Saturday, January 25, 2020

UPDATED: How Bad Is It For Dems?

In the comments we've been puzzling over, What's going on? Is there a game plan? Is there a hidden method to Dem madness? Or is it just madness?

There have been a variety of theories put forward to explain Dem Impeachment Theater. For example:

1. Impeachment Theater will drag Sanders back to DC and allow a "moderate" like Joe Biden to surge ahead and grab the nomination.

2. Or, maybe Impeachment Theater is something to keep the Dem base fired up--but that might mean that the base, which is gravitating toward Sanders, will get out and vote for Sanders! And that's a multi-dimensional problem.

I've suggested that there's an insoluble dilemma to this type of strategery, which is that #1 will alienate much of the Dem base, which is increasingly gravitating toward Sanders, and #2 will alienate the independents the Dems need to get past ~40% in the general election. Not only that, but the alienated Sanders supporters are unlikely to support any other Dem if Sanders is somehow denied.

I know this isn't exactly news, but Steve Hayward at Powerline (The State of Things for Dems: Gloomy & Getting Gloomier) provides some numbers and analysis to put it all in perspective:

... several new polls show Bernie Sanders surging in Iowa and New Hampshire as well as nationally, ... 
... The Democratic establishment, such as it is, will move heaven and earth to stop Sanders, ... Sanders is an opposition researcher’s dream. ... 
The problem for Democrats is that taking down Bernie might well ensure they lose the election because lots of Bernie bros won’t vote for Joe Biden or the other powdered milk substitutes. We know a significant portion of Bernie voters in 2016 ended up voting for Trump in November. What might happen this year? recent Emerson College poll found that only 53 percent of current Bernie voters said they would definitely support another Democratic nominee. ... 
Meanwhile, impeachment has turned into a total bust. The Senate spectators’ gallery has been half empty most of the time. I guess Democrats overestimated the charisma and animal magnetism of Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler. And the public has tuned it out on television:
"According to TV ratings for the first two days of the trial, the six news networks covering Trump’s impeachment averaged a little over 11 million viewers combined, with Fox News leading the pack with some 2,654,000 on their channel from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Viewership dropped by about 20 percent on Wednesday, with a total of 8,858,000 million watching; MSNBC led day two with 1,793,000 tuning in." 
Worse for Dems: Quinnipiac, a very reputable polling outfit, now finds a majority of Americans opposed to Trump’s impeachment: 
"A majority of Americans now oppose impeaching and removing President Trump from office, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll Tuesday that signals Democrats’ month of hearings to make their case has failed. Quinnipiac found 51% of registered voters surveyed said they don’t want to see the president ousted through impeachment. That’s the first time the number has been above 50% since before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry in late September." 
Even worse news: the latest YouGov “generic ballot” poll for the House, which had showed a solid Democratic advantage, is now showing only a 1 point Democratic edge over Republicans. ...

UPDATE: Don Surber piles on, as it were, with--Writing off gun owners:

Gallup reported 43% of Americans live in a gun-owning household. 
Democrats have written that 43% off in their pursuit of Hispanic and black voters. Only 26% of Hispanic households and 29% of black households have a gun. 
50% of white households do. 
If you write off 43% of the voters, you had better be sure the other 57% are in your corner because math says you need 89% of them.

That's some pretty tough math to overcome. You've really got to be ideology driven to put yourself in that sort of situation.


  1. After what seemed like weeks (years?) of Adam Schiff, all day, all night, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, in a little more than two hours this morning the President’s lawyers decimated much of what had been presented and a number of the House manager presenters. There is already talk of Dem impeachment vote defections. I don’t believe any Democrat running in this election has a chance… Schiff & Co have beclowned the lot of them… made them all look ridiculous…and very unAmerican.

    1. And today was just the warmup for the president's case.

  2. "Orange Man Bad" works for me as a theory or explanation.

    Impeachment was brought up before Trump was even inaugurated. The Russia hoax was a first attempt to stop him, evolved into a way to dirty him on the way to impeachment--which turned into the failed Mueller project. This is just the next step in that journey for Dems.

    I don't think sense can be made out of something that doesn't make any (logical) sense. It's an emotionally-driven exercise.

    This is merely the application of "Winning is everything" and "By any means necessary." Dems are entitled to rule/govern, and so they shall...

    It also helps to be shameless about it. Like the preposterousness of the Big Lie, the bigger, the more impressive, the more audacious, the more likely the unknowing go along as they don't have the wherewithal to be skeptical. It's like the "Where there's smoke, there's fire" metaphor. People sooner believe there really is a fire, than to believe you're blowing smoke up their arse…

    1. That's the fundamental problem: How do you talk people out of an alternative reality they've constructed based on strongly held emotions?

