The Progressive-Democrats are pretending to hold “‘official’ impeachment inquiries” against President Donald Trump. It’s a pretense because were they serious, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) would put the matter to a House floor vote and put all Representatives—Republican and Progressive-Democrats alike—on the public record as being for or against an actual impeachment inquiry, as the House, under majorities of both parties, has done for past impeachment moves. Instead, she has not; the Progressive-Democrats intend only to keep the smear going for the next 14, or so, months in a naked attempt to control the next election.
It’s a dangerous move, though: ordinary Americans, the object of so much contempt from the Left and from Party, aren’t stupid, and they can see clearly what’s happening. Further, such moves have backfired in those past, legitimately serious (because deeply bipartisan) impeachment efforts: the minority party made equally serious gains in the subsequent elections.
There’s a parallel situation currently unfolding in Austria.
In 2017, Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was filmed offering to facilitate the purchase of the Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest tabloid newspaper, if the purchaser would commit to editorial support for Strache once she gained control.
The filming turned out to be a setup to entrap Strache (the purchaser turned out to be a woman pretending, for the sake of the sting, to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch), but by whom?
Even today, there are few details about who organized the trap or why they waited two years to release the footage….
Even so, the government fell. Like Bill Clinton, Stache seemed and seems guilty as hell.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called a snap election the day after Strache resigned but by the end of the month, Kurz himself had been ousted by a no-confidence motion and replaced by an interim chancellor.
However, today we’re four months later, the new elections were yesterday, and as of Friday,
The party [Freedom Party, Strache’s party] quickly re-calibrated after Strache’s resignation; portraying themselves as victims in a shadowy sting operation.
“The FPÖ came out as heroes—as martyrs—they rephrased the situation,” says Paul Schmidt, Secretary General of the the Austrian Society for European Politics, an NGO in Vienna.
The polls indicate Kurz will be re-elected chancellor and he has not ruled out renewing his old coalition with the Freedom Party.
Indeed, early returns indicate Kurz’ party (not directly involved in the scandal) looks to gain seats. Like ordinary Americans, ordinary Austrians are not stupid, and they don’t like cheap shots—that setup run by who knows whom—or politicians and seeming self-important activists making serious, purely political moves out of relatively minor business. Clinton’s misuse of a young intern was certainly serious business for his intern and for him, but the impeachment effort was strictly politically done by a party that simply didn’t like the man.
The Progressive-Democrats’ present effort fits the latter. Trump is atypical for holders of political office, being routinely bluntly- and occasionally crudely-spoken and prone to acting rather than talking. He’s very much hated by professional politicians for that atypicality, and especially by Progressive-Democrats, who consider election outcomes their personal property and Trump an unauthorized squatter. They want their property cleared out, and they’re going to do whatever they think they must to reclaim their property in 2020.
Update: Based on exit polling, it looks like Kurz’ ÖVP will gain 37% of the vote, up sharply from the 31% his party got in the prior election. Only the FPÖ was damaged by Strache’s misbehavior, falling to 16%, and a renewed governing coalition between ÖVP and FPÖ seems unlikely. Kurz, though, still needs a coalition in order to form a governing majority.