Big questions haunt America in coming months: Can someone like Joe Biden beat Donald Trump? Will the Democratic party turn to a moderate who could win or will it lose because it insist on a liberal? Should Congress impeach Trump? If so, will it?
Famed journalist Elizabeth Drew says Congress should, and must, impeach Trump:
But the Democrats would also run enormous risks if they didn’t hold to account a president who has clearly abused power and the Constitution, who has not honored the oath of office and who has had a wave of campaign and White House aides plead guilty to or be convicted of crimes.
The argument that the Democratic House wouldn’t be able to focus on substantive legislation is the flimsiest rationale. It did so in 1974 while the House Judiciary Committee was considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon. It seems clear that what the Democratic leaders are actually worried about is public relations. The press no doubt would focus on that sexier subject.
Several Democrats are trying to have it both ways. They want to avoid giving the impression that they’re chasing impeachment — heaven forfend! — while at the same time various committees are attempting to expose Mr. Trump’s tax returns, his business dealings and whether his financial interests guided some of his foreign policies — any of which could make impeachment more likely, perhaps inevitable.
Some could say Trump wins many public relations wars against the Democrats who control the House. Is that reality or just paranoia.
I know a thing or two about public relations in government. I served as press secretary to two members of Congress: Rep. Paul Findley of Illinois and Rep. Manual Lujan of New Mexico — both Republicans — and I served as Senior Communications Associate with The Edddie Mahe Company — a political and business consulting firm.
Perception drives too much of government. Trump understands that.
But perception can also change and recent revelations suggest that even a growing number of even the most ardent supporter of former reality TV-host and often-failed developer Trump now have questions about his many lies, misdeeds, corruption and ethics.
Trump has changed his lies too many times, failed to deliver on too many promises and screwed too many people.
Trump carried Pennsylvania in 2016, a win that put him over the top in the electoral vote (although he lost the popular vote nationwide by the largest proportion in presidential history).
Writes Michael Tackett in The New York Times:
Most of his supporters say they will stick with him, citing his blunt style, which some of them see as a form of entertainment, as well as a strong economy. But not all of them.
That same economy has yielded uneven results in Altoona, a city of about 45,000 where the low unemployment rate of 4.2 percent masks some uglier economic facts: Most of the new jobs are in lower-paying service industries, with scaled-down benefits. The poverty rate is 23.2 percent. And there are few signs of the renaissance in manufacturing that the president said he would create.
“There is not a lot of disposable income at $11 an hour,” said Jim Foreman, the county Republican chairman, who operates several physical therapy clinics.
Robert K. Kutz, the president of a local labor council, put it more bluntly. He said some union members who voted for Mr. Trump were starting “to realize that the promises came up empty” and will vote against him in 2020.
“As far as the manufacturing goes,” he added, “none of that has come back.”
Union political activists say they have strong support among their members for a candidate like Biden. A growing number of Republican and independent voters say they have had it with Trump.
For all of the attention on polls showing President Trump retaining clear support from Republican voters, there’s maybe a more important set of numbers to watch heading in November’s midterm elections – Trump and the GOP’s standing with independents.
And according to a trio of state polls released by NBC News and Marist College, these independent voters are breaking away from the president and the Republican Party.
Changes coming? We saw it in the midterm elections. That could, and should, continue as 2020 — as long as the Democrats don’t blow it.
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