Impeach trump democrats 2018 midterms dilemma – vox gas x coupon 2015

But their preferred strategy of evading the issue has some obvious shortcomings. Their base wants impeachment, Republicans want to talk about impeachment, the media likes impeachment stories, and Trump’s conduct and unfitness for office are obviously the central issues in American politics and can’t just be swept under the rug.

Democrats need to confront this topic by laying out a specific agenda to confront Trump and check his abuses of power, while also being clear that they are not going to let the congressional docket be dominated by a completely futile drive for impeachment. Trump is the main issue in 2018

Trump’s approval ratings have improved somewhat since political conversation moved on from the GOP’s unpopular health care bill and their unpopular tax bill, but he remains unpopular with a net approval rating that’s 12 to 13 points underwater. Not only is this net approval rating bad, it’s worse than Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama were doing at this point in their presidencies. Indeed, in net approval, not only is Trump further underwater at this point in his presidency than any of his postwar predecessors, but this has been true every single day he has been in office.

He’s unpopular even though objective conditions in the country are, in most respects, fairly benign. The president is behaving inappropriately on a near-daily basis, profiting personally from the presidency, attempting to stymie a legitimate inquiry into Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, and constantly demonstrating near-zero comprehension of the main issues in American politics.

People quite rightly find this alarming, and with Republicans lining up near uniformly to defend him, the voters are lashing out and punishing them. That means that while of course Democrats running for office should talk about things other than Trump, it makes absolutely no sense to ignore the elephant in the room. Impeachment is a pointless trap

That’s why, perversely, drawing attention to the possibility of removing Trump from office could be a smart way for Republicans to do their best to neutralize the Trump issue in the campaign. Of course, no tactic will fully undo the damage, but Republicans can plausibly hope that the combination of a favorable map and incumbency effects will let them survive a moderately unfavorable national political climate — they just need to ensure it’s not a massively unfavorable one.

But a 2019 impeachment drive wouldn’t be important at all — it’d be futile. To remove a president from office requires 67 Senate votes, meaning it would need to be a fully bipartisan undertaking, and there’s just no evidence that anything like a cross-party anti-Trump consensus is emerging.

Things might change in the future, of course, but as long as Trump retains the support of his party (and if anything, the trend is in the direction of Republicans becoming more supportive of Trump), then an impeachment push isn’t going to amount to anything, no matter how much the Democratic base wants it.

Democrats’ biggest successes in special elections thus far have come in deep-red constituencies like Alabama and western Pennsylvania. In races like these, trying to take Trump off the table as an issue is such a no-brainer for a Democratic candidate that base voters are happy to forgive it.

But a more typical 2018 race will feature a Republican incumbent (rather than an open seat) in a district where Trump is at least moderately unpopular. The task for Democrats will be to mobilize their core voters to turn out while winning over (or at least depressing) the vote of some Trump skeptics who’ve chosen Republicans in the past. You’re not going to do that by ignoring Trump, but all indications are that you’re not going to win by promising to impeach him either.

That starts with ensuring that the work of special counsel Robert Mueller and his team won’t be stopped by presidential whim. If Mueller is fired, Congress can and should take up the very same questions his team was exploring — they could even hire Mueller if he wants the job — and ensure that whatever it is about the investigation that makes Trump so nervous won’t be covered up.

But even more important in some ways, it means reminding people that Russia happens to be the one issue that congressional Republicans were (briefly) interested in scrutinizing rather than the only issue that warrants investigation. Congressional committees both could and should use their subpoena powers to try to understand who is paying the president and why, rather than sitting idly by and allow him to accept bribes in secret via his range of private clubs and other business interests.

It’s possible that a thorough airing of Trump’s financial dealings and Russia-related matters won’t turn up any new, noteworthy information, in which case Republicans will keep backing him and he’ll either be beaten at the polls in 2020 or he won’t. It’s also possible that the reason Trump is keeping all this stuff covered up is that he is hiding incredibly damning secrets whose revelation will change Republicans’ thinking.

The crucial thing, both politically and substantively, is to be clear that impeachment is ultimately a question for Republicans, not for Democrats. Without GOP support, there’s no way to remove Trump from office, and even if Trump were removed, Democrats still would not be thrilled with a Mike Pence presidency.