So often in sports and other competitive endeavors, clichés are applied like “a good offense wins games, but a good defense wins championships.”
Another is “the best offense is a good defense,” or “the best defense is a good offense.”
The idea is that one side of the competition is as important as the other side, and should not be neglected.
On display by congressional Democrats is a good offense that will inevitably be for many their best defense.
If you have not been paying attention, the so-called impeachment inquiry convened by the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee has sucked up all the political oxygen in Washington, D.C. Legislation is not getting passed by the House of Representatives. Necessary spending measures are stalled out as Democrats grapple with President Donald Trump’s alleged wrongdoings to build a case for impeachment.
Unfortunately for Democrats, we know how this saga ends. When it gets to the U.S. Senate controlled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., it becomes a zombie political exercise, falling way short of the two-thirds majority required for removal and conviction.
It still gives Trump the asterisks by his name, denoting his place in history alongside Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
So what? What was the point of all this?
That offensive maneuver put into motion by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her hand-picked House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will ultimately offer a defense for long-time members susceptible to a primary challenge.
Since the 2016 presidential election returns have come in, Democrats have insisted Trump was so awful and so terrible that it would be a miracle if the country would make it to the next election. Rather than admitting the party’s effort in 2016, from the top of the ticket all the way down to U.S. Senate and House races, left much to be desired, they claimed it was a mix of an antiquated Electoral College system, a candidate that appealed to “our worst sensibilities” and misinformation spread by foreign actors.
“It was not our fault we lost in 2016,” Democrats will tell you.
Here’s the problem: If Trump is so wrong and his ill-gotten gain was a term of the presidency, why haven’t the Democrats done anything about it?
That’s how we got here with this mundane, endless daily diet of impeachment hearings that are expected to last at least until the House of Representatives goes home for the Christmas break.
Last election cycle, then-U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., a champion for liberal causes that allowed for him to earn the chairmanship of the House Democratic Caucus, was defeated in New York’s 14th congressional district in his party’s primary by a young progressive upstart, seemingly out of the blue. Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).
Since arriving in Washington, D.C., Ocasio-Cortez has been a headache for Pelosi and the House leadership and an easy target for Republicans trying to brand the Democratic Party as the political party of AOC’s “The Squad” and other far-left causes.
This has undoubtedly been problematic for Pelosi, and she recognizes it. She sees that Democrats in the House must go on offense against Trump to protect long-time incumbent Democrats that have been loyal to her and her causes.
She sees going on the offense makes for a good defense of her loyal lieutenants in the House of Representatives.
Across town from New York’s 14th congressional district is U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler’s, D-N.Y., 10th congressional district, also in New York City. Nadler has been a member of the House since 1993 and is presently the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Had Pelosi not gone ahead with impeachment, Nadler certainly would have been a target of AOC’s “The Squad,” which is made up of her and Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and which probably would have elected a fifth member in the Democratic primary next year.
That is an unsustainable trend for Pelosi, who appears to want to survive as House Speaker.
For the current House leadership to survive, they had to impeach. But it comes at a cost.
In 2018, Democrats won 31 congressional districts that Trump won in 2016, which suggests those are the last few remaining “swing” congressional districts in America. How do the Democrats’ impeachment efforts sit with those voters? Is that why they elected Democrats to Congress in 2018 — to impeach Trump?
Maybe, but probably not. What might that mean for those freshmen members of Congress in 2020? And for Democrats to hold the House, they will need to keep most of those seats.
On Nov. 3, 2020, there will not just be a presidential election on the ballot. There will also be 435 referendums on Pelosi’s impeachment escapade. Given the divisions in America in some places, they will overwhelmingly approve of impeachment. Others will outright reject it.
Along the way, Pelosi and Democrats made a calculation that impeachment was a necessary evil to maintain a hold on power, even if it costs a few casualties along the way.
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