Jazz wrote about the growing push for impeachment this morning. I agree with his analysis about the realities of impeachment and what Pelosi knows it could mean for Democrats’ future as a majority party in the House. But the drumbeat really does seem to be growing. Rep. Yarmuth is using another i-word: “inevitable.” From NPR:
“I don’t think there’s any question but there’s a growing realization in the caucus that impeachment is inevitable. It’s not a question of if but when,” said Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., a member of the leadership’s whip team. Yarmuth said the administration’s “blanket resistance” to their oversight efforts is changing the calculation. “I think the speaker is right that these investigations need to go on. I don’t think they should go on interminably,” he said, adding that he expected a decision on impeachment to be made by the end of the summer…
“I think what is happening is that the initial aim was to investigate and then see what we had. The problem is we can’t get any information. The president is blocking us,” House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said. “I think we’re in a position where we’re moving more and more towards [impeachment] because he’s not leaving us with any choices. You don’t have any choices.”
But while Democrats may feel they need to do this to make a statement, recent polls show the majority of the public is against it:
“There’s a political risk in talking about moving ahead with impeachment proceedings,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. “There’s not a huge appetite for that going forward.”…
Seven in 10 Democrats want Congress to begin impeachment hearings based on the findings in Mueller’s report, but just 39% of Americans overall think impeachment hearings are the correct next step.
In a follow-up report to the one Jazz wrote about this morning, Politico says the issue is dividing Democrats between those who want to proceed and have safe seats and those who hesitate knowing folks back home won’t like it:
If Democrats go down that path, [Rep. Max] Rose said, “then they should warm to the idea of going back to the minority.”
“Right now we’re in this incredibly childish game of impeachment chicken, and everyone has to start acting like adults,” Rose added. “The president needs to listen to Congress. Congress needs to act responsibly — I believe that for the most part it is — and then let’s go back to actually doing the work of the American people that they sent us here to do.”…
Pelosi and her top deputies have repeatedly said that the caucus’s decision on how to proceed on impeachment will not be based on the party’s chances in 2020. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer acknowledged to reporters Tuesday that the caucus does have to consider political factors.
“To say there’s no political calculus would not be honest for any of us in the Congress,” Hoyer (Md.) said. “The political calculus is, what is the reaction of the American people? What do the American people think we ought to be doing?”
Again, look at those recent poll numbers and you have an answer. The majority of Americans don’t want this, though 70% of Democrats do. Here’s where I think things are about to get worse for Democrats. There are rumors that the IG report is going to be critical of the investigation into the Trump campaign. With 90% of Republicans already against impeachment, that’s not going to change those numbers much. But there are probably some independents and even some moderate Dems who might feel differently if it turns out the investigation into Trump was troubled from the start. Even if the numbers don’t seem to change much, the enthusiasm of each party will change, with the GOP feeling more convinced they are right and Democrats less so.
Of course, the Democrats have the one advantage they always have: About 85% of the media will be on their side if they pull the trigger. I think that’s what all the drumbeat stories are about. Democrats are talking to the media to see if they can soften up the ground a bit and get the public to bite on the ‘We have no choice’ excuse. But again, I don’t think they have very long to sell this before this becomes a heavier lift. That’s why they are desperate to get Mueller out before the public, to maneuver him into giving the effort his blessing.