Congressional Democrats are preparing to let Trump off the hook until November. I explain why this is a terrible mistake: https://t.co/nkr5fUqv7E— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) February 17, 2020
The purpose of Congress is not to investigate the President ad nauseum. And the proof is in what gets the most media attention.
The House has passed 600 bills. They're all DOA in the GOP Senate. Maybe the cure for that is not investigating Donald Trump again again again. Maybe the cure for that is pointing out the problem. Yes, the media has ignored those 600 bills ("BOOOORINGGG!") because they don't provide riveting hearings where people ask stupid questions for hours and hours and hours, and lawmakers pontificate and take off their coats and loosen their ties and roll up their sleeves and SHOUT!
Yeah, that works real well, too, doesn't it? Whose minds were changed by the House impeachment hearings? Frankly, I think this one tweet was more effective than all those hours of hearings I listened to, and I actually care about this stuff (making me as rare as hen's teeth among American voters):
In July, the story Mr. Trump first adopted as a server the FBI was blocked from seeing, then became a server investigated by a Ukrainian company, finally morphed into a server he says was in Ukraine. The first favor Mr. Trump asked of the Ukrainian president was to look into it. pic.twitter.com/ZNGTwzxmGF— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 17, 2020
Kind of hard to just read that and not realize how absurd Trump's conspiracy theory is; and how much it is theory, rather than connected to any reality. And I assume someone, probably older (and more reliable!) voters still watch "60 Minutes."
What should the House do? Well, questioning Bill Barr is a good start. Questioning John Bolton is just going to promote his book, at this point. Individual candidates can run against Trump (I've yet to receive a piece of Democratic campaign literature that didn't mention being against Trump. And btw, I've been voting in Democratic primaries since 1974; only in the past two years have I started receiving campaign literature for the primaries or the general. In the '70's it was unnecessary, Texas was a one-party state, and that party Democrats. That soon shifted, and Democrats spent decades realizing they were no longer in control. Especially after Beto, Democrats are empowered and inspired, in ways I haven't seen in 46 years.), but they also mention healthcare and other "kitchen table" issues (healthcare is #1 with all of them).
Take this, for example:
2. “From his perch as attorney general, [Barr] is in the midst of a root-and-branch attack on the core principles that have guided our justice system, and especially our Department of Justice, since the 1970s,” Donald Ayer writes. https://t.co/uqbe9DAf5f— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) February 17, 2020
That assault is not an accident, nor mere happenstance. And I believe it's happening. But it is far too inchoate (although you can see it in the resignations of four DOJ attorneys from a criminal case they prosecuted down to sentencing) and remote for most voters, who are more concerned with their healthcare than with Bill Barr. But do you get rid of Bill Barr by focussing on the continuing critique (which is all it is) of the actions of Donald Trump? Or do you turn out voters with candidates who speak, from the ground to the apex (the Speaker of the House) with one voice, and that voice turned to your concerns in your home?
Maybe Pelosi knows what she's doing, huh? As David Cay Johnston argues, Pelosi has "superglued" the GOP to Trump; and now they fall with him. It is really more important than House Democrats win re-election, and that Senate Dem candidates unseat GOP incumbents. You don't do that by getting people to vote against Trump, unless they also want to vote FOR Democrats down the ballot. If Trump wins but the Democrats control the House and Senate, Trump loses. If Democrats don't control Congress, President Democratic Nominee loses. But if the GOP is glued to Trump, and the Democrats offer not just the other option, but a truly viable alternative, maybe viewer voters will declare a "plague on both their houses," and turnout in 2020, unlike in 2016, will take America back from the authoritarians who would destroy it in order to "save" it.