Editor’s Note: Liberty Nation Editor-in-Chief Leesa K. Donner and Managing Editor Mark Angelides face off over the likelihood of a forthcoming impeachment vote. Will they, or won’t they? Here’s a little food for thought.
LKD: In a hush-hush meeting in the basement of the Capitol, Democrats met to discuss whether they should move ahead with an actual vote to impeach the president of the United States. No cell phones were permitted, and congressional staffers were barred at the door. It was a classic Swamp secret with dozens of Democrats sprinting to their nearest legacy media confidants to leak like a sieve once outside the cozy confines of the Democratic Caucus.
Within minutes of the Dems’ exit, every major media outlet from coast to coast had the story. “Are you ready?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) queried. By all reports, the answer was an enthusiastic “yes.” Just bluster, you say? No, House Democrats are so out of touch with the American public that they will take a floor vote and the “ayes” will have it.
MA: I’m not so convinced, Leesa. Although no one has ever lost money betting on the stupidity of our political classes, this had a far too prepared air about it. The fact that every story immediately after the meeting ran with such a picture-perfect headline as “Are You Ready?” suggests to me that the Democrat representatives did not discuss whether or not they would proceed to put a vote forward, but rather what line of spin they would take to draw this out for as long as possible.
It appears far too coordinated to have been an official meeting on party direction. Was there not one single dissenter among those gathered? Surely at least one Democrat, desperate to hang on to his or her seat in 2020, would have demurred. I just can’t see them going on the record and stopping the media gravy train they’re riding right now.
LKD: Fair enough, Mr. Angelides, but I respectfully disagree. The Starship Impeachment has been traveling through the political stratosphere at warp speed for some time. To avoid a vote altogether will make the Dems appear more foolish than they have looked thus far – and that’s saying something. They are now boxed into a political corner, limited to reading their own press clippings, and believe, in their heart of hearts, that a vote to impeach Donald Trump will unify a divided and banal party.
They want this vote. They need this vote. Why? Though Democratic efforts have been many, they see no other way to defeat the behemoth they call Orange Man. This dénouement has been unavoidable ever since Hillary Clinton’s glass ceiling failed to shatter in 2016. Indeed, the only shattering that has been heard, lo, these many years since HRC’s humiliation has been that of the collective Democratic psyche. Their actions have revealed a disturbing internal inability to accept reality, that culminates in a desperate necessity for revenge. Much like a starving animal, this need to destroy a sitting president serves to reveal their craven desires.
Bottom line: Dems believe that running against an impeached president will be their ticket to victory.
MA: You may have a point that President Trump will appear the weaker opponent if he is classified as impeached, but who will that excite besides the Dem base? They must know that a Senate trial will do more damage to themselves than to the president. After all, who gets to set the rules for a Senate trial? Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)! He’s been anxious for a chance to humiliate the so-called loyal opposition, and if calling witnesses that could potentially embarrass Democrats from both chambers is the way to accomplish this goal, he’ll take it in a New York minute.
On top of this, recent polling has shown a major slump in support for impeachment; the last figures I saw had it at 48% against and just 45% for it. You have personally written about how disengaged the American public is from this; only 13 million or so tuned in to watch the very first day.
It seems clear to me the Dems know they’ve made a mistake – a blunder they were forced into by a more vociferous wing of the party – and are now looking for the escape hatch. Whether that comes in the form of official censure, setting up another special counsel to drag this out past 2020, or even just taking a top scalp like that of Rudy Giuliani, it just seems a stretch to think they would risk whatever credibility they have left on a reckless impeachment.
LKD: But Mark, to come all this way and end up without a floor vote will anger their progressive base, and their moderate acolytes have demonstrated little more than apathy thus far.
Oh, the Democrats will take a floor vote for certain. This way, they can say they are running against an impeached president. General of the Axis powers Nancy Pelosi has marshaled her troops, acquiesced to their demands (against what many believe to be her better judgment), and her devoted soldiers are ready to line up in linear formation – much like the British did when preparing to fight the colonists. The problem, then as now, is that Mr. Trump isn’t playing war the way they have heretofore encountered. President Trump’s style is one of guerilla tactics, and the Dems don’t know how to counter unconventional combat methods. Their firing squad is at the ready with what they believe is their only way forward:
Ready, aim, vote!