Mueller’s entire investigation was fixed from the beginning and swear there’s additional evidence “out there” that proves Trump’s a Russian tool and Vladimir Putin lackey. Impeachment will be the dominant theme in the campaign with Democrats threatening to do it all over again even if Trump wins the election.

Yes, it would be that bad.

Here comes the comparisons part. Professor Lichtman thinks Al Gore lost the 2000 election because he was tainted with Bill Clinton’s scandals and the stench of impeachment (even though Big Bubba Bill was never close to being convicted) and therefore Trump would emerge from a similar show trial damaged and politically hamstrung as well. The eventual Democrat nominee would rise up above the fray like the Great Pumpkin (of Peanuts fame) over a sincere pumpkin patch on Halloween night and rescue the country from the ravages of the Trump years.

Lichtman may excel at forecasting elections but it’s clear he’s missed the mark on the impeachment thing. 2019 ain’t 1998 -- there really is no comparison between the political situation now and the one where Clinton avoided impeachment because a solid majority of Americans felt his sex life was off limits to official condemnation. Sure, Bubba lied about it, but it was just a little Oval Office fun with a consenting 23-year-old intern, right? No harm, no foul!

Not bad enough to impeach him -- those Republicans only wanted power for themselves! And Newt Gingrich, who’s he to talk about a little extra-marital activity?

Today’s disputes are much weightier. If Democrats actually go ahead and impeach Trump people will wish it was only about sex and the president’s personal conduct. No, it’ll be about lies, innuendo and the legitimacy of our constitutional system. There’s no way the Republican side would be convinced otherwise -- the evidence speaks for itself. The whole basis of the Russian collusion investigation was bogus, and we’re not just talking about the Steele dossier.

Democrats wanted Trump gone from the get-go and have said and done everything to accomplish their mission. Certainly American voters -- or at least enough of them to allow Trump to win a second term -- would see through it all.

And it’s not like Democrats offer terrific alternatives. Some even compare Joe Biden’s frontrunner status to Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, but are the two Democrats truly the same -- or is it just another apples to oranges scenario? #NeverTrumper Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “[W]hile Trump’s attacks on Clinton were surely effective at times, Trump was aided enormously by the fact that Americans, particularly Republican and Republican-friendly ones, were skeptical or outright hostile to her already, thanks to decades of experience with, and criticism of, her. Trump didn’t define Clinton as much as she did.

“Moreover, implicit to her campaign was the promise of both a third Obama term and a restoration of the Clinton dynasty. Trump did not need to work all that hard to convince voters exhausted or frustrated by the Obama years or disdainful of Clinton Inc. to vote against her.

“Biden occupies a different space, psychologically and politically. There’s a lot of conventional wisdom in Washington that the early front-runner always loses. And that’s true except when it isn’t.”

Goldberg hasn’t admitted it (at least that I’ve seen), but he’s probably secretly hoping Biden wins the nomination so Trump will possibly falter next year. Goldberg’s spent years trying to explain how Trump is an awful man who should never have been president, a cloud many a #NeverTrumper just can’t seem to get out from under no matter how heinous the Democrats treat him.

Talk about character flaws. #NeverTrumpers stopped influencing the conversation long ago. Nobody takes them seriously anymore. How would they justify impeachment?

It’s extremely hard to compare today’s political predicament to those of the past because there’s never been a president quite like Donald Trump and Democrats of today are a breed apart from their predecessors. Impeachment will happen -- or it won’t -- and life will stay putrid and stagnant in the DC swamp.

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