I want us to impeach and convict the president. Unfortunately, our country is so uninformed that I know Donald Trump and his cabal will take advantage of the impeachment better than we will. Why, because it is already happening.
The Mueller Report was devastating. But the Trump show, the preamble to the release of the redacted report was more effective than most thought it would be. The percentage of Americans wanting impeachment declined.
Democrats should have been waiting for the Mueller Report like a staged event. They should have taken delivery. Give a big speech. Ask reporters to come back in four hours where they would give a preliminary take on the report after their experts examined it. They then should have, in front of cameras, act with incredulity that William Barr could characterize the story as exonerating with topic points and graphics. At that point, they should have declared that they would begin hearings immediately because the country cannot wait any longer as it is clear Trump damaged our national security with his suspect relations with foreign agents, corruption, and obstruction of justice.
But instead of putting in the work to clothe and sell the product to the American people, they allowed the Trump plot to succeed. Democrats lost the ability to believably inculcate in the minds of Americans that the Trump ordeal is anything other than politics, dirty and corrupt, but politics nonetheless.
So where do we go from here? We have two options. We can fumble through the impeachment tree, or we can choose to expand our narrative. As mentioned before, instead of using the Mueller Report as a sledgehammer that will get impeachment but no conviction, use it as a scalpel to show how every lie and corruption act affected the Trump voter materially or otherwise.
Of course, not everyone agrees. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote the following in the article “Road map to impeachment” in The Times and Democrats.
The Mueller report was released Thursday by Attorney General William Barr, who, in the process, destroyed what was left of his own credibility. Pre-spinning the document before anyone had a chance to read it, Barr parroted Trump’s favorite talking point and said Mueller found no “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russians. The report, however, says no such thing. It notes that “collusion” is not a federal offense and seeks instead to determine whether there is evidence of conspiracy, which is a statutory crime. Mueller did find such evidence, but not enough to bring criminal charges.
One should take it with a grain of salt when columnists, pundits, hosts, and others make comments about Trump and his cabal losing all the credibility they had left. They are talking to people who never had credibility in the president or folks who care. If they want to know how the Trump voter and supporter feels, they should stop making these comments and engage them on a level where instead of talking to them they listen. They will then understand what is occurring in this country.
The reason Trump’s poll numbers have been pretty stable has little to do with people thinking he is credible, honest, innocent, or that he is some great leader. Trump is their way of sticking it to the system, Democrats, and Progressives who they have been taught to believe, have horns, and Republicans who talk a good game to them.
Robinson said the following in the Washington Post article titled “Democrats must seize and define this moment. Otherwise, Trump will.” that further illustrates the disconnect.
What Trump claims just happened is a “witch hunt.” Anyone who thinks there is a chance that Trump will lick his wounds and move on has not been paying attention. Having escaped criminal charges — because he is a sitting president — Trump will go on the offensive. With the help of Attorney General William P. Barr, whose title really should be Minister of Spin, the president will push to investigate the investigators and sell the bogus counter-narrative of an attempted “coup” by politically motivated elements of the “deep state.”
Here is the important thing: Trump will mount this attack no matter what Democrats do . And strictly as a matter of practical politics, the best defense against Trump has to be a powerful offense. I fail to see the benefit for Democrats, heading into the 2020 election, of being seen as such fraidy-cats that they shirk their constitutional duty. Mueller’s portrait of this president and his administration is devastating. According to Graham’s “honor and integrity” standard — which he laid out in January 1999, when he was one of the House prosecutors for President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate — beginning the process of impeaching Trump is not a close call.
The thing is Trump, and his cohort can sell their position much better than we’ve been able to sell the truth. Most importantly, Bill Clinton’s base is much different than Trump’s base who are idolatrous.
Here is what I think. We will not win if we outright impeach the President. We hold hearings ad nauseam. Every Democrat uses the stage to create a narrative of how each corrupt act of the President and his cohort that is documented and corroborated in the Mueller Report materially harmed different segments of his base. Personalize the report – no abstractions.
As Congress is doing that, presidential candidates, available politicians, activists, and activist Progressive media should be out there detailing how Medicare for All will ensure real healthcare without breaking the bank, leaving most with more money in their pockets. They should do the work to sell the Green New Deal in Appalachia and the Midwest by explaining to them precisely what it would mean for them. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should ignore Congressman Barr’s (D-KY) rescinding his invitation to Kentucky and visit the coal miners and take the time to explain how Green New Deal policies will make them healthier and wealthier. They should sell college debt forgiveness as no different than what we do for corporations.
It may feel good to impeach the biggest crook on the planet. But we have not been effective in our messaging. Likewise, because we have some party operatives who continue to balance Progressiveness against the wants of their corporate masters, they continue to temper their support and promotion of real poor and middle-class centric policies most of us want. Don’t be fooled, some you least expect would tolerate a Trump if Progressives got their act together strategically and put winning above everything else.