Discover more from Bernard Goldberg's Commentary
Trump Will Be Impeached -- If He Wins Reelection
Let’s say House Democrats took the crazy train over the cliff and actually impeached President Trump. How would reasonable, moderate, non hyper-partisan Americans react?
Let’s imagine that the principle grounds for impeachment involved evidence of obstruction of justice laid out in the Mueller report. Let’s go a step further and say, for the sake of argument, that the president showed monumental bad judgment at least 10 times during Mueller’s investigation --and that he actually did obstruct justice.
There’s a good chance reasonable people – not hard core Democrats or Republicans, but moderate swing voter -- might very well conclude that the president tried, unsuccessfully, to impede an investigation into a crime that the president knew all along he didn’t commit – collusion with the Russians to throw the 2016 presidential election his way; and that Robert Mueller after nearly two years of investigating, at a cost of about $35 million dollars, also concluded he didn’t conspire with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
In other words, as clumsy as it was, the president tried to obstruct an investigation into a non-existent crime-- and he didn’t even succeed at that. Mueller was never fired. His investigation went wherever Mueller wanted it to go.
Maybe, moderate voters might conclude, the president tried to impede the investigation simply out of frustration, simply because non-stop talk and front page news about collusion was zapping his presidency of legitimacy – even though he never colluded with Putin or anyone else in Russia. Maybe he showed bad judgment to shut down the investigation because he was fed up with what he saw as unwarranted abuse. Or maybe he was just mad about false accusations coming from political opponents claiming that he was a traitor in cahoots with the Russians.
Do we really want to impeach a sitting president, those moderates would ask, for something as lame as any of this?
Here’s an answer: A recent Harvard/Harris Poll found that while 60 percent of Democrats want the president impeached, only 36 percent of independents favor impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi knows this. She knows that it's those independents who will decide if Mr. Trump stays or goes next year. And that’s why she’s standing firm -- at least for now -- between the president and impeachment.
She may not be articulate; she may have uttered those memorable words about how Congress has to pass the Affordable Care Act before we can actually know what’s in it; but when it comes to politics she knows what she’s doing.
And what she’s doing is holding the progressives at bay, telling them they can investigate the president all they want, that they can say -- as she has -- that the president is involved in a "cover-up," but that they cannot move forward on actual impeachment. She knows the price her party would pay, given that moderate swing voters are overwhelmingly against impeachment. She knows that if House Democrats get on board that crazy train, Donald Trump likely would win reelection next year.
But let’s make sure we understand one more thing. Obstruction is just the latest excuse to get rid of a president progressives viscerally dislike and think is unfit for office.
They were talking about impeachment even before Mr. Trump set foot in the Oval Office. Immediately after he took the oath of office, progressive efforts were underway to impeach the incoming president on conflict of interest grounds. The argument was that as president, Donald Trump would use his position to further his business ventures. And formal efforts to impeach him were initiated by Congressman Al Green and Brad Sherman in 2017—the first year of Mr. Trump’s presidency.
A lot of Democrats haven’t gotten over the fact that such a buffoon, in their view, could actually beat a woman like Hillary Clinton. They have considered him illegitimate from Day One. They thought Mueller would clinch the impeachment deal for them by finding the president guilty of collusion. When he didn’t, they moved on to obstruction. If there were no obstruction, they’d find something else to impeach him over.
But make no mistake: Donald Trump will either lose next year and pack his bags and go back to his tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan – or he will be impeached.
If he wins a second term, all of Nancy Pelosi’s high-minded talk about how divisive impeachment would be for the country, would vanish into the ether.
If he wins a second term, and if Democrats hold the House, Mrs. Pelosi will set free her progressive caucus to move full speed ahead to impeach President Trump.
If he wins a second term, there would no longer be any downside for Democrats who have been salivating for years to impeach him.
So what if the Senate refuses to convict. If impeachment and the humility it would impose on a president they despise were all they could get … they’d gladly take it.
You think we’re polarized now? Wait ‘til next year.