“Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here … Trouble with a capital ‘T.’” So sang Robert Preston in the Broadway production of The Music Man. If one cups an ear, those words echo across swampy ground, resonating from the cast of a failed and desperate coup attempt by Democrats in positions of leadership in the off, off-Broadway show, An American Impeachment.
Oh, there’s trouble, all right. But mostly because the “T” in this case stands for Trump and the realization of what is at stake might have finally permeated the aura of jealous anger. Now, weeks into what sure seems to be a sham of a procedure, several House Democrats are floating an alternative plan to airing their dirty laundry on the floor of the U.S. Senate: a censure rather than impeachment.
Those Democrats who appear clear-headed include Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), and Ben McAdams (D-UT). This small group would prefer a censure resolution instead of continuing at break-neck speed with impeachment. And there is, of course, the scuttlebutt that the Congressional masses are defecting the impeachment position in not so secret conversations. It’s the old adage, “if you see one rat, there are 100 more you don’t.”
As Schrader explained, “I think it’s certainly appropriate and might be a little more bipartisan, who knows. Time’s slipping by.”
The Polling of the Pols
There are 31 districts that Democrats currently represent in Trump territory. Then, there are an additional couple of dozen in battlegrounds that are deemed incumbent vulnerable zones. There is a better than zero chance these incumbents will choose survival over party loyalty when the Senate won’t convict Trump. They would need 67 votes, and with 53 Republicans behind the president, that is a tall order. And then there are some Senate Democrats – albeit not many – who would likely just say no to impeachment: Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV) with a maybe Doug Jones (D-AL), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Liberty Nation has discussed this fall back plan as a viable way for both sides to strike the “win” box on the epic battle that has transpired since before President Donald Trump was sworn in as number 45. Graham J. Noble waxed philosophical in his recent article, Is Censure The Democrat Escape Clause? Noble sees censure as the only legitimate way out of the colossal hole the Democrats are digging for themselves:
“The Founding Fathers proscribed impeachment for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. These are serious crimes – high crimes. Removing from office a duly elected president for anything less is congressional tyranny. Perhaps, before they step into the abyss, some Democrats are coming to that realization. Or perhaps they are simply guarding their posteriors.”
We will soon find out.
The moving parts of the impeachment process might need an overhaul. Two recent surveys on the subject from Quinnipiac and Monmouth University show the majority of Americans do not want the president impeached. All the blood, sweat, tears, and dramatic scenes played out in the House have not moved the needle. Trump still holds an overall 43% approval rating, and there’s a good chance that impeachment could backfire and make that number go up instead of down. That would not bode well for the Democrats running in 2020 for county coroner, U.S. president, or anything in between – and that is weighing heavily on at least some minds within the party.
The American people should not be surprised when Democratic Leadership proclaims, “Censure it is!” as they march about the Swamp, tooting horns and banging drums, claiming victory.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.