During the testimony last week, I expressed various concerns with the artificially short period allowed for the impeachment investigation due to the Democratic pledge to impeach President Donald Trump by Christmas. Not only will that abbreviated period leave a thin and incomplete record, but it will leave “half of this country behind.” That appears to be exactly the right estimate. A new Monmouth poll shows that 50 percent of the country now opposes impeachment. The polling in some swing states is even worse. In other words, this impeachment is playing to the Democratic base and little beyond it — precisely what Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged that she would not allow to happen.
Not long ago, Speaker Pelosi declared to The Washington Post Magazine that “I’m not for impeachment. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”
Similarly, back during the Clinton impeachment, Chairman Jerry Nadler insisted “You have to be able to think, at the beginning of the impeachment process, that the evidence is so clear, of offenses so grave, that once you’ve laid out all the evidence, a good fraction of the opposition, the voters, will reluctantly admit to themselves, ‘They have to do it.’ Otherwise you have a partisan impeachment, which will tear the country apart.”
The new polls show precisely that type of hard and unresolved divide. While six out of 10 say that Trump has not cooperated with the investigation, half opposed impeachment. Support for impeachment now stands at just 38 percent. Some 44% say they do not trust the inquiry at all. That is the stuff that tears a nation apart.
Once again, none of this means that the allegations should not be investigated or that impeachment is improper. Rather, there is a good reason to distrust a record that was thrown together on a rocket docket of impeachment. The schedule adopted by the Democrats appears driven primarily by the Iowa caucuses and not an objective part of the impeachment process. It may turn out that this makes for not only for a bad record but bad politics.