SPONSORED:

Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats

Is there a law against boring people to death? There should be, and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Democrats demand Saudi accountability over Khashoggi killing US intel: Saudi crown prince approved Khashoggi killing MORE should be the first indicted.

As the California representative has tried to convince Americans — again — that Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, he has stultified not only TV audiences across the nation but also the senators who by law have to pay attention to him. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment.

It is hard to imagine that such a profound undertaking — the overturning of an American election — could emerge as such a dramatic dud. But it has, and the reason is simple. Schiff orchestrated the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives in such a way as to render the partisan outcome predictable and undermined his own effectiveness by leaking every interesting snippet that was damaging to the president.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schiff presided over secret committee hearings in rooms closed off to the press and the country, only popping his head up from time to time like a jack-in-the-box to rip the president for trying to find out what the heck Hunter Biden was doing in Ukraine.

And trying to determine whether the corrupt country had intervened in our elections. That possibility is roundly rejected by the left-wing chorus as “widely discredited”; in fact, that aggressive dismissal makes me wonder. When Democrats read in unison from a script, there’s usually a reason. 

By the time the full House and the country got to hear the charges against the president, during endless hours of debate, most Americans had already heard the flimsy facts of the case and were becoming less impressed by the day. Schiff had scooped his own story.

Now we’re at it again. Those who have spent recent months trekking in Antarctica may be engrossed in Schiff’s rerun; most of us are not.

Pity the senators in the chamber, who have doubtless kept up to date on the impeachment effort. News accounts tell of them snatching surreptitious cat naps and trying to sneak chewing tobacco onto the floor to relieve the boredom. Who can blame them?

ADVERTISEMENT

In response to those twitchy senators, Schiff and Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary split on how to address domestic extremism George Floyd police reform bill reintroduced in House Nadler presses DOJ to prosecute all involved in Capitol riot MORE have amped up the hysteria, trying to convince the country that President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE’s delay of aid to Ukraine endangered our national security or is putting the 2020 election in jeopardy. Both charges may have brought some insensate senators back to consciousness, but neither is true.

If you are a Democrat, you cannot be happy with the impeachment process to date. Your leader, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Budget Committee chair pledges to raise minimum wage: 'Hold me to it' Capitol review to recommend adding more fencing, 1,000 officers: report MORE, has vacillated between spiteful and foolish (those signature pens! That parade!), and your emissaries appear simply inept.

More important, you have not changed minds. Notwithstanding the endless hours spent vilifying President Trump, Gallup puts his approval ratings at an all-time high. Moreover, his admirers are so incensed that he and his party have hauled in an unprecedented amount of campaign money.

Swing-state voters appear indifferent at best to Democrats’ push to impeach; some polls show them angry that so much of the nation’s time and effort has gone into attacking a president they voted for.

This is what Democrats have overlooked. The best way to turn around those blue-collar workers who defected to Trump in 2016 is probably not to tell them they were stupid to have voted for him in the first place; instead, Democrats need to convince Americans that they have a better plan forward.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE (I-Vt.) or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE or whoever the nominee turns out to be needs to impress voters with how they are going to create more jobs, raise wages further or improve their health care options. Those conversations are being drowned out by the furor over Trump withholding for a few months aid to Ukraine that President Obama refused to give them in the first place.

It is said that establishment Democrats favor Biden to represent them in November. Some have charged that Pelosi’s still-puzzling decision to sit on the House’s articles of impeachment for a month was meant to help Biden by locking down progressive candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE (D-Mass.) in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses.

Did not anyone on the Democratic team ever consider that every single one of the tens of thousands of stories written or broadcast about Ukraine would link Joe Biden and his druggie son to talk of corruption? 

It was a foregone conclusion that during the Senate trial, as Minority Leader Charles Schumer bleats about the need for witnesses and scorns Republicans for a “cover-up,” GOP senators would agree to entertain former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report Key impeachment figure Pence sticks to sidelines Bolton lawyer: Trump impeachment trial is constitutional MORE in exchange for hearing from Hunter and Joe Biden. That request has embarrassed the former veep, putting him on the defensive, but it seems reasonable. If Trump argues that he asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for an investigation to ferret out corruption in that country, we should know if Hunter Biden’s activities were corrupt. End of story.

It is hard to see what Democrats have gained by putting the country through an increasingly ugly impeachment process. They have aroused their base, perhaps, but they have also ignited fury among Trump supporters. And Democrats have undermined Joe Biden, a candidate many thought had the best chance of beating President Trump.

Worse, Pelosi and Schiff and their colleagues have so profoundly lowered the bar for impeachment that future presidents will forever risk that ultimate rebuke, rendering the U.S. less stable. The brilliant founders of this country anticipated the possibility of mob rule in the House by mandating a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict. Thank heavens for their foresight.

Pelosi is crowing that Trump will be impeached “forever.” Because of her unforgivable cave to the radical Left, Trump will likely have plenty of company, and history will hold her accountable — forever.

Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.