By William L. Gensert
January 19, 2019
Since Trump’s election, the dream uniting all Democrats is to impeach the president. Having won the House and with a mere majority necessary to initiate Articles of Impeachment, that dream will finally come true – never mind that chances of conviction in the Senate are near nil, with 67 votes required to sustain and Republicans still in the majority. They will impeach because, as with the scorpion, it’s their nature.
It doesn’t matter that after more than two years of investigation, President Trump has not been found to have committed any crime. Impeachment is not a criminal proceeding; it is a political proceeding, and in the “People’s House,” the majority decides what constitutes “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Articles of Impeachment will soon pass in the House because Democrats will want the Senate trial to play out during the 2020 presidential election.
Democrats are prone to overreach. When Obama was elected with a majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate, they ran amok. Convinced they would never lose again, their rule was uncompromising.
Forgetting that nothing lasts forever, and the aphorism stating that if something can’t go on forever, it will eventually end, Obamacare was rammed through Congress using legislative trickery and claims of saving money and keeping doctors and health plans.
Democrats also passed Dodd-Frank financial legislation, which eliminated low-interest credit cards and prevented people and small businesses from getting loans and mortgages.
Obama and the Democrats spent eight years throttling industry and the economy with regulatory zeal. Obama’s reliance on executive orders to control all aspects of citizens’ business and personal lives and the weaponization of federal law enforcement; intelligence agencies; and administrative agencies such as the FBI, DOJ, EPA, and IRS to pursue political opponents and extra-legislatively enact law slowly turned the voters against the Democrats.
Their overreach cost Obama and Democrats the House and their super-majority in the Senate.
In 2013, Senate majority leader Harry Reid triggered the “nuclear option” killing the filibuster (or cloture) rule, whereby three-fifths of the Senate or 60 members were necessary to advance judicial nominees – he made an exception for Supreme Court nominations, which retained the 60-vote threshold.
Reid did this because he could. He was confident that with demographic changes, Democrats would never again be in the minority. Therefore, his rule changes would never come back to haunt him or his party.
Reid was wrong. Democrats lost the Senate in 2014, ushering in the Mitch McConnell era.
Reid’s implementation of the “nuclear option,” more than anything else, allowed the “radical transformation” of the Supreme Court. When Justice Antonin Scalia died, Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace him. But with Republicans controlling the Senate and the rules, his nomination was ignored. When Trump became president, he instead nominated Neil Gorsuch, and, with Reid’s precedent, McConnell dropped the hammer, dispensing with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations as well.
Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both strict constructionists with lifetime tenure, changed the balance of the court in favor of conservatives. With Ruth Bader Ginsburg in poor health, there’s a good chance the president will soon get to nominate his third Supreme Court justice. Along with scores of conservative federal judges already seated and those yet to be seated, Reid’s conceit may cost Democrats the federal courts for a generation.
It’s all action and reaction; the Democrats overreached, with Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, over-regulation, and rule changes. Americans reacted by voting Democrats out.
The Democrats, during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, lost nine Senate seats, 62 House seats, 12 governorships, and almost a thousand seats in state legislatures.
Now having regained the House, they will overreach exactly as they did before: they will impeach Trump. With Democrats moving farther left each day and the ascendency of socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and hard leftists Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris vying for the party’s 2020 nomination, they have no choice.
Recent developments in the Trump investigation have shown that what was portrayed as a stolen election was really a setup by the Obama administration and the media to deny Americans their vote and seat the inevitable Hillary Clinton.
A recent New York Times piece admitted that the FBI opened multiple investigations on Donald Trump without evidence of a crime. Trump administration members were lured into perjury traps, others surveilled. This allowed surveillance of the president through the “2-hop rule.” Spy on target A, and they can spy on person B, who communicates with A, and person C, who communicates with B – all this while maintaining the pretense that they are investigating only A.
It is said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose improper appointment also started an investigation in search of a crime, will soon release his report and that it will be less than revelatory. This will put the onus on congressional Democrats to rid the nation of the meddlesome orange tweeter.
Americans like fair play and understand that government is not supposed to scour a man’s life to find a crime and that a crime must always precede an investigation.
Before Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, his approval was in the 40s. After, his approval went up over 50% and never declined as the Republicans lost seats. The harder they pressed, the more popular Clinton became. The same can be expected with Trump.
Most salient is that the Democrats are blinded by hatred of Trump, making them reckless and ignorant to the vast power the president retains.
Trump will, à la Muhammad Ali, “rope-a-dope” the Democrats during Articles of Impeachment arguments in the House, lying back, presenting little counter-argument – perhaps sporadically tweeting something incendiary to make Democrats angry and off balance, while playing them and the media for maximum effect with an occasional sucker-punch.
No businessman survives in New York City without being shrewd and ruthless, and, knowing he can’t win in the House, Trump will astutely save himself for the later rounds.
The Senate – that’s where he will make his move…
For Trump, the Senate trial is a “kill zone.” This is a zone set up to lure the enemy into a specific area, where, upon entry, he is subjected to direct and overlapping fire of such intensity, coverage, and effectiveness that it is impossible to survive.
The president cannot be criminally indicted because with effective prosecutors and ham sandwiches, every president would be indicted. He must be impeached. The House decides what is impeachable.
Yet the president has the ultimate clearance. He decides what is secret and what is not – his decisions are not reviewable. Trump can classify or declassify at will.
The Deep State has hidden its malfeasance through redaction. These are the blacked out portions of documents available to the public.
Obviously, many redactions contain information hidden because it is exculpatory; embarrassing to the FBI, DOJ, CIA, et al. and to Obama and his administration’s former members; or covering up criminal activity.
Trump is a master negotiator. Negotiating is understanding opponents’ motivations and desires, limning their fears, pushing where they are weak and giving where they are strong. It’s about getting the most you can get while giving up the least. It is making a deal; it is judgment and nuance; it is understanding. And yes, it is an art.
With every revelation during the Senate trial, Trump will selectively release exonerating information embarrassing to Democrats. Until now, he has been extremely cautious. Trump is a fighter, and this is his moment. He is not going to allow his impeachment for the sake of classified information.
Impeachment will fail, and Trump will get stronger as he approaches re-election. Once again, the Democrats’ arrogance will cost them dearly.
This is Trump’s game. To paraphrase Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quoting Watchmen, “Trump is not locked up in here with them. They’re locked up in here with him.”