After months of false starts and threats and endless posturing, Donald Trump has joined Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton as the third American president impeached by the House of Representatives. Democrats started promising to do this before the president was elected. Still, it feels kind of weird, surprising, surreal even, that it actually happened. Why? Because impeachment is a terrible idea for the country. At this point, there is no chance the Democrats can remove the president. And in trying, they will only hurt themselves. The polls are clear. Yet – and here is the fascinating part – they did it anyway.
Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin explained why: "The president's continuing course of conduct constitutes a clear and present danger to democracy in America. We cannot allow this misconduct to pass. It would be a sell-out of our Constitution, our foreign policy, our national security and our democracy." See if you can follow his logic chain: Leaving a president in office until voters can decide to remove him from office if they want to is "a danger to democracy."
The entire impeachment saga has become detached from reality. Here are the facts: Democrats do not have the votes to remove Trump from office. They never will have the votes to remove the president. The point of impeachment is to remove a president. They cannot do that. This process is doomed. By the way, they don't have the votes because voters don't support it. The irony is that our democracy is working just fine. Voters support it. After a full month of watching public hearings on impeachment, Democrats have not gained support. They have lost it. In late October, when this began, about half the country backed impeachment and 44% said they were opposed. In the most recent polling, those numbers have inverted. In other words, the more people learned about impeachment, the less they wanted impeachment. That's not one person's opinion. That is the sum total of the polling.
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Even in the face of all the data, elite Democrats still will not admit it. They are in denial. Democratic Party cheerleader and CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin attacked his own company's polling when it didn't match what he believes to be true: "You see a decline from our last poll in Democratic support from 90% down to 77%. Can I just say, that I don't believe that poll for one second. … The 90% to 77%. You know, it's just I don't believe it. Like, it makes no sense that that the numbers would change like that. I mean … sometimes polls are sometimes wrong."
Why doesn't he believe it? Because he doesn't. Says the legal analyst. I look out my window and I see the horizon. That means it's flat. You can tell me the Earth is round. But I just don't believe it. Never mind your dumb numbers and scientific theories. I just don't believe it. This is the definition of ideological extremism. It's an inability to change course no matter what the evidence tells you. At that point, this is no longer politics. We left that a long time ago. What we are seeing is religion. And, of course, being the Democratic Party, it's always the exact opposite of what they claim it is.
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As Trump noted in the recent letter to Nancy Pelosi: "You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting American democracy. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to the republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain." The public, whether they like Trump or not, agrees with that. Polling shows it.
But the Democrats can't acknowledge that they are stuck. In 2016, even before the election, they went all-in on denouncing Trump and his supporters as beyond the pale racists not worthy of being hated. When they lost, they refused to learn. They refused to think about why they may have lost. Instead, they moved seamlessly from calling voters who wouldn't support them "racists" into a conspiracy about Russia that was so bizarre they could never fully explain its outlines. That collapsed, too. But what hasn't changed is the rage storm they've created with years of propaganda. Democratic leaders whipped their voters into such a frenzy that the voters can't be pulled back now. They want blood. The Democrats have no choice but to march forward even though it will inevitably destroy them, and they know it will.