One recognizes, of course, that eleven months can be an ice-age in American politics and that quite a bit can happen between now and next November. That being said, it looks like President Donald Trump is well on his way to a second term.
A robust economy, such as the one the nation is currently experiencing, would usually provide, under almost all circumstances, strong tailwinds for any president. But President Trump isn’t just any President. Certainly, he’s given many of the silent minority who elected him pause for concern. Many of those voters used to belong to the former silent majority who used to care about big federal deficits and big federal debt, and even big federal tariffs, but, apparently, not anymore. What an inopportune time for the Democrats to push a not-so-clear case for impeachment on an already stressed-out and politically exhausted electorate.
While President Trump energizes his base with his tweets and taunts on a daily basis, the Democrats have given him an incredible holiday gift as the 2020 election marathon gets underway—the questionable decision to push impeachment. Given the strong economy, it would be hard enough for the Democrats to claw back very many of the thirty-two states that went for Trump in 2016, but the impeachment process has made the task that much harder. Too many voters in those states aren’t convinced that an impeachment, with less than a year to go before the next election, is either warranted or wise. Worse, a majority of voters in several of the states that broke for Trump in 2016 are, as of today, simply flat out against impeachment. Among them are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and they alone represent 99 precious electoral votes. Add to that the voters in many of the other twenty-six states who went for Trump and who are, at best, pretty evenly split on impeachment, and impeachment becomes a strategic stretch.
To make matters worse, top Democratic presidential candidates will have to detour back to Washington in the midst of their primary campaigns to sit as jurors while the Republican-led Senate puts on a reality show like no other for the country. And what a spectacle it is apt to be. For sure, the Democrats will want to make short shrift of the Senate impeachment process, and, more than likely, the President just might want to drag it out as long as he can. One wonders who the President’s attorneys, in their defense of the President, will call as witnesses before the 100 senate jurors, fifty-three of who are Republicans and before senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and senate president pro tem, Chuck Grassley, and presiding Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Well, one might guess Hunter Biden, or, maybe Joe Biden himself. Who knows, we might see Christopher Steele or Paul Manafort, or perhaps Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, the operations research firm whose job it was to dig up dirt on Trump.
Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, who chair the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, and were (and are) outspoken and antagonistic critics of President Trump long before they presided over his impeachment inquiry did the case against the President no good. To many, they came across more as inquisitors than as judicious finders of fact. We suspect Congressman’s Schiff’s exaggerated, damning and ill-advised parody of President Trump’s clumsy and rather sleazy telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky will be entered into the Senate trial record, probably during prime time. No doubt, much will also be made of Chairman Nadler’s decision to postpone the House Judiciary Committee’s vote on impeachment until a bigger television audience could see it the following day. That these experienced trial lawyers didn’t have the foresight to envision how their antics might come back to haunt them during a Republican-controlled trial in the Senate boggles the mind.
So, in addition to a strong economy, apparent progress on a trade deal with China, a new trade agreement with Mexico, the American electorate is about to be treated to one of the greatest tv-reality shows in history, largely orchestrated by one of the greatest reality-tv performers in history—all brought to you compliments of the democratically-controlled House of Representatives.
Step right up folks, you’re about to see the saddest, greatest show on earth.