Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats

Is there a law against boring people to death? There should be, and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTop intelligence community lawyer leaving position Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump 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.


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?


In response to those twitchy senators, Schiff and Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Nadler demands answers from Barr on 'new channel' for receiving Ukraine info from Giuliani Trump predicts Ocasio-Cortez will launch primary bid against Schumer MORE have amped up the hysteria, trying to convince the country that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Lawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Malaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations 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.


Sen Bernie SandersBernie SandersBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE (I-Vt.) or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: 'You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat' 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 Ann WarrenWarren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' Klobuchar campaign gets first super PAC HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination 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 BoltonWe should listen to John Bolton The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Bolton decries White House 'censorship' in rare public remarks on his book 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.