Time to Move On — Democrats Are Wasting Their Time On Impeachment
Author: Greg Valliere
May 30, 2019
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TRADITIONALLY use this Memorial Day break to meet with their constituents at town hall meetings, getting a sense of the mood outside the Washington Beltway. We suspect there’s an anxious mood because of health care, trade tariffs and signs of a softening economy — but there simply isn’t a great clamor to impeach President Trump, despite his personal unpopularity and his distortion of Robert Mueller’s conclusions.
WE REITERATE OUR THEME: If you want Trump ousted from office, campaign against him and vote against him in November of 2020. But there’s no chance of convicting him in a Senate trial — there aren’t remotely close to the 67 votes required to do so. If House Democrats reject this reality and choose the spectacle of impeachment proceedings, their progressive base might be thrilled, but Trump will have his foil: a “witch hunt” that could boost his re-election prospects.
THIS WON’T BE EASY FOR NANCY PELOSI: Yesterday’s refusal by Mueller to clear Trump of obstruction of justice has prompted several Democrats running in 2020 to urge impeachment proceedings, but Pelosi knows that could backfire politically. We think her fallback position is as follows: more subpoenas and hearings, and a shift in focus to Trump’s tax and financial records.
REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE DEMOCRATS MAY UNCOVER in the next few months, there’s no escaping the certainty that Mitch McConnell’s Senate would quickly dismiss a House impeachment referral. So it’s time for the Democrats to move on, in our opinion, and focus on other issues; it’s futile to moan about Mueller’s insistence that he couldn’t indict a sitting president.
THERE ARE TWO MORE PRESSING ISSUES: First, a trade war that’s worsening, with a growing likelihood of major new U.S. tariffs on European goods on everything from German autos to French wine, which will add more uncertainty to the global economic outlook. Second, there’s still the issue that launched the Mueller probe — overwhelming evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election — and there’s no clear plan to combat it in 2020.
THE HOUSE SHOULD FOCUS ON THOSE ISSUES: A House impeachment — certain to fail — would simply be a capitulation to the left wing, raising the threat of a divided party; Joe Biden sided with Pelosi yesterday and backed away from impeachment, enraging the progressives. The Democrats are united on one goal — ousting Trump — and to choose the impeachment option could actually help Trump win re-election.
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CORRECTION: Thanks to several sharp-eyed readers who emailed yesterday — obviously we meant to say that if inflation picks up because of massive tariffs, the possibility of a rate CUT could become less likely. One reader said she expects one rate reduction in the second half, not two, which seems about right.
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