    2. You have to give them something else that is even more emotionally appealing to them to believe in, and which requires them to abandon their previously heartfelt delusional reality.

      Writing that answer down is the easy part; executing it in a real world situation such as we have currently, is anybody's guess.

    3. Absolutely, which is what makes it so frustrating.

    4. Another aphorism comes to mind in this context: "If you had to eat an elephant, how would you do it?"

      That is analogous to the magnitude of the challenge of getting people to give up their emotionally based fantasies and accept something closer to reality.

      In the case of the elephant, the answer is that you must eat him in bite-sized pieces -- you can't swallow an elephant whole.

      Similarly, I would argue, there is no "magic bullet" or incantation that can be chanted that will suddenly make the Russia Collusion/Ukraine Quid-pro-quo crowd spontaneously give up their deeply felt beliefs.

      It has to be done in bite size servings ....

      And I could be mistaken, but it can be argued that's what the President's legal team started to do today. They began slicing up the House Impeachment case into more manageable bite-sized lumps, and one of the first they went after was Schiff's reputation for lack of candor.

      If Schiff's perceived authority is the foundational basis of the emotionally attached kooks who buy into this Impeachment twaddle, then going after Schiff head-on, and showing the world he a lying sack of shit, may be exactly how you start to unwind the malarkey he and the Dems have been selling the "true believers" for three years.

      If they drive a wedge between Schiff and his followers, then the malarkey he fed them suddenly no longer seems as appealing as it once did; that is when a fact-based rebuttal on the substance of Schiff's "fake narrative" will begin to be effective.

      Basically, they are deconstructing Schiff's fake narrative by exposing Schiff as an untrustworthy liar, and then his narrative becomes more vulnerable to prying people away from it with rebuttal facts and disproofs.

      There may yet be method to the president's legal team's methods.

    5. If that's the considered strategy of these highly professional advocates--and it would seem to be a strategy that's very congenial to their client--they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    6. The mood of most of the hard left toward this may stem mainly from strongly held emotions vs. DJT, but, if DJT's team can get moderate liberals, or far Lefties who distrust Dems, to suspect Sciff etc., those folks' not-so strongly held emotions could reduce what may've been strong turnout in November for the eventual Dem nominee (toward the Greens, or a Bernie 3rd party bid).
      Yeah, far Lefties hate DJT, but many hate Hillary almost as much, and a discrediting of Schiff may give these folks big ammo, in their war vs. The Dem/ Wall St. Establishment.

    7. I'm not entirely sure of that. I would argue that after 8 years of Obama the Left had developed such a sense of entitlement to the transformation of America in their own image and likeness that even, say, had Ted Cruz been elected, he would have been met by a similar "resistance".

    8. Point about Cruz taken, but I'm mostly addressing the tension between 4 groups: 1) Dem/ Wall St./ D.S. Establishment, 2) JFK/ Carter (largely "civil libertarian") Dems, 3) Chomsky-type Lefties and 4) Bernie/ Socialist Lefties.
      All of the last 3 groups may be somewhat effected, if Schiff can be shown as a shill for an outright criminal Wall St./ D.S. Establishment, personified by Hillary (esp. her backing of Iraq war, and Goldman etc. bailouts.

    9. I can buy that. Hayward points out that there was some crossover of Bernie supporters to the Trump camp in 2016.

  3. Schiff has many problems. His ego. His ambition. His probable realization that he has been a small-time pol for some time now, reelected only because he panders only to his largely Armenian base (he went to bat for recognition of their genocide) and being pulled along by Nancy Pelosi, who groomed him and chose him to do her dirty work. He is desperate to "be somebody". To assess that Schiff is jealous of Donald J. Trump would be to seriously understate. His jealousy is palpable. Ditto Nadler, and add to that that Nadler is physically miserable - an obviously unwell man - and another small time pol who is probably at the height of his "power". He bears an old grudge against Trump from a real estate project in his long ago state assembly days. The two of them are picking old scabs.

    Now Pelosi and the Dem majority in the House, which have blotted out any reason that might have come from the Republican side to temper their madness, have the whole lot headed for a train wreck. There doesn't seem to be a sane voice among them.

    The Dem managers' arguments in the Senate were based upon Schiff’s lies and rendered hopeless by the likes of Hakeem Jeffries, that Crow person, Garcia and Lofgren, and the perpetually angry Deming to name the only ones I recall. It’s no accident that in his life before politics Schiff’s best known prosecutorial win was reversed on appeal.

    Schiff is beyond redemption. Ditto Nadler.

    Was the whole thing the result of Lawfare's being hired by both Schiff and Nadler - to provide strategy and the committee counsels?

    The Republicans must prevail in November - the Presidency and the House and Senate. We see now how critical that is...

