Over the past few days, various House Democrats in swing districts have announced that they’re voting for the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. Considering that impeachment is both the right thing to do and the politically smart thing for Democrats to do, this shouldn’t shock anyone. And yet we’re seeing pundit after pundit react with surprise over these announcements.
The mainstream media has spent all year pushing the narrative that if the House Democrats impeach Donald Trump, it’ll somehow help his odds in 2020, and it’ll somehow hurt the House Democrats in 2020. This makes zero sense, of course. A number of Republican-leaning districts voted a Democrat into the House specifically because they were sick of Trump and wanted him reeled in. These voters are not going to turn around and punish these Democrats for doing precisely what the voters wanted them to do.
But “impeachment will somehow help Trump” is a nice scary narrative that keeps people tuned in, and thus is great for ratings, so we just keep hearing it. Nevermind that a majority of Americans support impeachment, that Trump’s 2020 poll numbers are as non-competitive as ever, and that a large majority of Americans say they’re unhappy with the Republican Senate’s plan to try to minimize impeachment.
So each time yet another House Democrat predictably announces a “yes” vote for articles of impeachment, the media is largely presenting it as a positive surprise for Nancy Pelosi. Not that she needs it, but she’s actually getting a boost in the perception department, because it’s being painted as though she somehow pulled off the impossible by getting all these House Democrats to vote in favor of what they were sent to Washington to do. Because of the way the pundits are trying to milk this for ratings, it’s giving the perception that the House Democrats have even more momentum coming out of impeachment than they do. And in politics, perception becomes reality.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report