The Fog of Impeachment

 

“If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it’s a fog in the pew.” An old Baptist preacher said that years ago and it always stuck with me. Translated into secular-speak, if the speaker doesn’t present a simple, direct, crystal-clear message, the audience will never retain it.

Speaker Pelosi apparently never heard this advice. In theory, Democrats want to impeach Trump for colluding with Ukraine to get dirt on Biden. But when reporters asked her about the issue Tuesday, she blamed Ukraine’s archenemy, Vladimir Putin.

In addition to claiming that “all roads seem to lead to Putin with the President,” Pelosi brought up the Constitution’s emoluments clause, a popular pre-Mueller excuse for impeachment. Why, it’s as if Democrats started with the goal of kicking Trump out of the White House and only later concocted reasons to do so.

To impeach the president and have any hope of a few GOP senators joining the effort, Pelosi and Co. must present a simple, direct, crystal-clear reason for doing so. Mueller came up empty, so Democrats need an “elevator pitch” telling independent and GOP voters why Trump’s Ukraine phone call counts as a high crime or misdemeanor.

Instead, Democrats deliver blurry photos of Putin and the Trump Hotel and Mueller and Zelensky and self-dealing and “how dare you mention Hunter Biden?!”

The poor messaging was rampant in Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate. Every candidate agreed Trump needed to be impeached, but couldn’t articulate why.

“When the Mueller report came out,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, “I read it, all 442 pages. And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown, to a fare-thee-well, that this president had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly. And so at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry.”

“It’s not just that he obstructed justice with the Mueller Report,” Sen. Bernie Sanders added. “I think that the House will find him guilty of — worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause.”

Joe Biden entered the fray. “I said from the beginning that if, in fact, Trump continued to stonewall what the Congress is entitled to know about his background, what he did, all the accusations in the Mueller Report, if they did that, they would have no choice — no choice — but to begin an impeachment proceeding.”

“He’s been selling out our values,” Sen. Kamala Harris explained. “He’s been selling out national security. And on this issue with Ukraine, he has been selling out our democracy.”

“I’m still waiting to find out from him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. “It doesn’t make America great again. It makes Russia great again.”

Does Klobuchar think Ukraine is still part of Russia? The two nations have been on the knife-edge of war for years, yet somehow working with one is collusion with their enemy?

If the Democrats actually want to impeach Trump — a doubtful presumption given Pelosi’s behavior — this is a disastrous strategy. The fog of conflicting impeachment excuses leaves voters feeling the way they did before Trump ever called Kyiv. Those who hate him still hate him, those who love him still love him.

If, instead, Pelosi just wants to get the #resist-types off her back and let Trump remain in the Oval Office through the 2020 election, the misty messaging will work just fine. The base feasts on red meat and her red-state congresspeople won’t get destroyed next November.

There are 9 comments.

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  1. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Fog. Confusion. Another thing that the current Pope has in common with Ms. Nancy. *Sigh*

    • #1
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Jon,

    When the facts don’t matter only the narrative and you are forced to abandon the original narrative because well the facts did matter, then you are in deep do-do. Nancy, never too tightly wrapped, to begin with, is doing the best she can. She is weaving back and forth between the old narrative (Russia-Putin) and the new narrative (Ukraine-?).

    You may have noticed that Nancy’s white wine morning ration has been raised again. Truly she is a happy warrior. Well, she can’t quite feel her toes but what the heck.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
  3. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Does fog matter, when most people consume media that tells a consistent story?   I agree that being clear matters, but the through the lens of the MSM, things might appear clear enough.  I don’t think the Dems care about the precedent, so any excuse is good enough.

    • #3
  4. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Jon – The Democratic leadership see that impeachment is their final option in attempting to get rid of Trump.  That’s why they are manufacturing reasons for impeachment and not asking for a formal vote, then proceeding within the rule of law.  As more information comes out, especially from Ukraine from John Solomon and others, it is clear that the Russia and Ukraine set up began and ended with the DNC, Clinton, and Obama.  It is beyond despicable, corrupt and dirty.  

    I believe he’ll win re-election, because of this and in spite of their tactics.

    • #4
  5. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: and her red-state congresspeople won’t get destroyed next November.

    At this point, it is fair to assume that every single one of them support her effort.  None of them have demanded a floor vote, none of them have made public statements that they do not support what she is doing.  Trump and Republicans should already be messaging the situation that way.

    Make enough noise about those people and some of them might decide their own survival is more important to them than getting Nancy reelected.

    • #5
  6. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Why, it’s as if Democrats started with the goal of kicking Trump out of the White House and only later concocted reasons to do so.

    Yup. See  Wolf, Boy Who Cried

    • #6
  7. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Trump 10 and  Pelosi, Schumer etc. 0

    • #7
  8. Al Kennedy Member
    Al Kennedy
    @AlKennedy

    Based on the evidence presented to date, there is no justifiable offense the Democrats can point to support the impeachment of President Trump.  Back in September, Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said “I believe the president ought to be impeached, but the public has to be on board”.  The Democrats have two objectives: 1) impeach Trump and 2) remove him from office.  The first is possible, the second is highly unlikely. Representative Schiff s is exactly the wrong person to get the public on board with impeachment.  His intense partisanship is well known by his daily appearances on TV since the beginning of the Trump Administration claiming to have secret knowledge of the president’s relationship with Russia’s Putin was harmful to America.  Holding secret hearings of the House Intelligence Committee and then leaking cherry picked pieces of testimony will not convince the public to be on board with impeachment.  However the public and the Republicans in the Senate will be influenced by the president’s actions in the future as well as what has happened in the past and that has been documented.  If the president continues to make the Twitter statements he does, he could encourage the public to be on board in regard to his impeachment.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: “If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it’s a fog in the pew.”

    I like it.  It’s another version of KISS – Keep it simple, stupid!

    • #9

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