Impeachment of Trump Is Backfiring Already

December 31, 2019 Updated: January 2, 2020
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Commentary

The House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Dec. 18. As I write this column, it is now Dec. 28.

So, 10 days have passed, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to refuse to send the articles to the Senate, so that a trial may begin.

After more than two months of Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Pelosi stressing how vitally important it was to rush impeachment to a vote in the House—since it was claimed there were very real national security issues at stake—suddenly, the Democratic leadership has slammed on the brakes and it appears they now have all the time in the world.

Anyone who thought this impeachment sham was really all about the election next year is starting to have that view confirmed by this sudden inaction.

The Democratic talking point for the next year is going to be that Trump can’t function as a “real” president, while strongly implying that he’s lost some or even all of his executive powers due to being impeached. This would be incorrect, as a brief glance at the last impeachment of a U.S. president will demonstrate.

When President Bill Clinton was impeached in the House in December 1998 and subsequently acquitted following a Senate trial in January 1999, no one was pretending he was then an illegitimate president who couldn’t function. Literally no one at the time advanced the argument that being impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate somehow clipped Clinton’s presidential wings.

Clinton’s signatures on legislation weren’t refused because he had been impeached for committing the crime of perjury. No court overturned his executive orders issued in 1999 and 2000 because he had been impeached.

Clinton still gave the State of the Union address in both 1999 and 2000. This is why almost immediately after the House impeachment vote, Pelosi sent a letter to the still-President Donald Trump, inviting him to give the annual State of the Union address to the Congress on Feb. 3.

Clinton also kept all of his powers as commander-in-chief of the United States’ military, despite having been impeached. No argument was made by anyone that he could no longer give orders to the Joints Chiefs, as U.S. forces were active in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Yemen, and elsewhere at the time.

Clinton’s impeachment really wasn’t that long ago, and many of those in the current political and news media establishments were around to cover it at the time.

Fake Crimes for a Fake Impeachment

Trump has been impeached for two invented crimes:

  1. Abuse of Power, which apparently means doing things Democrats don’t like in a manner that Democrats don’t approve, and
  2. Obstruction of Congress, which boils down to not giving the Democrats in Congress what they demand when they demand it.

The Clinton impeachment happened midway through his second term, but had it happened in the first term, would anyone have broached the idea that it would be illegal for him to run for reelection as an impeached president? Would the Democrats have assented to this proposition if Republicans had asserted it?

This impeachment sham strategy was created with one single purpose in mind: to try to sabotage Trump’s chances to win his reelection bid next November.

Thus far, this strategy appears to have massively backfired. Public support for Trump’s impeachment didn’t increase during the closed and then open hearings in the House; instead, it decreased, even among Democrats, as the more recent polls demonstrate.

Obstinately pressing forward with impeachment also resulted in another record fundraising month for Trump and the Republican Party, which just recorded its best November ever, at $20.6 million raised from donors, many of them small donors.

That fundraising bonanza stands in stark contrast to that of the Democratic Party, which is currently more than $7 million in debt while having just over $6 million in cash on hand.

If this impeachment strategy was intended to boost the Democratic Party’s fundraising fortunes and energize its base, it appears not only to have failed but to have thrown all the momentum to the other side of the political aisle.

Far from being depressed and disorganized as a response to the impeachment of their president, the Republican base is energized and active.

It’s precisely because the Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterms that they have trapped themselves in this present situation. Had they remained out of power, there would have been no impeachment theater.

The overconfidence engendered by the House victory seems to have convinced the Democratic Party leadership that America was ready to embrace socialist radicalism.

Far from hiding the radical nature of the total transformation they plan for America, Democrats and their presidential candidates have decided to be quite open and proud of it.

And that could very well end up being their ultimate undoing.

Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.