Why did the Dems hit the Pause button and then relaunch impeachment?
One answer is that they were carefully watching the polls. As they rammed through the articles, support for impeachment among independents had collapsed. (Dems and Republicans don’t really matter as the partisan positions on both sides are locked in.)
With the poll numbers rebounding, the Dems tried again. Their political hackery meant that they had left their options on the table, leading them to make the same mistakes all over again. The one thing the Senate trial is bound to do is kill support for impeachment.
Impeachment seems much more compelling when independents are viewing the prospect through the eyes of media storytellers, not legislative nitpicking debates and aimless speeches. The media at least knows how to make a case. Not legally, but narratively.
That’s more than Schiff or Nadler can manage to do.
Last time around the public tuned in excepting a comprehensible narrative. By the end, the numbers had shifted dramatically.
Look for the same thing to happen all over again.
Impeachment works when the public at least understands what a president is being accused of. It was very clear what Clinton was being accused of. Not technically, but practically. As Trump’s lawyers have pointed out, even the charge isn’t there.
Trials, by their very nature, are not meant to be very exciting. But they’re also meant to follow an actual rule of law. And with nothing like that underway here, a partisan political whirlpool gets caught in eddies like these.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump.
The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.” The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted.
But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.” That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.
As the joke goes, Iceberg, Goldberg, who cares.
But despite all the lawyers, this characterizes the casual sloppiness of the Dem case, which derives from the casual sloppiness of the media’s case. These days, Covington style reporting, “we got the right guys” is par for the course. What matters is that you’ve identified the villains, not that you have any idea what you’re talking about. That was true of the grandaddy of this whole mess, the Steele report.
And that’s fine if you’re spreading rumor and innuendo. Not so much when you need to prove things.
Competent folks have their facts nailed down before they try to nail a president. But these stooges are as incompetent as the Three Stooges, but without their timing. Add on a desperate desire to be on cameras as long as possible to get more of that ActBlue money and the train wreck goes off the rails and into the river.