Top Democrats now feel comfortable admitting that they don’t care if Republican support is there or not, the impeachment process will continue. House Majority Whip James Clyburn and Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared on Sunday morning talk shows and admitted as much.
Clyburn was interviewed by Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union”. She asked if he would support a vote on impeachment if there was no support from the Republican side of the aisle. He admitted he would absolutely be willing to go forward without bipartisan support.
“I think when we talk about bipartisan support, we’re not limiting that to the Congress,” Clyburn said, referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) statement from March, when she said impeachment needed bipartisan support to be successful in Congress.
“I don’t think she was limiting that to the Congress,” he added. “She knows the Congress very well, and she knows how Republican colleagues are prone to vote on these issues within the party.”
See what he did there? He conflates bipartisan support among the general public with that of his colleagues in the House. He came clean with an admission that Democrats are only paying lip service to want Republican support and participation in the impeachment process. Bipartisan support, you say? Democrats don’t need no stinkin’ Republican support.
Democrats cite recent polling that shows an increase in public support for impeachment inquiry hearings but what they don’t say is that the increase is from Independents, not Republicans. There is no indication that Republicans in the House are going to side with Democrats when the time comes for a vote on impeachment. Barring the emergence of any bombshells in the public hearings phase of the process, it is highly unlikely that the general public who vote Republican will have a change of opinion, either.
Clyburn brushed off Dana Bash’s question that followed – did he think GOP lawmakers will change their opinions to reflect the polling? Clyburn answered, “Well, that may be true. But what’s that level we have to get to for them to have to change?”
The House Majority Whip stated that he doesn’t know if President Trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor worthy of impeachment but that public support is on the side of the Democrats. He said that the House Republicans do not represent the voice of the general public. That’s odd since the very definition of the job of a member of Congress is to uphold the Constitution and the wishes of his or her constituents. They literally represent the voice of the public. Clyburn believes that Speaker Pelosi is all-knowing, though, and the wise voice of the party.
“She knows how our Republican colleagues are prone to vote on these issues,” Mr. Clyburn told CNN’s State of the Union.
“There’s a lot of smoke that a lot of us see. There should be some fire somewhere and we should find the source of that fire,” Mr. Clyburn said of the House Democrats’ inquiry.
“This country is worth saving,” he added.
No one is arguing that “this country” isn’t worth saving. The deep divide between Republicans and Democrats has to do with how to go about saving the country. Democrats want to nullify the last presidential election and have Trump frog-marched out of the Oval Office on camera for the world to see. Republicans want to preserve the sanctity of elections and respect the voice of the people.
Rep.Engel picked up the baton and said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” that Democrats have to do what’s right, not worry so much about the polls. Stephanopoulos noted that in the latest ABC News/The Washington Post poll released Friday, 50% of Americans disapprove of Democrats’ handling of impeachment, 51% say it’s more about hurting Trump politically and not about protecting the Constitution. Engel complained that Republicans are “moving the goalposts.” To many Americans, though, it seems the Democrats are the goalpost movers. First, they tried to get rid of Trump by using the Mueller Report. When Russia, Russia, Russia failed spectacularly, they moved on to a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. If Trump was so out of line and risking the national security of the United States during that conversation, wouldn’t more than one or two people be screaming from the rooftops about it? Especially since it turns out the whistleblower has a connection to Democrats. Many people, as it turns out, listened in on that conversation.
Engel said, “Congress is there to prevent the president from doing things that are illegal.” That’s true but a casual observer wouldn’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with what Trump said in that phone call. While Engel said that withholding aid to Ukraine in return for investigating Biden and his son is illegal, Republican Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the guest that followed Engel, countered with the fact that it is President Trump’s job to ensure that American tax dollars are not going to corrupt foreign countries. Between the two of them, Engel and Scalise show a perfect example of our national divide. I’m old enough to remember when Barack Obama leaned over and told the Russian foreign minister that he’d have a lot more leeway after his re-election. He didn’t realize that microphones picked that up at the time.
The majority of Americans polled may say that it’s good to hold impeachment inquiry hearings to get the information out but polling also still shows the majority of Americans do not want President Trump removed from office, even if lawmakers vote in favor of impeachment. The Democrats are risking control of the House over this. If the process continues along strictly party lines, as it has so far, Democrats are likely to take a big hit in November 2020. And President Trump will win re-election.