House Democrats, stampeding like buffaloes, are heading toward a cliff

Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll, President Trump’s Job Approval (Click here for table)

November 15, 2019       Approve  50%, Disapprove 49%

November 1, 1019         Approve 45%%, Disapprove 54%%

October 15, 2019          Approve 49%, Disapprove 50%

September 2, 2019       Approve 45%, Disapprove 54%

August 1, 2019              Approve 48%, Disapprove 51%

July 1, 2019                   Approve 47%, Disapprove 51%

June 3, 2019                 Approve 47%, Disapprove 52%

May 1, 2019                   Approve 50%, Disapprove 49%

November 15, 2018     Approve 48%, Disapprove 50%

As we have stressed before, the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll of Likely Voters is the only poll which focuses not on registered voters, or the adult population, but rather on those who are likely to vote.

House Democrats and other critics of Trump should keep a sharp eye on these poll numbers, which tell a story of much stronger and resilient support for Trump than do most of the other polls using different models.

After two days of riveting testimony in the House Impeachment Hearings, House Democrats appear to be determined to wrap up the hearings, and send the matter to the House Judiciary Committee, and expect that Committee to approve Articles of Impeachment by the end of the year.

If they stick to this schedule, they are likely to run off the impeachment cliff like a herd of stampeding buffaloes, blowing their only chance to impeach President Trump while using the process to educate the American electorate as to his malfeasance in office.

By blocking a broad-gauged impeachment inquiry beginning in April or May, Nancy Pelosi ensured that the Democrats would waste valuable time needed to carry out a thorough education project through the holding of impeachment hearings.

Nonetheless, that is what happened.  Democrats are where they are.

If the impeachment hearings are to put any dent in President Trump’s support, they will need to be carried out over a long period of time. In the Observer’s view, they would also need to encompass the full range of abuses of power and high crimes and misdemeanors  Trump appears to have committed, including those set forth in great detail in the Mueller Report.

There is no magic bullet that will change the way Trump supporters view the president.

To change their views, Democrats and critics must pierce Trump’s cult-like propaganda bubble, and reveal the alternate universe he and his lies, propaganda machine and shameless defenders have spun for the last three years to be the hoax that it is.

There is no guarantee the Democrats will succeed. But to have a fighting chance, it seems clear that they will have to do much more than hold a few weeks of hearings on the Ukraine, draft Articles of Impeachment limited to the Ukraine, and vote to impeach Trump by the end of the year.

It is conceivable, but not likely, that they will succeed in getting the Senate to remove Trump from office solely on the basis of his misdeeds related to the Ukraine.

But the risks of failure pursuing that approach are great. If the Articles of Impeachment do not include a broad range of matters, and the Democrats fail to remove Trump, they will face a candidate for reelection who loudly shouts he did nothing wrong, has been acquitted on the Ukraine charges, and was not even impeached for his other alleged misdeeds.

He may well be able to ride that horse to victory in 2020, while all further restraints on his abuse of power during a second term will have been thrown to the wind by the Democrats.

Even if he is not removed from office, the House Democrats owe it to the country and to the Constitution to fully develop the record of the president’s many apparent misdeeds, and then to forward Articles of Impeachment based on this more comprehensive accounting of his abuses to the Senate.

The trial in the Senate under this scenario could offer a further opportunity to educate the American electorate as to the facts of Trump’s misconduct in office. Each Republican Senator would then be faced with the challenge of voting to approve Trump’s misdeeds, or to remove him from office. Their votes would give voters the clearest possible evidence of their character, and whether or not to vote for their reelection, whether in 2020 or later.

It may be argued that the prolonged hearings proposed above would interfere with the Democratic primary schedule. So be it. With Republican control of the Senate, and Democratic control of the House, surely a way might be found to accommodate the Constitutional requirements of impeachment and a removal trial with the campaign schedules of Democratic primary candidates.

The Democrats are finally on a good course, but one they may well abandon prematurely while surrendering the educational opportunities that it holds. They have looked for quick fixes in the past.  They looked to the Mueller Report to do their work, and then after it was published they looked to Mueller’s day of testimony in Congress to change political opinion.  These were illusory hopes. They should now learn from their experience.

After waiting so long for the Impeachment inquiry to begin, House Democrats are impatient.

But if they want to remove Trump through the impeachment trial in the Senate, or to defeat him and other Republicans in the 2020 elections, right now they need to slow down, to focus on the educational dimension of the impeachment and removal process, and to build the factual case for history and for the electorate of the principal abuses of power and other high crimes and misdemeanors which Trump has allegedly committed during his time in office.  Senate Republicans should be required to vote on removal with this full record in front of them.

Then, let the voters and history render their judgments.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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