Most of us remember the children’s fairy tale about the chicken
who, after an acorn fell on its head, decided that the sky was
falling, and rushed to warn everyone of the imminent disaster.
At the end of the story, however, a wily and carnivorous fox saw
the resulting frightened herd of animals, invited them to his lair
for “safety” --- and then ate them all.
Since election day, 2016, opponents of Donald Trump. both
Democrats and Republicans, have attempted either to prevent him
from taking office, or once he was sworn in as president, tried to
remove him from office This has happened so many times I have
lost count of them. The latest is a verbal push for actual
impeachment --- although formal proceedings require a roll call
vote on a resolution in the U.S. house, and that, while it’s possible,
does not yet seem imminent. A slight majority of U.S. house
members, almost all of them Democrats, have said they support
impeachment. Fifteen Democrats say they oppose impeachment
(presumably all from districts carried by Mr. Trump in 2016),
knowing impeachment would likely lead to their defeat in 2020. A
very small number of Republican governors and U.S. house
members, all of them long-time anti-Trumpers, say they support
impeachment. No Republican senators indicates they would vote
to remove the president from office, although Utah Senator Mitt
Romney, long a Trump critic, continues to be negative about the
man who succeeded in 2016 after the then-former governor failed
Polls indicate that the general public opposes impeachment,
especially those who perceive it as an attempt to undo the 2016
election three years after the fact.
Opposition to and criticism of Donald Trump is both
understandable and legitimate in our free system. Mr. Trump’s
style, tweets and statements have provoked a particularly intense
antipathy from many voters, including some traditional Republicans.
But his opponents have, in effect, claimed the political sky was
falling so often, and without real result, that the latest incident
heavily risks not his successful removal from office, but a bitter
voter backlash that could ensure Mr. Trump’s re-election next year.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resisted impeachment
until now for this very reason, and because she knows it would
almost certainly stampede Republicans and conservatives to the polls
next year to vote for Mr. Trump and against any U.S. house member
who voted for impeachment. As the 2020 congressional campaign
stands now, the Democrats are clearly favored to keep control, but
an impeachment resolution might reverse that dramatically.
The “evidence” against Mr.Trump so far is ambiguous at best.
Many legal experts are saying that, in fact, the circumstantial
evidence so far indicates no wrongdoing by the president, and many
Republicans and conservatives are alleging the reports and
disclosures of the controversy have been “set up” or manufactured.
As a political act, impeachment could take place, but it would almost
certainly destroy the presidential campaign of former Vice President
Joe Biden whose alleged activities while in office are central to the
whole controversy. Such an outcome would likely disillusion a very
large part of the Democratic base who continue to support and
revere him. Impeachment might make passionate Trump opponents
feel good. but its actual consequences could actually backfire
spectacularly on those who would make it happen.
Most impartial observers so far seem to agree that the Democrat’s
best strategy to remove Donald Trump from office is to defeat him
at the polls in November, 2020. Speaker Pelosi has seemed to be a
partisan who agrees, realizing that the U.S. senate is not going to
provide 67 votes to convict and remove.
Speaker Pelosi, under immense pressure from the radical wing in
her caucus, has now given some verbal support for impeachment,
but so far she has not made it inevitable. She might yet decide to
support actual impeachment, but there is no clear evidence yet she
intends to go through with something her considerable experience
and political intelligence tells her will not work to her party's
I think she knows who the real fox is.
Copyright (c) 2019 by Barry Casselman. All right reserved.