House Democrats seem to believe that the totality of the White House’s released transcript of a July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and a concomitant whistleblower complaint released today by the House Intelligence Committee amounts to a good-ol’ “smoking gun.”
Never mind that the phone call transcript is slightly inappropriate, in a Trumpian mischievous sense, at worst — and positively prosaic, at best. To divine an implied quid pro quo arrangement between Trump and Zelensky into that phone call transcript would be a disingenuous act of rank knavery. Indeed, a plain English reading of the transcript offers barely the faintest hint of such an agreement. Never mind, furthermore, that the whistleblower complaint — while potentially more useful for House Democrats in terms of aggregating witnesses and documents for an impeachment probe — reads like the self-obsessed musing of a disgruntled Deep State leftist who has spent far too much time imbibing the daily paroxysms emanating from Tom Nichols’ Twitter feed.
The Democrats, you see, still think they have a “smoking gun.” In reality, their “gun” is less “smoking” than a hapless rifle that has just been confiscated and dismantled by Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke. House Democrats may (and emphasis on “may”) well impeach the president, but their partisan stunt will go absolutely nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. And perhaps most importantly, as next November nears, the Democrats’ gambit will be called out by the American people for the brazen overreach that it is. The Democrats’ overreach will only redound to Trump’s benefit at the 2020 ballot box.
The most recent Monmouth University poll showed that registered voters oppose impeachment by a whopping 61-35 margin. Because the “likely voters” subset of registered voters generally skews more Republican than the aggregate pool of registered voters, furthermore, the reality is that this 61-35 margin likely undersells the opposition to impeachment from next November’s voters.
Most recent Monmouth Univ. poll on impeachment –
Registered voters: 35/61
Age 18-34: 44/50
Age 35-54: 31/63
Over 55: 32/64
Swing counties: 32/60
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 24, 2019
The most recent registered voters poll from Quinnipiac University shows a similar 57-37 margin against impeachment. There is simply no reason to believe that there is anything whatsoever in either the Trump/Zelensky phone call transcript or the whistleblower complaint that would meaningfully alter this polling data in such a way as to politically benefit Democrats. One suspects that a veteran politician of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) stature surely must recognize, deep down, that it is once again the radical leftist tail of the House Democratic Caucus that is wagging the dog of the Democratic Party. And the subservience of the broader Democratic Party to its far-left radical wing augurs very poorly for the Democrats next November. The American people fundamentally reject open borders, jailbreak, abortion-on-demand until birth, confiscation of firearms, Hamas, and MS-13.
To be sure, the American people are hankering for some semblance of political stability amidst the Trump-era tempest of turmoil. Voters want continuity and durability — they shun the vicissitudes of Twitter-induced stock market mini-crashes and egoistic antics that tend to diminish the solemnity of high public office. But if there is one quintessentially destabilizing action that these stability-desiring voters must loathe, it is surely the act of a politicized impeachment attempt based on a record as thin as this. Yes, the “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” impeachment criterion outlined in Article II of the Constitution merely requires, as Alexander Hamilton explains in The Federalist No. 65, all “offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” But the Constitution’s Framers demanded that political actors exercise that rarest of virtues in today’s hellish political landscape: Prudence. And it is prudence that suggests the proper remedy for Democratic angst at Trump is the ballot box — not an impeachment probe.
Democrats’ trigger-happy, callous disregard for prudential norms vis-à-vis presidential impeachment will hinder their party’s chances in 2020. And Trump, ever the political personification of the cat with nine lives to spare, will benefit accordingly.