Impeachment, Election Results, and the State of the Democratic Field
Having heard from our listeners, this week we have a special three-person edition of The Politics Guys with Will Miller, Michael Baranowski, and Jay Carson. The Guys start off the show with a lengthy discussion around current developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Much of the discussion focuses on the application of process and differences between an investigation and an impeachment inquiry. Mike posits that he believes what Trump has been accused of merits an impeachment inquiry and will merit removal from office if proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. Will and Jay both agree—in theory—that the allegations merit some form of investigation but are concerned about the rush to impeachment as opposed to formally looking into the allegations in a public venue first. Given all of the unusual variables in this case—the use of a personal attorney and having it all based on a whistleblower—it is even more difficult to determine what could happen next. All three note the need to have a process that can be trusted in place. Will continues to worry about what Jay terms a permanent impeachment campaign becoming a way of life in American politics while Mike argues that if the president isn’t behaving like Trump that shouldn’t be a future problem.
Next, the Guys turn to discussing Tuesday’s election results. Jay begins by pointing out that he has difficulty in putting much stock in the results of off-year elections with historically lower turnout. Will points to the statewide results in Virginia as continuing evidence of a shift of Democrats to affluent suburbs that can change elections—especially, as Jay notes, in new districts. Mike echoes this and rightly suggests the 2020 race may come down to whether Trump can turnout rural voters at a higher rate than Democrats can these new suburban voters. The Guys discuss Bevin’s loss in Kentucky but also acknowledge that for such a poor candidate, not even Trump’s support was likely to resonate, which is evidenced by Republican performance down-ballot. And even though the Republican was only able to carry Mississippi by 6 points (compared to 17 for Trump), it was one of the strongest Democratic challengers that could have been brought forward.
Lastly, Mike, Will and Jay discuss the state of the Democrats heading into 2020. First, Mike explains how Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for all plan is a political document that even Democrats acknowledge has no chance of being enacted. He also questions the impact this has since it will be easy for Trump to denounce the plan in a general election if her own party is doing so already. Further, Mike pushes for Democrats to adopt a more centrist pitch that focuses on opportunity and growth. Will and Jay point out that despite progressives clamoring that they are so large in number, that Joe Biden—as a centrist candidate—is out-performing both Warren and Sanders in polls versus Trump in key battleground states. Will believes if progressives continue to speak louder than their numbers can support, they will only help Trump gain a second term. Lastly, Jay wonders about whose votes Michael Bloomberg might take when he enters the race while Mike points to the strangeness that the general election could be between two New York-based, party-switching, billionaires in their 70s with a history of sexual harassment allegations.
Before I start putting together our show host schedule for 2020, I wanted to get your thoughts on our hosts. I’ve put together a short survey for that purpose at the below link. It’s only a few questions, plus some comment boxes if you want to comment on your answers. We do this show for you, and so getting your responses to this will be extremely helpful. Thanks!
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