Another Good Week for President Trump

Dr. Malcolm Cross

President Trump has had a pretty good week.  One wouldn’t know it to read of the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment efforts or of the bipartisan backlash against his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.  But the Democrats’ conduct of their impeachment probe, as well as the most recent Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, may well backfire in their efforts to take the President down.

“I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president he will get re-elected.”  So said Representative Al Green, Democrat from Texas, indicating that one of the reasons Democrats want to impeach President Trump is to weaken his popularity going into the 2020 election.  They believe that even if they can’t secure his removal by the Republican-dominated Senate, they can at least weaken him to the point where the Democratic nominee can triumph next November.  

But how the Democrats are going about this may play into President Trump’s hands.  Speaker Pelosi recently announced there would be no formal vote on whether to conduct the Democrats’ investigation.  The investigation would continue to be held behind closed doors by various committees—especially the House Intelligence Committee—with Republicans being deprived of the right to subpoena their own witnesses or even attend the hearings, unless they themselves are also committee members.  Indeed, a Republican congressman who was not a member of the Intelligence Committee was recently ejected from one of the committee’s sessions.  Whatever the legality of the Democrats’ conduct, they’re opening themselves up to GOP charges that they’re conducting an unfair kangaroo court before which the President and his supporters have no rights.  Expect President Trump to use this arrangement to successfully gin up his devoutly and apparently unshakably loyal supporters.

Actually, the very refusal of Speaker Pelosi to hold a formal vote on whether to conduct an impeachment-related investigation reflects a weakness of the Democrats which President Trump can exploit.  Speaker Pelosi apparently remains concerned about the 30 or so Democrats elected in 2018 from districts President Trump carried in 2016.  She may think, quite rationally, that if they vote for a formal impeachment inquiry they’ll lose their 2020 re-election bids and let the House be reclaimed by the Republicans.  On the other hand, if they vote against a formal impeachment inquiry, they’ll thereby discredit the one already going on and possibly bring it to a halt.  Avoiding a formal vote is probably the least-bad option for the Democrats, however much the absence of a vote plays into the President’s hands.

Also helping to energize and unite the President’s base—and possibly even expand it—is the ongoing leftward drift of the Democratic Party, especially as Elizabeth Warren surges into the lead and Joe Biden continues to fade.  However enthusiastic the hardcore activists of the Democratic Party may be about their probable presidential nominee, her radicalism may well drive some centrist Democrats and independents into the Republican camp and increase the President’s chances of winning both the electoral and the popular vote in 2020—especially if the economy continues to hold up.

Of course,  the state of the economy remains the key to the outcome of both the impeachment effort and the 2020 election.  As long as the economy does well, President Trump’s popularity will remain high enough to discourage Republican senators from removing him should he be impeached, as well as to practically guarantee his reelection next fall.  Of course, should the economy falter and the President’s popularity takes a hit, then all bets are off.  

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.


  1. Again up to your misleading articles.

    You said this –“Actually, the very refusal of Speaker Pelosi to hold a formal vote on whether to conduct an impeachment-related investigation reflects a weakness of the Democrats which President Trump can exploit.”– The fact is that no where does the Constitution tell her she has to, that Ms Pelosi.

    It was a good week for the President you tell us and how often does he does the President lose in court 7 times? 7 losses in court is a good week for the President then I guess he has had some bad ones.

    Have any thing you’d like to tell us about deserting our Kurdish allies? What about the Doral law breaking plans his man Mulvaney told us about in holding next years G-7 in Miami. What was so swell about. Directly breaking the law our founded fathers wrote in the constitution to not do. So many more but you write for your Fox Cable News followers I suppose.

    And I just read where Trump got his habitual lying world with news like this:

    “Trump administration admits to stealing as many as 1,250 migrant kids that we didn’t know about”

    U.S. border officials likely stole an additional 1,250 children from their families before the barbaric “zero tolerance” policy was officially implemented, Health and Human Services official Jonathan White said in court on Friday. “Steven Herzog—who heads the steering committee of law firms and nonprofits working to reunite separated families—confirmed most of the parents have been deported to Guatemala and Honduras,” Courthouse News Service reports.

    Perhaps you can help Mr. Horton of Tanglewood Pharmacy understand why Senator John Cornyn;s name wasn’t own a bill that would have help Stephenville citizens.

    And run you a survey around town talking with citizens and ask them how the economy is in their lives. Ask folks that live in the world where the rubber meets the road not the ones with white collars and ties.

    Randall Hamrick…

  2. Here comparing impeachment facts.

    Nixon 599 days inquiry…

    Clinton 260 days to inquiry

    Trump 11 days to inquiry..give it time and by the way, I didn’t like Putin messing with campaign information I got over the American airwaves last time.

    Change channels you’ll find out thins quicker and hey overnight’s new news is thah Iraq won’t let the Syrian troops turning their backs on the Kurd’s stay in Iraq. First you Republicans under George W. Bush say we got to invade Iraq and Saddam Hussein when actually we were after Osama bin Laden but you Republicans decide we may as well lie and open war against Iraq and GET Rich… thats what Bush’s brain said after entering Iraq was , ‘now we’ll all get rich”. And now we got this other liar Trump in office.

  3. And here Impeachment timeline in words are as it was a horrendous week for millions of American’s like retreating troops out of Syria…

    Today marks exactly one month (four Tuesdays; 29 days) since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24.

