From what must have seemed a winning position, House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry with the Constitution as their rallying flag. Determined to damage their political opponent with cries of justice, crisis, and protecting the American founding documents, there was initially an air of assurance about the divisive actions. Yet perhaps the opposition party has doomed itself with its own rhetoric.
If impeaching the president in the House was an act in line with the Constitution, so too must be the almost certain acquittal in the Senate. Is this why leading Democrat figures are beginning to sweat?
With a 53-47 Republican majority in the Senate, it is extremely unlikely that Democrats will be able to convince enough voting members that President Trump should be removed from office. A 67-vote threshold would require not only every single home team player to vote along party lines (in a vote that will apparently not be whipped), but an additional 20 Republican senators must also break ranks.
This is how the Constitution was designed. He who lives by the sword…
Demanding that the Constitution be upheld in every utterance brings with it certain expectations, namely that the aforementioned Constitution continues to be respected for all steps of the procedure. To cry foul when the Senate inevitably fails to convict the president would, in fact, be a detriment to the document Democrats claim to be defending.
Leading Democrats have begun hedging their bets, suggesting that an acquittal will “embolden” President Trump. Well, of course, it would. If Trump is acquitted, he can rightly claim that the Constitution was respected and that despite various shenanigans in the House inquiry, he has been exonerated by the law of the land.
Yet there may be a little more to the “embolden” angle than meets the eye; when individuals begin using the exact same wording, it is rarely a coincidence. We are witnessing the very birth of a “damage control narrative.”
Presidential candidate, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), told ABC:
“I think impeachment, unfortunately, will only further embolden Donald Trump, increase his support and the likelihood that he’ll have a better shot at getting elected while also seeing the likelihood that the House will lose a lot of seats to Republicans.” (emphasis added)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) spoke with MSNBC, warning:
“If the Senate essentially treats this trial like a sham … doesn’t call witnesses and tries to end it quickly, tries to call witnesses that have nothing to do with the Ukraine matter and with these matters that we are discussing in these articles, then I think this just emboldens the president even further to continue to do what he’s doing.” (emphasis added)
And not forgetting Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who pushed the party line, saying:
“I believe that if we don’t do this seriously and get all the facts out, yes, America’s at risk because that will mean we’ll never have a real impeachment trial. Because if you can’t get the fundamental and basic facts getting out to the public and for the senators to hear, this president could be further emboldened.” (emphasis added)
It is no coincidence that the same language is being used across the board. This is an exercise in damage limitation and a useful talking point that allows Democrats to claim that Donald Trump is now crazy with power.
Respect for the Constitution
Sadly, the media will not hold Democrats to account when the trial is over. They will not ask whether the Constitution has been served, they will not ask whether justice, according to the law of the land, has been delivered. The American public will be subjected to partisan tears of rage, cries of “rigging,” and the complete dismissal of constitutional norms. In fact, with a friendly media in their corner, it just may be the losing Democrats who are “emboldened.”
Read more from Mark Angelides.