Speak softly and don’t mention impeachment
Published 6:25 am Thursday, September 13, 2018
By ELIE JACOBS
With three congressional investigations into connections between Russia and the Trump orbit as well as Russian election interference, a special counsel investigation that has produced more than 100 criminal charges against 32 people (including six people pleading guilty) and three companies, and a lawsuit focused on Trump’s violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, there stands good reason to think that Donald Trump’s time in the White House is soon to end.
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The reality is that it is not. The media feed off conflict, so it is in their best interest to present their reporting with an undertone of “it’s almost over” to keep the left interested, while also reiterating Trump’s claim of a witch hunt in order to appeal to his rock-solid base. Talk of impeachment could easily fall into this pattern — but not if Democrats refuse to engage. Right now, Republicans are talking about impeachment far more than Democrats, and Democrats should do everything they can to keep it that way.
To quote a well-known Democratic pollster: “Democrats have a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” With polling and the overall political climate suggesting we could be in for a significant “Blue Wave” in this fall’s midterm elections, smart people should be asking, “How can Dems blow it?”
The answer: running on impeachment or anything that sounds like it. While it may be true that Democrats are putting things in motion to start numerous congressional investigations into all aspects of the Trump regime, that doesn’t mean impeachment should be the declared focus; rather, this is just about accountability.
Herewith, a few simple talking points Democrats should have tattooed to the inside of their eyelids:
The congressional investigations into Russia and the Trump orbit are the very least that the GOP Congress should have been doing over the last 18 months. For a party that was champing-at-the-bit to investigate the Obama administration over anything, the Trump GOP congressional majority has been surprisingly delinquent in exercising its constitutional power to hold the executive to account. When Democrats reclaim the majority, we aim to do exactly what our sworn duty is: hold the executive accountable. Voters should expect nothing less.
Tom Steyer and his impeach Trump campaign should be ignored as much as the guy still begging you to vote for Lyndon LaRouche. Impeachment, while popular among Democrats, remains unpopular nationally.
Democrats would also be better off focusing on concrete ways in which they will improve the lives of American people; hence, talking point number two:
I’m focused on making the economy work for everyone, not just Trump and his cronies. I want people to afford health care without having an appendectomy lead to bankruptcy. While the media, the president, and Republicans in Congress can’t go three sentences without crying out against Democrats’ call for impeachment, I’m focused on the well-being of everyone in the country, not just the wealthy few.
Currently, there is little incentive for Republican voters to turn out in droves this November; after all, a party built on fiscal responsibility, free trade and morality elected a man fundamentally opposed to all three. Party identification overall is down nearly 10 percent since Trump was elected. Those who would follow Trump to the ends of the Earth to “own the libs” — in other words, the ones who will show up in November — make up fewer than 20 percent of the party.
Essentially, there is a chance for the Blue Wave this fall, but to crest, it means Republicans need to do the opposite of what they usually do midterms: stay home. Giving them a reason to vote is the worst thing a Democrat could do — and pushing impeachment will do just that.
And finally, the last talking point:
Republicans have had total control of the government for nearly 1,000 days — and what have they done to improve your life? Their corporate sponsors and corrupt cronies have made out like bandits while the rest of us are still struggling to make it. Put Democrats in charge, and give us the chance to make your lives and the lives of your children better.
A betting man could possibly do well thinking Trump will be impeached, just so long as they don’t understand how to count to 34. But while we continue to have no idea what special counsel Mueller’s team has or will find, any Democrat running for office is much better off staying far away from the “I-word.”
Elie Jacobs is a political partner with the Truman National Security Project and a co-host of the podcast “Taking Ship.” He wrote this for InsideSources.com.