Summary: This is one of the big questions. The answer reveals much about the Democratic Party, our politics, America’s peril – and shows the path to a better future.
Another innocent Democratic angel fighting evil.
Question sent from one of our sharpest readers: “Why are the House Democrats starting impeachment proceedings?”
Why, indeed? The Democrats have a majority in the House, so they can impeach Trump. But the Republican-dominated Senate will never convict him. Their obsession with investigating Trump has produced nothing (6 committees are still working on it), has probably given them not a single new vote for 2020, and has not affected Trump’s poll numbers. If the public cared about impeachment, the major news media would run headlines about the polls every single day.
On the other hand, impeachment proceedings will pump up Trump’s base. Worse for the Dems, I suspect that voters want leaders who will govern America, addressing our serious and growing problems – not elected officials on a mad quest to catch a white whale.
Update: After Pelosi announced that the formal impeachment process had begun, Republicans say that in 24 hours they received small donations totaling five million dollars.
Look at the larger picture of the modern Democratic Party in action. The only reason the Democrats’ presidential candidates have not burned themselves to cinders is that the major news media does not clearly report what they’re saying (see my notes about their first debate; the others were even more bizarre). While some of their goals have broad support, many of their proposals are from the Left fringe (polls carefully ask about their benefits, but seldom mention their costs and risks). This is potentially another McGovern Moment (I should © this). The Democrats ran George McGovern for president in the 1972 election. He carried one State (Massachusetts), received 37% of the popular vote, and carried 134 counties (a record low). This landslide had little effect on the House or Senate elections.
Why are the Democrats doing so many apparently self-destructive things?
My guess: they have developed epistemic closure: a self-contained social system in which people’s thinking is unaffected by criticism of their logic or fact by those outside the circle. This was first described by Julian Sanchez in a 2010 essay.
“Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!) This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile.”
Back in the halcyon days of 2010, epistemic closure was real among the conservative ranks but only as performance art by conservative elites.
“The New York– and D.C.-based conservatives who staff the movement’s think tanks, magazines, and advocacy shops don’t in fact inhabit a different universe from their liberal counterparts. They all read the New York Times and drink lattes and go to parties together. There’s some clustering, to be sure, but nobody acts like they really believe the folks on the other side are insidious hellspawn. The pose is for the benefit of the base, who – not because they’re conservative, but because they aren’t urban media professionals – are likely to draw on a narrower range of trusted news and opinion sources.”
Now it is real on both sides of the ideological spectrum, from the hinterlands to our imperial capital and from top to bottom. Many on the Left and Right live in self-imposed bubbles, defined by whom they talk to, watch, and read. Untethered from reality, these bubbles detach from reality and float away. This was a commonplace in San Francisco (I have not found anything like it in Iowa). At a dinner circa 2005, a brilliant and highly educated woman (Ivy league BA and MBA) told us that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to establish a fascist dictatorship in California. She wasn’t kidding.
Similarly, I recall (but can’t find the post) that after the election Erik Loomis (assoc prof of history, Uof Rhode Island) wrote at Guns, Lawyers, and Money that Trump would put his enemies (like himself) in prisons (or concentration camps). Many on the Left still warn that Trump will ignore the next election and use force to remain our Leader (e.g., Slate, of course).
Talking with these people, whether Left or Right (e.g., extreme Libertarians, gun nuts), is useless. My impression is that their numbers are growing. Growing fast. If so, it’s just more evidence that the bolts are popping out of American society. We are entering into ClownWorld, the next phase of the Crazy years. The extremes rule, while those in the middle are apathetic and passive. I do not know how much time we have to retake the reins of America.
- About the Crazy Years, first predicted by science fiction great Robert Heinlein.
- Welcome to ClownWorld, the final meme for America.
- America’s institutions are collapsing, falling like dominoes.
Other posts about impeachment
Irrespective of the effect on Trump, it might be the political reform we need to restrain the imperial presidency.
- Trump’s foes might give America a new & better government.
- The GOP might impeach Trump, changing our politics forever – for the better.
For More Information
Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
A fun recent example of the delusional state of American politics: allegedly Republican Presidential candidate Bill Weld says that Trump is obviously guilty of treason and that death “is the only penalty” for treason under the Constitution. Both false. Details here.
For analysis of today’s impeachment mania, I recommend Raúl Ilargi Meijer’s column at Automatic Earth: Desperate Democrats Dig Deep.
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about impeachment, about the left wing of US politics, about the Democratic Party, about ways to reform America, about Russiagate, and especially these…
- The Democrats will open the borders & make a New America.
- The Left goes full open borders, changing America forever.
- Visions of America if the Left wins.
- 2020 will continue the revolution that Trump began.
- Election 2020 will be about open borders & America’s future.
- The Left crushes the alt-Right, but Darwin might bring them to power – an alternative future, if the Right comes alive.
- Trump promised to rebuild America but did nothing – To Trump, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.
- Campaign 2020 shows who will mold America’s future.
Recommended books about the Republic’s peril
The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic by Eric Posner, professor of law at U of Chicago — He advocates an imperial presidency, the opposite of the path described in this post. It puts us on the fast track to the fall of the Constitution.
Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide by Cass R. Sunstein, professor of law at Harvard (2017). A measured and comprehensive look at this critical and seldom discussed (until recently) subject.