With the likely conclusion of Rep. Adam Schiff’s impeachment proceedings, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at how things went for the majority Democrats and minority Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Democrats ideally would have started their inquiry with credible bipartisan support and run things in such a way that public opinion developed in their favor. Public opinion would build pressure on Republican members toward an impeachment vote that had even stronger bipartisan credibility.
That did not come even close to happening. To begin with, not only was the vote to begin proceedings not bipartisan, there was bipartisan opposition to it. Polling initially looked promising for impeachment, with media outlets attempting to claim significant bipartisan support for inquiry and removal, but then the polling moved in the wrong direction for Democrats.
Emerson polling showed that support for impeachment flipped since October from 48 percent support with 44 percent opposing to now 45 percent opposed and 43 percent in support. Among key independents, the switch was even more pronounced. In October, 48 percent supported impeaching President Donald Trump, with 39 percent opposed. Now, 49 percent of independents oppose impeachment, while only 34 percent support it.
A new Marquette University Law School poll found that 40 percent of registered voters in the swing state of Wisconsin think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 53 percent do not think so. Another 6 percent weren’t sure.
A new Gallup poll shows that Trump’s approval has ticked up two points since the impeachment drama began, with 50 percent of Americans opposed to it and 48 percent in support. Henry Olsen notes that Gallup polls all adults, not just registered voters, meaning that a poll of registered voters would have Trump’s job approval even higher and impeachment opposed by closer to a 52-46 margin.
And not only are no Republicans expected to join with Democrats in an eventual impeachment vote, some members expect the bipartisan consensus against it to grow.
Republicans, by contrast, needed to aim for bipartisan opposition to the impeachment proceedings, keep their members in line, make the case that the impeachment proceedings lacked fairness, and that concern about Ukrainian corruption was legitimate. They managed to do all that.
Here’s why things went well for Republicans in phase one of impeachment.
It was completely unclear what crime, much less what high crime, Trump was accused of committing.
Before we get to the politics and how they were played by Republicans and Democrats, it should be noted that President Donald Trump has not been credibly accused of committing any crime, much less a high crime or misdemeanor. It’s almost shocking that Trump, of all people, keeps managing to do well on this score. Yet, as with the ussia collusion hoax, in which he was accused of being a traitor to his country, the lack of evidence for the charges against him is his ultimate saving grace.
What the charge is keeps changing, of course. The whistleblower initially suggested a campaign finance violation arising from a call Trump had with the president of Ukraine. That morphed into a quid pro quo for military aid to Ukraine, then extortion, then bribery, then obstruction of justice, then back to a quid pro quo, but this time only a quid pro quo for a White House meeting. The lack of certainty among even Trump’s critics certainly worked in his favor.
There can be no question that President Trump generally dislikes the boatloads of taxpayer cash in the form of foreign aid that is sent to countries, wishes other countries would support their neighbors more, and absolutely disliked Ukraine corruption. Further, we all know Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate Ukraine’s 2016 election meddling and the involvement of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden in well-known corruption of Burisma, the energy concern on which’s board the former VP’s son found himself on in questionable circumstances. We know these things because of Trump’s public statements and the release of his transcripts with Ukraine’s newly elected president.
We also know that Trump’s support of Ukraine increased over the Obama years, including with the provision of Javelin missiles. And precisely no one had any evidence of anything actually illegal happening, even if they wished that Trump loved foreign aid more and didn’t want the investigations he told everyone he wanted. That further made the case against Trump difficult to argue.
The hearings were boring and complicated.
Objectively speaking, they weren’t just boring but soul-crushingly boring. The testimony was lengthy, the discussion was complicated and bureaucratic. The questions weren’t particularly interesting and the answers they elicited weren’t particularly compelling. You can complain all you want about the fact that they were boring, but they were boring.
Media outlets did all they could to bolster Schiff’s show and ran the impeachment hearings non-stop, as if Schiff’s inquiry had a legitimacy it never quite managed to earn on the merits. But instead of viewership increasing over time, it decreased.
Reporters kept deleting their tweets because they were getting facts about the hearings wrong. If reporters who were paid to follow the hearings weren’t able to keep details straight, what hope was there for normal people who have real lives and better things to do than watch hearings all day?
Adam Schiff lacks credibility.
Democrats didn’t want Rep. Jerry Nadler chairing impeachment since he had so completely botched the initial impeachment effort that was the Robert Mueller probe. Any chair worth his salt would have investigated whether star witness Robert Mueller was fit to answer any questions, much less the questions needing careful handling for an impeachment probe given the failure to find treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election.
Instead, a seemingly confused Mueller destroyed the chance of convincing the country that he had run the probe that bore his name and had morphed into an attempt to nail Trump for vehemently fighting the false charge he was a traitor. A few other mistakes by Nadler meant that Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave Schiff the gavel for the big show.
Everyone understand the cynical nature of the manipulation except for those who are being manipulated.
@Greg: When did Gordon Sondland confirm anything but his assumption or perceptions of quid pro quo? You see we watched the clown show read the transcripts. So if you could just show an iota of the mountains of impeachable statues you claim.
Christian beliefs are scary to liberals, huh, people worship something other than the government…OMG! PANICK AND RUN, INSULT THEM! Make them look foolish and superstitious.
There is more proof backing superstitions and Christian beliefs than a Democrat will keep any campaign promises.
We simply dont accept your medias version of consensus reality.
Donald Trump is Christian to the same degree that he’s an American patriot, a teller of truth, a supporter of constitutional law, or a man who holds traditional conservative values.
No, Randy, Comrade Greggie is not getting it. He relies on one of the DNC’s mouthpieces, Dana Milbank, who writes for the Washington Compost. You see, Milbank doesn’t seem to believe in God having a part in what happens and he thinks you are an uninformed fool if you do.
