John Bolton’s “tell some” book has rocked Washington D.C., as he intended. It happened a bit earlier than anticipated, and that is causing feedback for the Senate impeachment trial.
The New York Times reported yesterday on excerpts from Bolton’s upcoming book, which have been leaked to the press by people within the White House. The manuscript had been presented to the administration prior to publication, as is standard procedure to prevent accidental dissemination of classified information.
The timing of the release is important, because the Bolton writings directly contradict the impeachment defense of President Trump’s legal team. Had the book’s information been held until the official release date, the result would be an “I told you so” moment for Trump critics, but the trial would already be completed.
President Trump has responded to the revelation by issuing an easily debunked lie to the world. In reality, the House specifically requested Bolton testify.
He said this shortly after posting a thread about the matter in question:
It follows that the integrity of a person who would blatantly lie about an issue that directly affects their well-being may lie about other things which directly affect their well-being. The President has been invited to testify under oath, as have John Bolton and multiple other witnesses. The obvious answer would be to have them do so. The fact that the Republicans are working diligently to prevent the American citizenry from hearing the facts of the case without being filtered through a friendly media system indicates they are covering up the alleged crimes.
This is to be expected. This is also unlikely to shift Republican Senators’ positions much. They already know that the President is guilty and are covering for him, and they already know that contradictory information is going to come out over the next few months which will damage their re-election chances. They have inured themselves to that notion, weighing the added difficulty of their re-election against the virtual certainty of their defeat should they stand against Trump and his criminal empire.
Further stiffening their spines are the promises of wealth-enhancing positions at key businesses and institutions should they lose their Senate seats. Such offers tend to be party-affiliated and can be expected to disappear should they rebel against the official line. This mechanic can keep even Senators who are likely to lose their seats from deviating from lockstep.
The trial is not over, though, and this may be a trigger event which changes opinions of voters. Should it be so, that will in turn allow Senators to consider removing Trump. They have demonstrated they hold no fealty to the Constitution or their Oaths of Office, but they remain somewhat beholden to their constituents for as long as they can be retained or ejected from office.
The impeachment trial is having another effect. It’s encouraging Berners. While Biden is getting boosts across the country due to his consistently high polling against Trump, the damage to Trump’s reputation that the exposure of his high crimes has caused is allowing other candidates to poll well against him.
This is deceptive, and it risks sinking Democrat chances in November.
The issue at hand is rejection, which is why similar poll numbers do not mean the same things for Bernie and others. Every Democrat has a fixed number of Republicans and independents who will not possibly vote for them. These numbers have a baseline for Democrats and then increase depending on what other factors are brought to the table: there are people who will never vote for a candidate of a particular race, gender or sexuality, for example. High on the list of unfavorable traits is “socialist”.
The Democrats who are worried about the number of people who will never vote for a gay President are correct; that is a hindrance which will drastically diminish chances in certain states. Traits like female, black or even gay are little compared to “socialist”, however. For many in the most likely voting demographic (the elderly) they recall how the socialists were directly attempting to undermine and destroy the country. They will rally to vote for anyone who is a socialist, even if that person is a President for whom they have developed contempt.
Bernie fans cover this fact by pointing to his success on the national stage, but the President is not elected by the popular vote. He is elected via the electoral college, and Bernie (or Warren or Yang) is a virtually certain loser in November should he be nominated. This is a concern because Bernie is surging in some Iowa polls, and a boost there would help him secure New Hampshire, which is already friendly territory for him. A win in the first two primaries would give him strength moving forward into other primary battles.
The Republican political operatives recognize this fact and are already galvanizing Republicans to vote for Bernie in the Democrat primaries. The impeachment, strangely enough, may give Bernie the boost he needs to win them.