“I’ll fold on Russia, but I’m going to raise you on Ukraine.”
That’s essentially the poker hand House Democrats are playing in their zeal to do something, anything, to get rid of sometimes-bizarre President Donald Trump. Impeachment is the last card Democrats have to play, and they’ve thrown it on the table.
There are two principal reasons for the current Capitol Hill Circus, the same reasons that dominate on virtually everything in D.C.: hold onto and expand power. Government at its core is an organism, and organisms have two basic functions, to survive and reproduce, which means the Washington priority is to keep their jobs and increase their authority.
“It’s really about power,” says U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, who represents Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District and sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, one of the committees engaged in the impeachment inquiry. “Both parties and their leaderships want to keep it or get it from the others.”
The Mueller Report was the card Democrats thought would show Trump’s campaign was in cahoots with Russia to turn the 2016 election. For months, Democratic leaders spoke of the two-year investigation in breathless, apocalyptic intonations. They bet the pot on the Mueller Report, and came away from the table empty-handed.
The Democrat’s frustration is that although the deficit is growing, the economy overall is doing well. The stock market is way up, and unemployment is way down. If the economy’s strength holds, it evokes the enduring mantra of 1992 Bill Clinton presidential campaign (“It’s the economy, stupid”), which would mean Trump is in a strong position to win re-election.
The Democrats’ top three contenders for president, according to the most recent polling, are Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Sens. Warren and Sanders, if they promise any more free stuff (at taxpayer expense), they could campaign in red suits from reindeer-drawn sleighs with elves on the back. Former Vice President Biden can’t seem to locate many positions he’s held in the past in which he now believes.
Therefore, Democrats have two options, unless the economy does a fast and hard dive between now and Election Day:
- Hope that the electorate will spurn the economy and vote based on what candidates are promising.
- Generate enough crud that voters come down with Trump Fatigue.
The impeachment inquiry is all about the latter.