It has been widely acknowledged, including by some in the liberal media, that the public impeachment hearings held by House Democrats have not only failed to convince a majority of the American people of the need to remove President Donald Trump from office, but may have even backfired and spurred increased support for the embattled president.
That view seemed to be confirmed on Sunday when a Democrat congresswoman appeared to back away from impeachment in favor of censuring President Trump, only to reverse herself days later — perhaps after receiving a talking-to from Democrat leaders — and reiterate her support for impeachment, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“I want him censured”
Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), in an interview Sunday with local Detroit journalist Charlie LeDuff on his No BS News Hour program, said that she supported the effort to impeach President Trump but, citing the likelihood of a Republican acquittal in the Senate and the undeniably divisive nature of impeachment, suggested that Democrats should instead considering merely censuring Trump to register their disapproval of his actions.
“We are so close to an election,” the congresswoman said. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. But I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable, it’s in violation of the office and the oath of office of president of the United States.
“I want him censured,” Lawrence added. “I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and, under our Constitution, we will not allow it.”
Of course, Lawrence’s commentary was immediately picked up and amplified by the shocked liberal media and touted by Republicans as evidence that the impeachment effort had failed.
It is unclear if the congresswoman was privately contacted and chastised for her remarks by fellow Democrats or impeachment-obsessed constituents, but regardless, she quickly backtracked and reasserted her prior position of support for the impeachment of President Trump, despite her stated concerns in the interview with LeDuff.
In a statement released on Tuesday to “clarify” her Sunday remarks, Lawrence said: “I was an early supporter for impeachment in 2017. The House Intelligence Committee followed a very thorough process in holding hearings these past two weeks. The information they revealed confirmed that this President has abused the power of his office, therefore I continue to support impeachment.
“However, I am very concerned about Senate Republicans and the fact that they would find this behavior by the President acceptable,” she added, perhaps leaving the door open to still consider a condemnatory censure instead of a futile impeachment that would only result in an acquittal.
The backtracking of this congresswoman aside, which may have come as the result of pressure behind the scenes, doesn’t really change the fact that it remains a widely-held perception that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) failed miserably in his two-week charade of public impeachment hearings.
Polling has increasingly shown that support for impeachment among voters actually dropped over the course of the hearings while support for the president rose somewhat. That was especially true among the independent voters that Democrats would need on their side to make impeachment viable.
The whole impeachment sham remains in flux at this time, and while Schiff and the Democrats could continue to press the issue despite flagging public support, it is obvious that at least some on the left are desperately searching for an exit ramp to avoid a potential political disaster when the effort inevitably fails in the goal of removing Trump from office.