By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) Despite all of their bluster, Democrats know there isn’t much chance they will successfully impeach President Donald Trump.
They also seem resigned to the belief that the president will handily win reelection later this year. So, what’s the purpose — the real purpose — behind their impeachment strategy?
Increasingly, it looks as though the Garbage Party is more focused on the longer game of retaining control of the House and retaking control of the Senate, which would effectively neuter Trump’s presidency at least until 2022, and maybe for the remainder of his second term.
And the thing is, Democrats have a real shot at retaking the Senate — and they know it.
The Hill reports that at least three Republican senators are vulnerable this year:
In Colorado, the Democrats’ leading candidate, John Hickenlooper, charges that drug prices are “crushing Colorado families,” references the House-passed bill to hold down those prices and links his opponent, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, to the Senate leader who’s holding up that bill and others.
In Maine, Democrat Sara Gideon assails Republican Sen. Susan Collins for going along with McConnell’s drive to “jam our nation’s courts with unqualified, anti-choice judges.” (The incumbent Maine Republican has opposed a handful of the 187 Trump-appointed judges who have been confirmed.)
Iowa’s Theresa Greenfield, citing her opponent, charges that “Joni Ernst and Mitch McConnell will stop at nothing” to defund Planned Parenthood.
It should be noted as well that Republicans have to defend about twice as many Senate seats this year than Democrats — 23 to 12. If the GOP lost the above three seats but kept the remainder of their seats, Vice President Mike Pence would become much busier; as president of the Senate, his tie-breaking vote would be needed constantly.
But Democrats also have seats to defend in states like Alabama (good luck with that) and Michigan, which is tougher ground for the GOP — though Trump did win the state and seems to be holding his ground there.
The Republican National Committee will have to pour money into races that matter, obviously, but the president has given them a lot of campaign ammo.
In Hickenlooper’s case, the Trump administration has already managed to bring down prescription drug prices.
In Maine, the argument about “unqualified, anti-choice judges” seems weak, especially since none of Trump’s picks have moved to restrict abortion.
In Iowa, funding Planned Parenthood seems less important than, say, Trump’s trade deal with China, which will be a boon to Iowa’s agriculture-based economy.
Rush Limbaugh riffed on the Democrats’ possible strategy on his Monday program:
I think the Democrats have given up on beating Trump in November. …
Look, folks, they have their own internal polls. They know that things out there in America are rosier and better than they have been in many people’s lifetimes, that there is no reason under the sun to change horses here. They know this.
But what if…? What if they could find a bunch of Jeff Flakes in the Senate to go against Trump and then lose their reelection? The Democrats could take the Senate, hold the House, and then totally thwart whatever Trump agenda, whatever Trump judicial nominees there are? I think this, my friends, is the key. I think they hope to use this Senate trial to win control of the Senate in November and effectively neuter Trump’s second term.
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