Last week Congressman Jerry Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee took over the impeachment process from Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee. Judiciary held its own hearing, and is busily writing up articles of Impeachment to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives later this month. Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants a vote by Christmas. Some are saying President Trump may be impeached by the end of this week.
Of course, the President isn’t really being impeached for an inappropriate telephone call to the President of the Ukraine. His real “high crime” is being elected in the first place, especially with a constitutionally mandated majority in the Electoral College but without a constitutionally meaningless majority of the popular vote. Back in 2016, therefore, Congressman Nadler said, “We cannot wait four years to vote Mr. Trump out of office…We must keep our eyes on two important goals: depressing Trump’s public support and dividing the Congressional GOP from him and from each other.”
So how’s that all working out?
Current opinion polls continue to show that the Democrats’ impeachment efforts continue to have little or no impact on an almost evenly divided public. True, President Trump has earned little additional support, but he’s lost none as well. Between 85% and 90% of Republicans remain solidly behind him, which no doubt will discourage defections among Congressional Republicans.
Indeed, all House Republicans voted against opening the formal impeachment inquiry, and it’s almost certain that most, if not all, Senate Republicans will vote to acquit him in any upcoming Senate trial. The Congressional GOP remains united within its own ranks, and with the President. That assures his retention in office.
And last week saw two other noteworthy developments which will help President Trump: First, new economic figures were released showing continuing high rates of economic growth coupled with record low unemployment. Good economic news always means good political news for the incumbent President. No President running for re-election has ever been defeated when economic conditions were as good as they currently are.
And second, California Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Her withdrawal made more news than those of other, more obscure governors, members of Congress, and so forth because the media and her followers had such high expectations for her, a charismatic senator with an and attractive background exotic background—her father was Jamaican and her mother Hindu.
But Senator Harris’s withdrawal was noteworthy for another reason as well: She was the last person of color to consistently qualify for participation in all the Democrats’ debates to date. Her withdrawal from the race means that as of this writing, only white candidates have sufficient funds and standing in the polls to make the cut for the upcoming debate. Other noteworthy people of color—Senator Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, entrepreneur Andrew Yang—have not yet raised enough money nor boosted their popularity to make it into the next debate. Whether they will remains to be seen.
Of course, the skin color of those who make it on stage versus those who don’t would hardly matter if we truly lived in a society where we were judged by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin. But we don’t. Many Democrats and their media allies believe a stage filled entirely with white candidates—and possibly with one or more billionaires as well—will be bad optics, and discourage African American turnout at the polls next November.
Such a prospect is especially good news for President Trump. Had African Americans in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, etc. turned out to vote for Hillary Clinton in the same numbers that they voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, she might well have carried them and thereby won the all-important Electoral College majority. But they didn’t, so she didn’t. And there’s little reason to believe that any of the current major candidates still in the race can match Obama’s effectiveness in turning out the Democrats’ most loyal voters. Advantage, Trump.
So how that all working out, Jerry? So far, so bad.
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.