How many cards can one hold up one’s sleeve? Well, if you’re a Democrat bound and determined to replace the president of the United States, that number could be infinite. If it’s not one scandal to expose, it’s another. Anything to get rid of the man holding the highest position in the land. It’s the familiar adage to extreme: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, and try again. Gotta give the Dems one thing: Like a dog with a bone, they don’t give up easily.
Now, however, the long-awaited moment may be at hand, although some Democrats are concerned an impeachment process might just come back and bite them in a painful place.
The Cry of the Wild … er … Dems
Ever since liberals screamed to the sky in utter disbelief that fateful day in 2016, the anti-Trump movement has been fixated on finding a way to undo the vote. Representatives in Congress urged Americans to stand against other Americans, to harass Trump staff and supporters. The rabid Trump-naysayers set their sights on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, furious that this conservative appointed to SCOTUS could tip the balance in the wrong direction on their favored liberal issues. They dragged the man’s reputation through the mud, coming up empty with questionable witnesses and flimsy proof.
The Russia collusion theory turned into a fiasco. Smarting with disappointment when the Mueller report could prove neither collusion nor obstruction, Dems were still not satisfied. Their sharp talons dug in to bits and pieces of the report, trying to parse their way into legitimate evidence of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, their cry was heard again in the land, “Impeach!”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held firm, afraid to move forward with an impeachment process that would provide no political profit for her party. Then an unidentified person, with no first-hand knowledge, claimed Trump had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was inappropriate. Even before a transcript of the call, which showed evidence of wrongdoing to be lukewarm at best, was released, Pelosi called for an impeachment inquiry. But her red-state Democrats aren’t so sure proceeding down this path is such a good idea.
But, But … Wait!
While so many on the left have tried valiantly to relieve Trump of his presidency, their efforts have spiraled off in a million directions, not bringing them closer to their goal. All the 2020 Dem candidates seem to be jumping onto the same platform, which is swinging grandly and wildly to the fringes of the left. Is it any wonder that Democratic lawmakers representing states laden with Trump supporters might be concerned that the impeach crowd and progressive pack are leading the party to electoral defeat in 2020?
“It’s really incumbent on the House to really be laser-focused,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), no doubt worried. “The president is a master of pivoting and deflecting, and I think it’s really important to stay focused.”
Many of red-state Dems want to narrow the investigation to Trump’s talk with the Ukrainian president and Joe Biden’s dealings in the Ukraine. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), surrounded by Trump-friendly constituents, is concerned about a backlash if things get out of hand. He said, “I think it’s much better if it’s going to be focused because there’s a whole load of hay out there that they’ve been talking about for so long.”
For these moderate Democrats, the problem is that many liberals want a broader investigation, one that would delve deeper into Mueller’s report, Trump’s businesses and tax returns, and any personal financial benefits he may have accrued while Commander-in-Chief. Recent polls indicate that more Americans favor an investigation, which whets the appetites of those wanting to slay the Trump dragon. This expanded canvas has red-state Dems nervous.
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is up for reelection next year in a pro-Trump state. He said he’s concerned the impeachment process will drag on, hurting negotiations on the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal. “Obviously we need to get to the bottom of all this quickly,” he said. “I want it to come to a head as quickly as possible… I think there’s a lot of things that may get lost in the shuffle of this. You obviously worry that you’ll get consumed but at the same time the Senate has not had a good track record this year legislating.”
That’s putting it mildly.
Democrats eager to impeach the president should consider their party comrades whose re-elections may be harmed if the impeach juggernaut turns out to be just another brouhaha, alienating voters of all stripes weary anti-Trump antics.