    Why it matters: It’s remarkable how fast it has gotten off the ground, Axios managing editor David Nather writes.

    Take a look at this graphic, and you can see how quickly the Ukraine phone call came out of nowhere to become the all-consuming impeachment topic — way faster than the impeachment inquiries into Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

    By the numbers:

    It was more than a year and a half between the Watergate break-in (June 17, 1972) and the House vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry into Nixon (Feb. 6, 1974).

    Nixon resigned about six months later, in the face of certain impeachment and near-certain conviction and removal by the Senate.

    It took nearly nine months between the first Washington Post report of an affair between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky (Jan. 21, 1998) and the House vote that authorized his impeachment inquiry (Oct. 8, 1998.)

    The inquiry ran 73 days (10 weeks) until Clinton was impeached on Dec. 19, 1998 — just over two months.

    He was acquitted by the Senate about two months after that — on Feb. 12, 1999, following a trial that ran for five weeks (37 days).

    Now look at the Trump timeline:

    It was less than a month and a half ago — Sept. 13 — when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced he had issued a subpoena to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for a whistleblower complaint that the Intelligence Community Inspector General “determined to be credible and a matter of ‘urgent concern.”

    Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry just 11 days later.

  4. Did I hear one of you Republican’s ask why are they held in privacy? Here is why and in short it is because of Republican Bill Barr a man that is not fit to be near Washington D.C. yet he runs the Justice Department.

    Here is –Adam Schiff: An open letter to my Republican colleagues

    By Adam B. Schiff
    Feb. 21, 2019 at 5:06 p.m. CST
    Adam B. Schiff, a Democrat, represents California’s 28th Congressional District in the House and is chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

    This is a moment of great peril for our democracy. Our country is deeply divided. Our national discourse has become coarse, indeed, poisonous. Disunity and dysfunction have paralyzed Congress.

    And while our attention is focused inward, the world spins on, new authoritarian regimes are born, old rivals spread their pernicious ideologies, and the space for freedom-loving peoples begins to contract violently. At last week’s Munich Security Conference, the prevailing sentiment among our closest allies is that the United States can no longer be counted on to champion liberal democracy or defend the world order we built.

    For the past two years, we have examined Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and its attempts to influence the 2018 midterms. Moscow’s effort to undermine our democracy was spectacularly successful in inflaming racial, ethnic and other divides in our society and turning American against American.

    But the attack on our democracy had its limits. Russian President Vladimir Putin could not lead us to distrust our own intelligence agencies or the FBI. He could not cause us to view our own free press as an enemy of the people. He could not undermine the independence of the Justice Department or denigrate judges. Only we could do that to ourselves. Although many forces have contributed to the decline in public confidence in our institutions, one force stands out as an accelerant, like gas on a fire. And try as some of us might to avoid invoking the arsonist’s name, we must say it.

    I speak, of course, of our president, Donald Trump.

    The president has just declared a national emergency to subvert the will of Congress and appropriate billions of dollars for a border wall that Congress has explicitly refused to fund. Whether you support the border wall or oppose it, you should be deeply troubled by the president’s intent to obtain it through a plainly unconstitutional abuse of power.

    To my Republican colleagues: When the president attacked the independence of the Justice Department by intervening in a case in which he is implicated, you did not speak out. When he attacked the press as the enemy of the people, you again were silent. When he targeted the judiciary, labeling judges and decisions he didn’t like as illegitimate, we heard not a word. And now he comes for Congress, the first branch of government, seeking to strip it of its greatest power, that of the purse.

    Many of you have acknowledged your deep misgivings about the president in quiet conversations over the past two years. You have bemoaned his lack of decency, character and integrity. You have deplored his fundamental inability to tell the truth. But for reasons that are all too easy to comprehend, you have chosen to keep your misgivings and your rising alarm private.

    That must end. The time for silent disagreement is over. You must speak out.

    This will require courage. The president is popular among your base, which revels in his vindictive and personal attacks on members of his own party, even giants such as the late senator John McCain. Speaking up risks a primary challenge or accusations of disloyalty. But such acts of independence are the most profound demonstrations of loyalty to country.

    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III may soon conclude his investigation and report. Depending on what is in that report and what we find in our own investigations, our nation may face an even greater challenge. While I am alarmed at what we have already seen and found of the president’s conduct and that of his campaign, I continue to reserve judgment about what consequences should flow from our eventual findings. I ask you to do the same.

    If we cannot rise to the defense of our democracy now, in the face of a plainly unconstitutional aggrandizement of presidential power, what hope can we have that we will do so with the far greater decisions that could be yet to come?

    Although these times pose unprecedented challenges, we have been through worse. The divisions during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement were just as grave and far more deadly. The Depression and World War II were far more consequential. And nothing can compare to the searing experience of the Civil War.

    If Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, could be hopeful that our bonds of affection would be strained but not broken by a war that pitted brother against brother, surely America can come together once more. But as long as we must endure the present trial, history compels us to speak, and act, our conscience, Republicans and Democrats alike.

    Read more:

    Marc A. Thiessen: Trump shouldn’t be forcing Republicans to choose fidelity to him or to the Constitution

    George F. Will: Trump is trashing the Constitution. Larry Hogan shows how Republicans should respond.

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