Add to that Milbank’s misrepresentations of fact:
first quote from the article: “Sondland confirmed Trump’s quid pro quo with Ukrain”
Well, actually, Sondland confirmed nothing even stating, repeatedly, that it was his presumption there was a quid pro quo. Milbank deliberately left that part out. Comrade Greggie would never question why.
second; “Energy Secretary Rick Perry reported he told Trump he was God’s choice” One has to wonder why Milbank left out that Perry also said Obama was God’s choice. Guess that wouldn’t make for reading fodder for idiots like Comrade Greggie that swallows all the bile the left wing press pushes out.
So, no, Randy, Comrade Greggie doesn’t get it.
He didn’t. In fact, he confirmed NO quid pro quo.
@retire05: Merely a confirmation that the left cannot operate without lying.
@kitt: I worked today.
inane—def.– silly, stupid, pointless, banal, vapid
I ask again what statement are you referring to? O5 suggests it’s your question asking why I support Dems
Which is it? I didn’t think your question inane as 05 suggested.
Have you read the leaks of upcoming I.G. Horowitz REPORT. Seems like you folks are in for a HUGE disappointment.
Wheeler, are you boxed? Where did I even “suggest” that Kitt’s question to you in post #89 was inane? And if you claim I did, show how I “suggested” it was inane.
But how about answering Kitt’s question. It should be interesting to see why someone who loves to brag about his service in Vietnam supports the very political party that sold your ass down the river in Vietnam.
@Richard Wheeler: what is it about the Democrat platform that holds you?
Sorry at your age you still need additional income.
I have only heard 1 leak it involved falsification of documents or evidence by a high level FBI lawyer.
I will wait for all the BOMB SHELLS and the WALLS CLOSING IN, WE’VE GOT THEM NOW stuff and nonsense til I read it myself. It is fun to poke at Greg who thinks he knows the case, but only has editorials and talking heads opinions.
I hope its a better read than the 500 page transcripts from Schiffs inquisitions.
@kitt: That Peter Rabbit story my Grand-daughter read to me a few days ago is better than the “shifty” transcript and more realistic!
@kitt: Is that the question you are calling inane—defined as silly, stupid, pointless and vapid. Why would I answer a question YOU consider inane?
You got that 05? You demanded I answer a question Kitt described as inane–why?
@Richard Wheeler: Nice dance Wheeler, You really need brain supplements. Try massive doses of curcumin and Capsaicin.
just what is it about the Democrat platform that holds you?
@Randy: I get both the Princess and the lil prince Monday and Tuesday, I think we will make teddy bear pillows while learning all about the sewing machine.
@kitt: I take curcumin along with about 20 other vitamins–no meds
Seriously—you asked a question YOU defined as stupid and pointless–surely you wouldn’t expect me to waste my time answering such a question—lol
@Richard Wheeler: Cut and paste your assertion Marine.
You have no idea what the democrat platform is, or no reason to be a democrat voter.
Increase your Omega-3 fatty acids and complex B vitamins. Perhaps iron, you seem to be unable to answer a simple question, adhd a little?
Well, there you have it, Kitt. Mr. “I always answer questions” is not going to answer your question about what it is about the Democratic platform that holds him.
Book mark his response so that the next time he claims how he always answers questions you can shove it down his gullet.
I recommend he goes on a heavy dose of Aracept.
@retire05: Curcumin is an active compound found in Turmeric. It has numerous healing bene-fits including neuro-protective effects and reducing the depletion of glutathione, valuable in treating such diseases as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Without the tremors caused by the prescriptions.
He might want to see a specialist, as I certainly am no doctor just slightly familar with university testing on certain herbs and supplements.
@kitt: Suggest you spend some time understanding the meaning of the words you use—such as inane.
Omega 3 and B-12 two I take along with E, calcium, magnesium ,lutein and COQ10.
Suggest you take Gingo to help with your memory.
o5—St Johns Wart might help with your temperment
One hour of combined aerobic and anaerobic exercise. And of course strength training every day possible.
Step away from the damn computer and FA for days not hours
You’ll feel and act much better I ASSURE YOU.
The best are here rarely but add more—Word and Nathan Blue come to mind.
Kitt—What happened to your sense of humor?–was a great trait
@Richard Wheeler: You must go back to #55 to find what I said was inane, 05 never said nor suggested my question was inane nor did I, your inability to follow a simple thread between you and I has me concerned, or you dodge a direct question cause you have no answer that doesnt have you time travel to the early 60s.
Look at todays Democrats what is there left to cling to, how they all treat Tulsi? Comparing her to Cruella De Vil a russian asset etc, thats the Party now, the ramblings of a demented drunk with horrid hygiene.
What say you?
@kitt: I enjoy working–always have–never plan to retire–As you know my wife and I love to travel and that won’t end anytime soon—extended trips to Spain; Greece, Italy, Danube cruise and Africa in last few years
You oughta try it—good for the body and the mind.
Wheeler’s not going to answer you. He has no good answer that won’t expose him for the fool he is. Gullible fool, that is.
And how nice of him to recommend “aerobic and anaerobic training” to stay healthy. Do you think this guy every chopped wood to keep a stove burning all winter, built a barn himself without hiring a contractor, worked in a field from dawn to dark or every did anything that even resembles manual labor since he mustered out of the Corps?
Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving, Kitt. Enjoy your turkey. Wheeler is probably eating tofu. His loss.
@retire05: It was pulled bear meat tonight. Ham, turkey, with all the sides at moms tomorrow , due to her advanced age we all bring a prepared dish.
Expecting a large group for the feeding frenzy.
You have a Covfefe Thanksgiving.