Conservative columnist explains why Trump already lost his battle to discredit impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only American who has gone from being impeachment skeptic to impeachment proponent where President Donald Trump is concerned: poll after poll has shown that most Americans now favor at least an impeachment inquiry — and many in that majority also favor full-fledged removal from office via a Senate trial. Conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, in an October 22 column, asserts that these polls make it obvious that Trump has lost the battle to discredit the impeachment inquiry that is underway in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rubin specifically discusses a CNN poll that was conducted October 17-20 and found that 50% of Americans favor not only an inquiry, but impeaching Trump and removing him from office. The poll, as Rubin notes, really digs into demographics: only 26% of white males without college degrees favor impeachment and removal, but that number jumps to 54% with college-educated white women. And 68% of non-white Americans, either male or female, favor impeachment and removal, according to CNN.
“In short,” Rubin asserts, “none of Trump’s seething, lying, ranting and deflecting has worked to convince the public that he is a victim of some elite plot. Contrary to Democrats’ fears, there has not been a backlash against Democrats.”
CNN’s poll also found that Trump’s overall approval stands at 41%.
“The more he demands perfect loyalty from Republicans and fires up his base with incoherent accusations,” Rubin explains, “the less likely it seems that he has a reasonable chance of winning reelection even if he does survive impeachment and a Senate trial.”
The impeachment inquiry came about because of a July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who Trump tried to pressure into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. And Rubin shares Pelosi’s view that the impeachment inquiry should stay focused on Ukraine specifically.
“It is essential to keep the impeachment focused on the issue that jump-started the formal inquiry — Ukraine — and to remind voters that what is at stake here is different from what has come before, worse than the corruption we have come to expect from this administration,” Rubin stresses. “Trump cannot be left in office to manipulate and invalidate the election in which he is running by inviting foreign interference. We have never had a president ask a foreign government to interfere in an election on his behalf, and use taxpayer-funded aid to extort an ally into this breach of American sovereignty.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the impeachment inquiry now underway will lead to a full House vote on articles of impeachment — and if the House indicts him on those articles, he would face a trial in the U.S. Senate like President Andrew Johnson in the 1860s and President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s. Johnson and Clinton were both acquitted in the Senate, and many pundits have stressed that a conviction in the GOP-controlled Senate would be unlikely.
However, Rubin stresses that “support for impeachment may strengthen even further” if any new “blockbuster evidence” comes to light.
“Whether Trump is removed, he will almost certainly be impeached,” Rubin stresses. “And it will be critical to those fighting to preserve the sanctity of U.S. elections to make clear that what is at stake is none other than the basic principle that Americans choose American leaders.”