Doug Schoen, a former pollster for President Bill Clinton, argued in an op-ed this week that even if Democrats prevail in the midterms, they should be wary about pursuing impeachment charges against Donald Trump. He knows what only a few Democrats are beginning to realize, which is that a platform built around hatred of the president isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to help the party in the long term.
Writing for The Hill, Schoen was optimistic that Democrats could usher in that blue wave of dominance that other pollsters have begun to doubt is possible. Even if Schoen is right, though, he makes the case that Democrats should pursue an agenda other than impeachment should they win back control of the House.
“Should Democrats succeed in turning the House blue, they will most likely begin impeachment proceedings against Trump,” he writes. “Indeed, Democratic voters overwhelmingly want to impeach Trump. A Quinnipiac poll last month found that the vast majority, 71 percent, of Democratic voters want the party to begin the impeachment process if they win control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.”
However, Schoen warns, even if Democrats win back the House and begin impeachment proceedings, there’s little reason to believe that they could get a conviction in the Senate.
“We could thus see a divided government much like we encountered in 1998,” he writes. “Such an outcome does not serve the American people’s interests and only serves to further embroil Washington in divisive gridlock. It also, ironically maybe, would bode well for Trump’s reelection bid in 2020.
“While Democrats ferociously want an impeachment, most Americans do not,” he concedes. “The same Quinnipiac poll from April 2018 also found that just 38 percent of all Americans favor impeachment. If Democrats recklessly pursue impeachment without a mandate by all Americans, not just the left, they could face retribution at the ballot in 2020 and beyond.”
Republicans are going to use the looming threat of impeachment as a defensive campaign in the midterms, as well they should. But we wonder if Democrats would really go through with it. They know better than anyone how flimsy the collusion evidence is. Do they really want to start a proceeding that would lay that case open for the public to see? No, no, we think they would rather keep it all buried under a mound of innuendo and secrecy, which will allow them to keep stoking that fire all the way through the presidential election.
And judging by the rate at which Mueller is plodding through this ridiculous investigation, we have to expect that he’ll still be turning over stones by the time 2020 rolls around. Democrats don’t want to give all that up for the one-in-a-million shot that impeachment would stick.
Still, get out and vote. We don’t need to take any chances.