Democrats tear bricks out of Trump propaganda wall, but prepare to quit–and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll of Trump’s Job approval, November 20, 2019L
Approve 46%, Disapprove 53%

House Democrats have succeeded in tearing bricks out of Trump’s propaganda wall, with two weeks of live testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

But they are on a false course, which if they persevere will lead them to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


(1) “The scope of impeachment: Elizabeth Drew supports a broad inquiry,”The Trenchant Observer, November 16, 2019.

(2) Elizabeth Drew, “Trump Demeaned Bureaucrats. This Is Their Revenge; Honesty is the best foreign policy,” New York Times, November 16, 2019.

(3) “House Democrats, stampeding like buffaloes, are heading toward a cliff,” The Trenchant Observer, November 15, 2019.

(4) “The goals of impeachment: Education or quick trial on Ukraine abuses?” The Trenchant Observer, September 27, 2019

(5) Mike Bebernes, “Is limiting impeachment to Ukraine a mistake?” Yahoo News, October 24, 2019.

Their current course is to draft articles of impeachment limited to the Ukraine, and to vote to impeach Trump on these articles by the end of the year.

In the last few weeks, their great achievement has been to present an array of outstanding and credible witnesses who collectively have demolished all of the bad-faith arguments of Trump’s Republican defenders, who have been attempting to deflect charges of his holding military assistance to Ukraine and a White House visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hostage to Trump’s demand that Zelensky launch and publicly announce investigations into Joe Biden’s and his son Hunter’s actions relating to the Ukraine, and into a debunked conspiracy theory according to which Ukraine, not Russia, had intervened in the 2016 elections.

Like those in Berlin who took sledgehammers to the Berlin Wall in 1989 and tore it down, the Democrats have begun to tear down Trump’s propaganda wall. Unlike those in Berlin, however, they appear ready to give up after knocking out only a few bricks from the wall, long before it is completely town down.

Trump obviously recognizes the threat the impeachment inquiry represents, calling for an end to witness testimony while Republicans in the Senate are calling for only a limited two-week trial of any articles of impeachment that are sent their way.

The challenge for the Democrats is to fully understand what they are up against in opposing Trump and the Republicans. They are not up against the rational arguments of those who would do the right thing if evidence of impeachable offenses were presented to the Senate in a trial. They face a powerful president and his cult-like followers who will stop at nothing to maintain him in power.

The likely end of the impeachment drama is in sight.

The House Democrats will stay their course, and vote articles of impeachment limited to questions relating to the Ukraine.

They will forward these articles of impeachment to the Republican-controlled Senate, which can be expected to adopt rules for the impeachment trial that will strongly favor Trump and his defenders.

After a two-week trial, the Senate will vote to not remove Trump from office. He will claim that he has been totally acquitted of any charges of wrongdoing. He will further claim that none of the other allegations of wrongdoing against him, including those in the Mueller Report, had any credibility because even the Democrats failed to include them in their articles of impeachment.

He will run on his Senate “acquittal” and the failure of Democrats to charge him for any misdeeds unrelated to Ukraine as full vindication of his charge that the whole Mueller investigation was nothing more than a “witch hunt”.

House Democrats, tear down that wall!

What is at stake, ultimately, is whether the Democrats can tear down Trump’s propaganda wall, and punch through his propaganda bubble and alternate reality, so that the American people and electorate can finally look at the law and the facts that are relevant to the broad range of actions that constitute Trump’s abuse of power and other impeachable offenses.

If Democrats think they can elect a president, win back the Senate, and retain the House in the 2020 elections, without tearing down Trump’s propaganda wall and puncturing the alternate-reality bubble of his cult-like followers, they and the country may well be in for a devastating surprise.

With that wall still standing and that bubble still intact, in a second term there may be no limit to the harm that Trump can do to the country, the Constitution, and the world.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and 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. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , 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, Dr. Rowles 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. Dr. Rowles 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.=LL.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, Dr. Rowles 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 some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.