Friday, December 6, 2019

Hmm. Interesting.

So let's talk about impeachment, particularly Pelosi's interesting move.

Let me start with what I've seen of the impeachment process, before we get to Pelosi...

Impeachment has been a disaster for the Democrats.

Before impeachment, I was pretty sure that Trump was doomed. Trump's overall poll number have remained steady, but he's lost support in key groups -- groups who will decide states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. In particular, he's losing a tiny slice of white working men and a bigger slice of suburban women. His support should be growing in these groups given the economy and the herd effect which makes these people vote for incumbents, but it's dropping. That's a problem, and it's resulted in disaster in the last half dozen elections for the GOP.

His problems include turning women off personally, trade fights that cost farmers dearly, not bending a little more pro-Union in the rustbelt, and now picking a series of strange fights with the military.

This was the trend when the Democrats began impeachment, a slow motion implosion for Trump.

Then came impeachment.

Impeachment was always a mistake for a number of reasons. The public doesn't like revenge politics. The Democrats picked an issue out of the Ukraine... where? The Democrats have been screaming impeachment for so long and about so much that they made it all but impossible to appear to state a legitimate case rather than just revenge. So things were going to go poorly.

But the actual hearings have been way worse than expected. Essentially, the Democrats brought in a small group of people with serious grudges against Trump who all gleefully testified that they knew nothing but they were sure that was meaningful: "I saw a man in a hat, Ukrainians wear hats, Trump must have had a quid pro quo. DESTROY HIM!!!" And the Democrats stroked themselves and called for ever greater punishments. This was obvious revenge porn. At the same time, the Ukraine came out several times to say they don't recall any sort of quid pro quo and the transcripts suggest that the things they Democrats say were talked about just never came up.

All told, it's a bust, and that's become obvious as the media doesn't seem to be able to find any themes or any dead horses to beat. Add in the clear bias of all the witnesses, the utter lack of even a warm gun (much less a smoking gun), and this is all very bad for the impeachers. See, to the average American, the lack of a 20 inch headline on every paper means that nothing has happened. Here you have the biggest issue of our time and it's not being covered on local news, the internet is more concerned with Jeffrey Epstein than Trump, and the media is strangely contemplate when they should be beating the drums of revenge.

Suggesting that this is all true, the polls just aren't moving. If anything, they're moving a tiny bit away from impeachment, and that has the Democrats freaking out. We know this because their candidates have started to avoid talking about the issue. Then several Democrats came out against impeachment. And now we're starting to see sour grapes articles saying that it might be better to leave Trump in place as an example to us all or something. Add in that not a single Republican has broken ranks, even Mitt Romney whose balls are in Nancy Pelosi's purse, and you have a total failure. Even worse, you have the sense that this has always been a witch hunt which has now been laid bare.

It's a disaster. How bad? Trump's support has firmed up and grown. He seems like the victim. Wow.

Now let's talk about Pelosi.

The Democrats are in trouble. The public has turned on them on this issue, but their progressive core wants blood, even as their moderate core wants to bail out (you see a lot of moderates arguing about getting it over with and moving on with the loss, even as progressives are claiming they could impeach him again and again if this one doesn't take). So the Democrats are in a trap: damned it they do, really f**ing damned if they don't.

Enter Pelosi. She suddenly announced that she is commanding the Democrats to impeach him. Huh.

So she's progressive, right? No. What she's doing is playing lightening rod. By ordering impeachment, she's basically taking responsibility for it. It will happen. Progressives will be happy. They will celebrate. But at the same time, all the "moderate" (worried) Democrats will now have the cover that they were forced to take the vote: "If I'd had my way, there would have been no impeachment... don't blame me for this, I washed my hands."

It's actually a brilliant move born of desperation. If she hadn't done this, the Democrats would have become the lemming party. Now they can claim it wasn't by choice. That may save some of the moderates. Will it be enough? Not sure. Will it satisfy the progressives? No, not once they figure out what it means. For now though, they will be in that post-coitus glow... until they realize, "Hey, you were faking!"

So we'll see how it plays out, but it strikes me this is an admission that impeachment has been a true disaster for them and they are on the verge of falling apart.

Thoughts?

12 comments:

Anthony said...

I agree Pelosi is merely trying to give political coverage to Dems trying to win elections in pro-Trump states.

I think impeachment has gone about as well as one would expect for the Democrats. Trump has kept the really damaging witnesses out of the proceedings, but like Clinton and his affairs, Trump has been open about encouraging foreign powers to move against his enemies so feelings about the proceedings don't hinge on facts.

Along those lines the rally round the flag effect is pretty much the way the all attacks on presidents play out nowadays. The salient point is the flag is the man, not the party which is why 'wave comes in, wave goes out' has been a pattern with little variance since 1994.

