Last week President Trump got more help from Democrats in his quest for re-election.
One major source of help was from last Thursday night’s debate, where one of the topics was health care. Two of the Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar, raised good questions about the costs of plans promoted by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, neither of whom could offer specific answers. Yet Biden, while still the Democratic frontrunner, has only a soft and diminishing lead, and Klobuchar has yet to register more than single digits in the polls. Sanders and Warren, along with Biden, are in the top 3. Should either Sanders or Warren win the Democratic presidential nomination, President Trump and the Republicans will have little difficulty in portraying their plans as too expensive and themselves as too radical for the White House. To credibly describe the Democrats as too extreme is one of the most potentially effective tactics the Republicans can use. Voters previously undecided could thereby be persuaded to vote Republican.
If the Democrats were too vague about health care costs, several, especially Beto O’Rourke, may well have been too specific about their proposed gun control policies. Beto’s demand for a mandatory buyback program is too radical to ever be enacted by Congress. But it simultaneously destroys his chances for ever winning statewide office in Texas, while no doubt energizing the NRA and other gun owner rights activists and inspiring them to work harder for President Trump’s re-election. Moreover, it will probably undermine the credibility of other Democrats who say they only want “common sense” gun control policies, such as background checks or red flag laws. Now that Beto has advocated compensated confiscation, opponents of gun control will say that contrary to what gun control advocates contend, confiscation of firearms is their real agenda.
Not to be outdone by the Democratic presidential candidates, the House Judiciary Committee, led by its Captain Ahab, Jerrold Nadler, has continued to work for the impeachment of President Trump by trying to develop procedural rules with which to launch new investigations that could lead to impeachment. As discussed in previous columns, it’s possible, although not a forgone conclusion, that the House could impeach the President. However, such a move would be opposed by almost all Republicans, and if they are joined by enough moderate Democrats in whose districts the President is popular, the attempt could fail.
But even if the President were to be impeached by the House, he would almost certainly be acquitted in the subsequent trial held before the United States Senate. After all, the President remains most popular among Republican voters, and the Senate Republicans will not want to offend the voters by removing him from office. Not only would the President remain in office, but his supporters would be more energized to work for his re-election.
So with no primaries yet held, with the Democratic presidential nominee not yet selected, and with well over a year to go before the presidential election, anything can happen. But last week, at least, President Trump’s campaign has received a boost, courtesy of his Democratic foes.
Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present). He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014. He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.