Abuse of congressional oversight is not a strategy. Nor is reckless impeachment talk. In the end, the Democrats are in a bind – and should cut their losses, admit errors, and put America first. National Democratic leaders are stuck. They have one message: Repudiate President Trump. The message is emotional, intentionally provocative, and overtly divisive. It is not reasoned, but reviling and invites violence. Humility, bipartisanship and putting America first would go farther.
Whether the messenger is an avowed socialist, vaguely utopian communist, lively senators who promise wand-waving debt forgiveness, free medicine, free college, legalized drugs to “spread joy,” late term abortion on demand, and government control of weather, or old Joe Biden, caught red-handed giving another man’s speech as his own, shameless demagogue and master of the misspoken word, apologist for unwanted kisses and hugs, does not matter.
Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. They were sure Trump’s 2016 win could be blamed on “Russian collusion.” They awaited the finding. But after 1.5 million documents, 500 interviews, and 35 million dollars in taxpayer money, they were left flatfooted. They remain shell-shocked. The “Mueller Report” found no culpability by Trump for Russian interference in the 2016 process.
They were doubly down when no recommendation – on top of a missing predicate – for obstruction of justice. President Trump had, on the facts, not obstructed Mueller’s Investigation. The nerve of the former FBI Director and Special Prosecutor to speak unadulterated truth, instead of assigning guilt, was infuriating.
Worse than infuriating, the development is becoming politically scary. Democrats invested two years in the wrong message. They wanted President Trump removed, condemned by Mueller, impeached. There were no findings to support that outcome. The political crater is deep.
Mueller’s report gives just hen scratching, a colorful list of complaints by Mueller’s largely Democratic team of prosecutors that Trump complained incessantly of being falsely accused. Of what? Of a crime they could not find and concluded he did not commit.
This must be hard to fathom for Democratic voters. Their leaders misled them. The same leaders remain unrepentant. They overplayed their hand, overstated facts – based on nothing. No predicate crime existed. Every document and witness requested was produced. It must leave the left uneasy.
What does the Democratic Party run on for 2020? More overstatement, insinuation, and empty allegation? Impeachment? Dead-end “socialism for all?” They put all their eggs in one basket, and Mueller stepped on it.
The Democratic messenger – whether an inveterate socialist or dozing Joe – faces a steep slope. An impeachment vote, even in the House, comes with risks. Only 37 percent of Americans even want the topic discussed. Impeachment is a loser. If they sidestep impeachment, the slope remains steep.
Democrats must contend with the best American economy in three generations, record-breaking growth and unemployment (including for minorities), high labor participation, dollar value, rebalancing of trade advantages, and wage growth.
To that, add Trump’s uncompromising protection of the US border, attention to international disentanglement and focused national security engagements (including in the Middle East, Far East, Europe and combatting global socialism), record of putting constitutionalists on federal courts, advancing quality healthcare (lower premiums and coverage for pre-existing conditions), insistence on transparency within law enforcement and intelligence, and ending morally repugnant policies, like late term and at-birth abortions.
Many Democrats feel painted into a corner, divided over whether to push impeachment, press a losing argument by politicizing their subpoena power, or taking another course. There is another way. Democrats could take a deep breath, and recognize that much of what this President supports – stronger defense, selective international engagements, fair trade, border protection, economic growth, tax cuts, less regulation, and moral compass – is what most of America wants.
Most of America is not interested in impeachment. Democrats could put America above party. They could stop the socialist nonsense, field a candidate who cuts back toward center, try to beat President Trump by adopting his own positions – arguing they can implement them better. They can draw distinctions at the periphery.
But do not count on this. The Democratic Party is in a funk. House leaders are divided, demoralized and deaf to anything but anti-Trump sloganeering. Withdrawal from their political addiction is hard. They have conditioned their base and media to berate, harass, resist and remove a President – reversing an election. They call this the top national priority.