Accelerating the price paying/dissension in the upper ranks is the fact that Trump will backstab anyone (cabinet members, governors, what have you) to protect himself or even just amuse his fans. Hilariously and predictably Trump recently stated he has no idea why Giuliani was there or what he was doing in the Ukraine but whatever it was it had nothing to do with Trump or the White House. If the upcoming IG report doesn't substantiate Trump's claims of victimhood, expect Trump to backstab everyone involved in that too.

The fact the vast pool of Dems seeking the presidency is holding steady at this late date show how weak the field of contenders is and is a good sign for Trump.

Stacy said...

From what I see in the people I come in contact with here in southwestern PA, I'd say you're right in your assessment that Trump's support is firming up. Those I know who have always been supporters are even more so, the ones who were maybe not so sure (but he was better than Hillary) are voicing stronger support, and those who really didn't care seem to be getting behind him just because they are tired of the circus in Washington. I think the Dems are going to be just as stunned as they were after the 2016 elections. They just do not understand the average person whom they claim to be representing.

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ArgentGale said...

Good observations all around, Andrew, and thanks again for bringing your perspective on what actually matters to the public to the table here. It's easy to get lost in the weeds elsewhere so the perspective is always nice. In any case the Dems really have shown their asses on the impeachment clown show from start to finish and you know it's bad if even the media is focusing on a certain someone who didn't kill himself instead of it. I'm not sure how this gamble is going to pay off, either, so I'm not going to comment on it further.

That said, it's a tangent but there's a bit of drama down here in Georgia that you might find interesting since it relates to the GOP's problem with suburban women. One of our senators, Johnny Isakson, is stepping down at the end of the year for health reasons and Governor Kemp designated a moderate (perhaps even liberal) businesswoman, Kelly Loeffler, as his replacement specifically to put forward a candidate that would appeal to that specific demographic. This surprised me personally since Kemp ran a campaign that focused on Religious Right issues so I didn't think he had it in him to even acknowledge the problem, much less take action to (try to) remedy it. Needless to say several Religious Right types are pissed off and Trump's made his displeasure known as well (particularly since his campaigning for Kemp helped him win the primary) but Kemp is standing his ground. How this plays out will make an interesting study in light of your observations, Andrew. Also, check your e-mail when you get a chance!

AndrewPrice said...

Hi Daniel, I just saw your email. It was in my spam folder. Sorry. I'll respond soon.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, This is an incredibly weak pool, but I think that is partially the fault of their voters being split on polar opposite positions.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I think it's wise for the GOP to put as many women as possible into office -- I can't speak to her politics at this point, but if the GOP had as many women as the Democrats, then the Democrats' demographic argument won't be able to reach anyone except true feminists. That could mean 3-5% of women switching sides, which would wipe out the Democrats permanently.

It will be interesting to see how that plays out, especially as the demographics in Georgia have changed and they are risking moving into the blue column if they don't find a way to win over non-hard-core conservatives.

AndrewPrice said...

Stacy, I'm glad you're seeing the same thing.

My wife's family (if you include cousins and the such) is a pretty representative sample of the lower and lower middle classes, with a few others tossed in. What I've seen in these people is a shift since impeachment began.

The welfare-type leftists had been posting mouth-foaming anti-Trump stuff every day for years, but have slowly run out of steam this year. They've said very little about impeachment and have shifted to other "outrages" like Trump's Christmas decorations. That tells me they have burned out and are demoralized. In fact, they're more likely to attack the Dems than Trump at the moment and I think they are much less likely to vote than before.

The blacks were screaming for Black Lives Matter a year ago and now have gone silent on politics. I take this as checking out because of disillusionment.

The working class ones said nothing or were mildly antiTrump before, but now are saying things like: "Why can't they just leave him alone." That's a truly bad sign for the Democrats as it means they aren't likely to turn out to vote against Trump as they did last time, and they may even vote for him.

The mildly pro-Trump people are getting offended by the process. These people seem much more likely to talk politics, to support Trump, and to criticize the Democrats. Many of these people were Obama voters.

The pro-Trump people are foaming at the mouth and are very energized now. Not sure there are many of these, but they will show up.

All told, I think this suggests growing Trump support and it's all come about really from the Democrats overplaying their hand and looking like obsessives.

ArgentGale said...

Take all the time you need, Andrew, and considering some of the content of the e-mail I can see why that happens. Personally I hope Kemp is vindicated in his appointment choice and that it starts a trend, though given that Cory Gardner's methods still haven't caught on in Colorado I'm not holding my breath.

AndrewPrice said...

A new poll out today (and not one that favors the GOP generally) says the Democrats haven't changed minds on impeachment. Only 45% of independents favor it. Confirmation of what I'm seeing.

Anthony said...

Andrew,

Rallying round the flag of a president under attack is the way these things always play out in modern times. Usually the president endures, the party as a whole suffers aka 'wave goes in, wave goes out'. So far the pattern is holding.

Black Lives Matter still exists but they don't have much support on the ground and haven't in the past few years. There are handfuls of activists running around waving and screaming at cameras, but one doesn't see the marches with lots of local participation one briefly saw in 2015 in the pre-body cam era.

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