This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 27, 2018:
Frustrated with President Ronald Reagan’s success in avoiding being tarred by the controversies surrounding him, far-left Democrat Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-CO) said in 1983: “He has been perfecting the Teflon-coated presidency: He sees to it that nothing sticks to him.”
So it appears to be with President Donald Trump, with this difference: the controversies surrounding his presidency have largely been made up by the mainstream media, created out of whole cloth, using the slimmest of alleged indiscretions as a call for his impeachment.
Last Tuesday’s double-barreled revelations by two of Trump’s former associates (campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen) allowed the mainstream media to get another shot at the president. Manafort was convicted on eight charges of bank fraud and income tax evasion from years earlier while Cohen pleaded guilty to various charges relating to his taxicab medallion business. Along with those pleas, Cohen also admitted paying hush money to a porn actress and buying up the rights to a story about the president’s alleged tryst with a former Playboy model a decade ago. Cohen called them “illegal payments” that Trump directed him to make “for the principal purpose of influencing the election.”
From 6am Wednesday until midnight, CNN and MSNBC used the words “impeach” and “impeachment” an astonishing 222 times in covering the revelations.
At exactly the same time, however, Rasmussen Reports was polling 1,000 likely voters about the fallout from those revelations: half of them didn’t think those revelations by Manafort and Cohen were likely to lead to criminal charges against the president.
So toxic is the topic that top Democrats are avoiding the subject altogether. Neither Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former Speaker of the House, nor Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Minority Whip, are following the MSM’s lead. Pelosi said that impeachment of Donald Trump is “not a priority” while Durbin wants to wait until the Mueller investigation is complete “and then draw the conclusion from [it].” And those conclusions, when they are finally revealed, are more than likely to come well after the November elections, long after anyone cares about them.
Not only are Democrat leaders and likely voters not interested in pressing charges of impeachment against the president, those claims have little merit on their own. As Patrick Buchanan noted acidly, “paying girlfriends to keep past indiscretions private is neither a crime nor a campaign violation.” And, of course, none of this relates to any Russian collusion by the Trump campaign in 2016. So Democrat leaders are staying away from the issue and likely voters are ignoring it.
Impeachment is provided for by the United States Constitution in three places: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, which grants “the sole power of impeachment” to the House of Representatives with a simple majority vote required; Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 which grants “the sole power to try all impeachments” to the Senate, requiring a two-thirds majority for conviction; and Article II, Section 4 which declares that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Such power has rarely been used since the Republic’s founding. Actual impeachments of 19 federal officers have taken place by the House, 15 of whom were federal judges, one Cabinet secretary, and two presidents: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. In Clinton’s case the House impeached him for perjuring himself and obstructing justice.
But following the Constitution closely, and taking into account the intentions of the founders who crafted those three Constitutional powers, one finds that, rather than restricting impeachment just to outrageously offensive acts, the founders considered the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” to cover a very broad range of crimes. They included perjury, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of federal assets, failure to supervise, chronic intoxication, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming the presidency, and refusal to obey a lawful order, among others.
For example, Benjamin Franklin asserted that the power to impeach was necessary for those times when the President “rendered himself obnoxious” and “regular punishment … when his conduct should deserve it.” James Madison said that “impeachment … was indispensable” to defend the country against “the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the chief Magistrate.”
This means that, should the Democrats regain a majority in the House in November, they will have an easy time of it finding the president guilty of all manner of offenses worthy of impeaching.
But the dream of a “Blue Wave” by Democrats engulfing the House in November has continued to fade. Rasmussen Reports has been tracking that fading hope ever since the first of the year, when, in its General Congressional Ballot findings, the Democrat advantage has fallen from double digits to exactly zero following Tuesday’s revelations and Wednesday’s flood of impeachment hopes the next day by the mainstream media. Wrote Rasmussen: “A week ago, Democrats held a 48% to 41% lead on the generic ballot. This is the first time the parties have been tied since May…. In early July, Democrats led by eight, their largest lead since January.”
It’s fair to say that the contrived calls by the mainstream media for impeaching the president are falling on increasingly deaf ears belonging to the citizens most likely to vote in November.
Politicaldictionary.com: Teflon-coated presidency
Patrick Buchanan: DO DEMOCRATS WANT AN IMPEACHMENT FIGHT?
RasmussenReports.com: Generic Congressional Ballot
RasmussenReports.com: What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls
RasmussenReports.com: Voters Say Manafort, Cohen Verdicts No Criminal Problem for Trump