Trump’s impeachment strategy is backfiring. Bigly.

God’s Chosen One (Franklin Graham edition) shared some seasonal thoughts this past Christmas Eve and Day: “… very unfair with no Due Process …”  “They want to make it as hard as possible for me to properly run our Country!”  “I am having to constantly defend myself …”  “… they are vicious, will say anything!”

You are, no doubt, feeling spiritually elevated after all that. Also, he apparently forgot to get a gift for Melania. Might as well blame that on the Do Nothing Democrats™, too.

Trump’s twitter stream can serve as a good barometer of the Orange One’s fluctuating moods. After the House voted to impeach him, however, there hasn’t been much fluctuation. It’s pretty much been full time rage, self-pity and attacks on the Congressional process. But even as he sets all-time records for tweeting, exceeding 100 per day on several occasions, it doesn’t seem to be working. In fact, it seems to be backfiring. Bigly.

Throughout the impeachment process, opinion polling has never shown majority support for impeachment. On the day the impeachment vote took place, it was hovering around 46% in favor. But something dramatic has happened in the week since the vote, when the question is now whether the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office. 

The newest poll released just today says 55% of the country favors conviction and removal. Think about that for just a moment. A clear majority of Americans want the sitting president removed from office. Immediately. This has never happened before, not even with Richard Nixon. 

The poll numbers show a shift of nine points in just one week, the most volatile swing yet on the question. The new poll also shows that the percentage of people opposed to removal has hit an all-time low, with just 40% against it. On impeachment day, that number was 48%, meaning a substantial number of people who once opposed removal are now either reconsidering their position or have actually decided they now support removal.

What could be behind this enormous swing in public opinion, especially during a traditionally slow news period around the holidays? I think it’s how Mitch McConnell, Trump and the Republicans are handling the question of the Senate trial.

McConnell has made it abundantly clear that he is uninterested in anything approaching an actual trial. He has simply dismissed Democratic demands to call witnesses and subpoena documents from the White House. Trump himself started out by insisting on witnesses (ridiculous conspiracy-theory ideas like calling Joe and Hunter Biden and Adam Schiff), but now he seems to have taken his lead from McConnell and spends all his time attacking the “process”.

The people, apparently, aren’t buying it. And I think it’s pretty plain why not. They’re asking themselves, “Why wouldn’t Trump want to call witnesses who can prove his innocence?” Good question. And the obvious answer — the only answer — is because he can’t prove his innocence. He’s guilty. That’s starting to sink in for people.

It has often been said that impeachment is an inherently political process, not judicial. Up until this point, I think that’s what the polls have been showing us: a reflection of the existing political divide in this country. The new poll shows us something substantively different, I think: people are moving ever-so-slightly beyond viewing impeachment as a political fight and starting to think about the impeachment in terms of actual guilt or innocence, with a trial. And Trump’s complete refusal to offer any evidence in his own defense is reinforcing this focus.

Interestingly, Trump himself mentioned evidence in a tweet on Christmas Eve. He probably should not have brought it up.

His attitude toward evidence is certainly clear. He’ll have none of that evidence nonsense. And he’s got the votes to block it, so there. Nyah. 

If I’m right about the public evincing strong support for a real trial, then Trump’s tweet may very well be yet another tweet that will come back to haunt him. As it should.

Nancy Pelosi’s audacious move to hold off on sending the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate until some kind of fair trial could be negotiated initially appeared to have a long shot at success. I supported Pelosi’s move, but I didn’t really see how it could actually get her any leverage, especially against a guy as ruthless and utterly lacking in conscience as Mitch McConnell.

But now she has a majority of the people on her side, it appears. People who want the facts. That’s real leverage. But she (we) could always use more. That’s where you come in.

Since the Senate will be voting on whether or not to call witnesses and review documentary evidence, only four Republicans would be needed to pass votes for a full and fair trial.

As Trump tweeted above, “the only way to make this work is to mount some kind of public pressure to demand witnesses.” He doesn’t know it, but he’s talking about a process called democracy.

Following is a list of Republican Senators who might, possibly, conceivably vote in favor of fair rules. If you live in one of these states, let them hear from you! Call, email, dm, write on a piece of paper and mail it to them. (I’m not suggesting call or email. I’m urging call and email and … )

If you know someone who lives in one these states, urge them to do all of the above.

Trump and the Republicans don’t plan to budge on the trial rules. They need a good push.

Republican Senators who might, possibly, conceivably vote in favor of a fair trial. Links are to official "contact" page. So contact them.

Alaska  Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Colorado  Sen. Cory Gardner
Maine  Sen. Susan Collins
Tennessee  Sen. Lamar Alexander
Utah  Sen. Mitt Romney


Leave a Reply