Let's count the times Beto has flip-flopped on impeachment

Beto O’Rourke is nothing if not consistent. By consistent, I mean he can change his position on any issue on a moment’s notice, and he usually does. Thursday Beto cashed in on a renewed enthusiasm from his party to impeach President Trump.

In order to provide cover for himself, O’Rourke told supporters in a fundraising appeal via email that he was openly in favor of the impeachment of President Trump last year. He was for taking a stand before he was against it. Now that he has lots of company in support of beginning impeachment hearings, he is all for it again.

He’s not exactly a profile in courage, that Robert Francis O’Rourke. In the email, he referenced a radio interview with a conservative radio host fourteen months ago. That timeline would put him in the throes of his run against Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate. By that time in the race, Beto had abandoned his early strategy of trying not to appear as far left as he is and he was running full-on as a leftist. So, it makes sense that he would feel emboldened enough to admit to a conservative radio host that yes, he’d be in favor of impeachment. What the fundraising email doesn’t say is Beto was not willing to stick with that decision and frequently said he wasn’t ready to call for impeachment just yet after that interview. He told Hardball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday night that “We must have the courage of our convictions.” That phrase is used in email, too.

“More than a year ago, a conservative radio host in Lubbock, Texas asked me if I would vote for impeachment. Knowing that it might not be the most popular answer in my home state of Texas, I said yes,” the campaign email says. “I believe those members of Congress who listen to the courage of their convictions at this moment of truth will be rewarded by the judgment of history. While we still can, we must hold the president accountable for his blatant obstruction of justice and lies to investigators.”

As the Dallas News reports, when O’Rourke entered the 2020 Democrat primary race in March 2019, he was asked to clarify his position on impeachment. He denied calling for impeachment. He then bounced the matter of impeachment to Congress in April.

“I wasn’t out there calling for it,” he said while stumping in Iowa, adding that while he was sure Trump had committed impeachable offenses, “I’m not asking Congress to do one thing or the other.”

On April 18, the Justice Department released a redacted version of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether Trump engaged in obstruction of justice. O’Rourke demurred on impeachment then, saying it’s up to Congress and that voters would decide Trump’s fate in 2020.

By May, he was back to calling for impeachment – this time immediate impeachment. He said so in his stump speeches and also during his town hall on CNN, which drew very low ratings.

“We should begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump,” he said, rejecting concerns that backlash might hobble Democrats in 2020. “If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics or the repercussions in the next election, then we will have set a precedent for this country that, in fact, some people because of the position of power and public trust that they hold are above the law.”

It should be noted that when O’Rourke had a chance to vote in favor of impeachment of President Trump, during his time in the House of Representatives, he voted no. Twice. Now, thanks to the Mueller report and Mueller’s nine minute press conference this week, O’Rourke told Chris Matthews that if Congress doesn’t act now, democracy is lost forever. Or something. Mueller said so.

“He’s telling us if we want to prevent this from happening again to our democracy, we have to hold those responsible accountable and the only method that we can do that is for our representatives in Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” O’Rourke told “Hardball” host Chris Matthews.

“If Congress fails to act now, it’s hard to see them acting in the future. And if they fail to do that, we have set the precedent that some people because of the position they hold are above the law in this country. That begins the end of our democracy and we cannot allow that to happen.”

Well, Beto should be good with his latest opinion on impeachment for a few more days. At least until the wind shifts again. I wonder if he’s seen the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll. It was conducted after Mueller’s statements to the press Wednesday. It’s very bad news for Democrats hell-bent on impeachment.

The survey found that a plurality of voters, 43 percent, favor no action against the president, including 44 percent of independents.

Thirty-seven percent support impeaching and removing the president. Sixty percent of polled Democrats say the president should be impeached and removed, but only 36 percent of independents are in favor. Twenty percent of voters say Trump should be censured by Congress.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said the investigations into Trump are hurting the country. While 58 percent said it’s time for Congress to turn the page on the Russia investigations.

“The public is growing unusually weary of investigations into President Trump and any effort to mount significant new investigations carries a significant risk of blowback for the Democrats,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey.

That’s the problem with impeachment. Democrats really, really want to impeach President Trump and they very well may begin impeachment hearings if Speaker Pelosi loses her skill of herding cats in the House. Americans, though, are sick and tired of the whole Mueller investigation and the Russia, Russia, Russia narrative. Wait until Beto hears about that poll.