Just when the Democrats have Donald Trump where they want him – a broken president sitting in the White House with a suspended twitter account and losing traction with his own party by the minute …
Just when Sen. Lindsey Graham, Trump’s favorite lap dog over the last four years, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announce their divorce from the Trump administration …
And just when the likes of Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher look like town fools for daring to object to the presidential election results …
Democrats throw it all away, keeping focus on an outgoing president and giving Republicans a fresh set of talking points.
Top Democrats should be looking forward to everything that will happen with Joe Biden as president and Democrats holding control of the Senate ($2,000 stimulus checks, here we come).
They should be working behind the scenes to make all of the GOP nightmares come true – such as ending the filibuster in the Senate, packing the Supreme Court with liberal judges, turning over congressional budgeting to the likes of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and otherwise pushing ahead with the party’s progressive agenda. They should be rubbing their hands over the prospect of giving statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, which could keep Democrats in control of the Senate for the next hundred years.
Instead, the Dems are fixated with last-ditch efforts to remove Trump from office before Jan. 20, through whatever means are necessary. By pursing impeachment and keeping Trump on the center stage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Co. would only hamstring a new president’s effort to unite the country.
Fulcher, a conservative Republican, probably is the last person Pelosi would look to for advice, but he offers a useful reality check.
“Biden already is compromised,” says Fulcher. “He already has some 70 million people who think he’s there fraudulently in the first place. He’s got to know that.”
But do Pelosi and other top Democrats care?
“I don’t think they are that stupid (to push for impeachment), but if so, that will be one of their un-doings. It will set off unrest like we haven’t seen. It would be a bad idea,” Fulcher says. “The direction is set. There will be a new president on the 20th, so let’s transfer and go. What I’ve seen during my lifetime is that when Democrats are in charge, they overplay their hand. I think they are going to overplay it again and we’ll take over in two years.”
And it will be an ugly two years in Fulcher’s view.
“We’re going to have to be obstructionists on the Republican side, because there is no other check. The only thing we have is the ability to slow things down. We’re going to see a lot of junk over the next two years, but I wholly believe we will flip it back, partly because of actions Democrats are taking now.”
In a few days, Democrats and Republican critics will not have Trump to kick around anymore.
There is plenty of outrage from both sides over his role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, which was too much to handle even for Education Secretary and Trump loyalist Betsy DeVos. Then, there was the president’s disgusting call to Georgia election officials urging them to “find” almost 12,000 votes that would give him a victory in the peach state. Both actions are grounds for firing in most lines of work – and perhaps impeachment there was more than a few days left in Trump’s administration.
Fulcher praises Trump for cutting taxes and regulations and otherwise standing up for the “little guy.” But the Idaho congressman sees the other side of Trump as well. “He has been arrogant enough, bullheaded enough and rich enough that he could go into an environment like D.C. and act and talk like he doesn’t give a rip about what they say and that has resonated immensely on a broad scale.”
While outrage over Trump is justified, at some point calmer voices must prevail in the interest of giving a new president a chance to get off to a positive start. In football terms, Democrats already are in the “victory” formation. All they need to do is take a knee and run out the clock.
Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org