Rebutting Right Wing Zombie Lies On Impeachment
As Democratic activists, one of our biggest jobs is to rebut right wing zombie lies and refresh bad memories. GOP propaganda relies heavily upon voter amnesia. History doesn’t begin when a Republican takes the microphone or makes a post on social media.
As you can well imagine, we have been inundated with right wing zombie lies during the current impeachment process. I plan to rebut two of the most pernicious right wing myths regarding the impeachment of Donald Trump.
- The Democrats want to remove Trump because they can’t beat him at the polls in 2020.
This talking point stems from the right wing belief that Trump won a landslide victory in 2016. The reality is that Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes and 54% of the voters supported somebody else in 2016. Trump’s share of the popular vote is the third worst showing for any president in U.S. history. Only John Quincy Adams in 1824 and Rutherford Hayes in 1876 did worse than Trump.
Trump’s electoral college “victory” ranked 46th out of 58 elections in U.S. history. Trump only won his tainted “victory” in the electoral college by a margin of 77,000 votes in three states. Moreover, Trump needed a lot of help from James Comey and the Russians to eke out that unimpressive margin of “victory.”
As a consequence of their belief that Trump won big in 2016, his supporters believe he is a shoo in for re-election in 2020. In reality, Trump is far from a sure thing in 2020. He is the most unpopular president in his fourth year in office in modern history. Trump’s current approval ratings compare to his predecessors as follows:
January of Election Year
Eisenhower, 1956 76%
Johnson, 1964 76%
Bush, 2004 59%
Carter, 1980 58%
Reagan, 1984 55%
Truman, ’48 50%
Nixon, ’72 49%
Obama, ’12 47%
Bush, ’92 46%
Clinton, ’96 46%
Ford, ’76 46%
It is doubtful that Trump can get to 270 electoral votes with 44% of the popular vote. As it was, Trump barely “won” the 2016 election with 46% of the popular vote. Moreover, the Democrats won big in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 election cycles - in part — because the moderate Republicans who reluctantly pulled the lever for Trump in 2016 stayed home in those three election cycles. It is doubtful those moderate Republicans will vote for Trump this year.
2. Removing Donald Trump would overturn the 2016 election results.
One of the underlying premises of this GOP talking point is that Trump won some kind of mandate and his election reflected the will of the people. As I’ve discussed in the previous section, that simply isn’t true.
The other thing the Republicans don’t like to mention is that in the unlikely event Trump is removed, he would be replaced by Mike Pence — not Hillary Clinton. There is no doubt that a President Pence would faithfully follow Trump’s policies. If anybody wants learn about what a Pence presidency would be like, I would recommend that you read Jane Mayer’s: “The Danger of President Pence,” in the October 16, 2017 edition of the New Yorker.
Mayer reveals in this eye opening piece that Pence’s political rise has largely been sponsored by the Koch brothers. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said that: “If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers — period. He’s been their tool for years. I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own.”
Trump is already carrying out the agenda of the Koch brothers and the reactionary GOP donor class. He blew $2 trillion on a tax cut that largely favored the wealthy and has said several times that he will cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in a second term.
Similarly, Pence — like Trump — has been a staunch ally of people who consider themselves to be Christian conservatives. During the 1990s, Pence wrote an article arguing that unmarried women should be denied access to birth control. As a member of the House of Representatives, Pence sponsored legislation that would have banned abortion under all circumstances, including, incest and rape, unless a mother’s life was at stake.
The reality is that the Senate Republicans simply don’t have the courage to remove Trump. Impeachment is only partisan because the Republicans have done a disingenuous flip flop on executive power since January 20, 2017. We will have to remove Trump at the ballot box on November 3.
The stakes couldn’t be any higher in 2020. The Democratic nominee is the only person who can beat Trump. Our party has a rich history. We are the party of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obama Care and civil rights. A second Trump term would destroy these historic achievements. Vote blue no matter who!