    1. Thanks for the informative post.

    2. Bebe,

      Point taken about Nadler and his grudge. What's going on with Judge Nap from Fox? Is he so bitter that he didn't get a Supreme Court nomination that he's lost his mind? He's just been stupid lately.

  4. This is being done to distract us from WHY Obama let them spy as the so called Durham investigation morph s into blah blah blah.
    All they want is access to the data in the Mueller investigation of Trumps business records which they will leak - drip drip drip.

    1. Barr has control of those records, and will fight the fight all the way to the SCOTUS.

      I doubt there's anything in Trump's finances that isn't more or less known already. The likely big takeaway is that he doesn't have as much ready cash as most people think--because a lot of his money is tied up in R/E. It's not a crime. He's been on constant audit by the IRS forever. He's been scrutinized by the financial media forever, been in bankruptcy. I don't think there are any real secrets.

    2. Obama is simply an evil man. I said to colleagues over eight years ago that Obama would've turned guns on his own countrymen and they looked at me like I was an extremist.

      Why did Obama have federal agencies buy up large amounts of ammo? To keep it out of the public's hands.

      Now VA is trying the same trick. These Dems need to GO.

  5. If they could find 5 honest democrats that would go to Leader McConnel and tell him to shut this farce down and state that they will have his back. That is what needs to happen sooner rather then later. Looking at you Sen.Manchin.

  6. This impeachment has been planned for a while, just look at when the house rule changes were done.

    Couple of Swag’s:

    1. The goal is to hurt Trumps re-election with a death of a thousand cuts with impeachment theater.

    2. The hope to find more dirt on Trump to hurt his and the gop 2020 chances.

    3. This is plan B after the Mueller investigation collapsed, in order to keep the pressure up on Trump with an open ended investigation.

    1. I think they're living in the past, as others have said. They can't seem to understand that the rules have changed.

    2. The best way to analyze what the Democrats are doing is by using Alisky's Rules for Radicals

      I agree the Democrats are living in the past, and the Alinksy Rules have been working amazing well for them. Hillary Clinton did her senior thesis in 1969 on Saul Alinsky. The Democrats are used to be the GOP being the Charlie Brown, to their Lucy with the Alinksy football. Unfortunately for the Democrats, Trump plays the Alinksy Rules right back at them using his bully pulpit, especially twitter, to bypass the mainstream media filter.

      The Schiff as Wiley Coyote Impeachment Video released by Trumps campaign manager is a great example of that. That video is such a huge change from the usual way the GOP has responded to Democratic attacks, I have never seen anything like it before from a Republican. The video is using Alinsky's rule of "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.".

      The Democrats are hoping by keeping the pressure on (Alisky Rule #8), they will get a Macaca moment out of Trump. They are also attempting to freeze the target (Rule #13) and polarize it (dictator, heads on pikes, Obama calling Trump a fascist).

    3. But you need credible leadership to pull some of that stuff off. They have Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, Schiff, Warren, etc. No wonder their base is gravitating toward their Crazy Uncle Bernie. By comparison, he seems credible--which is ... incredible!

    4. Mr. Wauck wrote

      "I think they're living in the past, as others have said. They can't seem to understand that the rules have changed." Mr. Wauck also stated after eight years of Barack they felt entitled.

      Exactly. I think that they're furious that after Reps were taught to stay in their place, along comes a promiscuous commoner like Donald J. Trump,
      who scrapped his way to the top, who is not erudite, and he pulls the clothes off of the emperor (the establishment) and shows that he (the establishment) has no clothes.

      He toppled a whole regime, at least in terms of shattering political correctness. There was nothing I hated more than a politician stating a truism, for example about marriage, and then being forced to meekly recant.

      DJT has the guts and resolve to not back down. I have been craving a leader like him for years. Why should any man who speaks the truth about abortion, crime and punishment, sexuality or Christianity be made to apologize? We stand up for truth. As the apostles said "We must obey God and not men."

      Donald Trump is a master judo artist and every move they bring against him, he uses their own energy against them and flips them. Like how he is rising in the polls over impeachment and the Dems are sinking.

      One more point. Kristol, French and others hate him because he came in and owned conservatism. No longer was there warmed over conservatism relevant and they can't stand it.

  7. Why are the Dems doing what they're doing?

    In my opinion all of the options you present are correct.

    You have the true believers who really bleive that DJT did wrong. You have the cynical exploiters who play on the low-information voters. You have freshmen Dems with little power who are too afraid to buck leadership and know that they are one-termers, and you have experienced Dem congressmen who also know that the party is going over the cliff. You probably have moderates who realize that going over the cliff is the only way to break the party's left-wing lurch, like applying chemo to the body to kill the cancer.

    Just my guesses.