Chuck Todd Fears Dems Not Politicizing Impeachment Enough, ‘Trying to Play By the Rules’

Listen to the Article!

Anchoring special MSNBC coverage of Wednesday’s Senate hearing with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd worried that “Republicans are playing to win” when it comes to the impeachment of President Trump while Democrats were “trying to play by the rules.”

Late in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour, just prior to the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the origins of the Russia investigation, Todd took a moment with his panelists to discuss the politics of impeachment, fretting: “You know, the President has decided to wrap his arms around impeachment as a campaign tactic. The campaign has used it, I think, quite effectively....feels like they have fought this to a political draw.”

 

 

Moments later, he turned to former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, now an NBC News political analyst, and laughably claimed: “You know, there are some people who look at this impeachment situation, it looks like the Republicans are playing to win and the Democrats are trying to play by the rules.”

He warned that the political fight was “asymmetrical warfare,” where Republicans “don’t care” if they are “politicizing the issue” and “Democrats have been afraid of looking like they’re politicizing impeachment.”

McCaskill seized on Todd’s absurd narrative that liberal lawmakers have not been politicizing the impeachment process and proclaimed:

And the other thing that I think is important to remember is for them to do what the Republicans have done, we would have to embrace Trumpism. We’d have to say, “The truth doesn’t matter, you can go out and lie.” Dick Durbin would have to get on the dias today and just spew lies like Ted Cruz did on Meet the Press and on other shows, where we’ve had Republicans totally go off the rails and not be truthful....I’m proud that the Democrats are not resorting to the same tactics the Republicans are using. And I’m going to be optimistic here and say I hope that the party is rewarded for it.

So according to MSNBC, the only problem for Democrats is that they’re just too non-partisan and truthful?!

Back on December 1, Todd openly feared that the lack of public support for impeachment was because Republicans were “bullying” Democrats and that “the Democrats didn’t pick up a weapon.”

The possibility that Democrats may just be wrong on impeachment and that the American people simply don’t support the radical partisan effort to remove Trump from office never seems to enter into the minds of liberal media figures like Todd.

Here is a transcript of the December 11 discussion:

9:48 AM ET

(...)

CHUCK TODD: You know, the President has decided to wrap his arms around impeachment as a campaign tactic. The campaign has used it, I think, quite effectively when it comes to raising money and things like that. Look, the polling – he’s not adding any new people, but he certainly is increasing the intensity of his support. It kind of means – feels like they have fought this to a political draw.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA: And that is why Democrats need today and they need this trial in the Senate to proceed in a fair way, Chuck, because the President has pinned his argument that he’s made to his base for the past two years on this false premise that he was being unfairly persecuted by this Russia investigation, that the impeachment now is simply an outgrowth of that.

(...)

9:50 AM ET

TODD: Claire McCaskill, let me ask you this about the Democrats. You know, there are some people who look at this impeachment situation, it looks like the Republicans are playing to win and the Democrats are trying to play by the rules.

And so, it’s been asymmetrical warfare. Republicans have just gone out and said, “You know what, we’re going to go own this as a campaign tactic. We don’t care if it looks like we’re politicizing the issue.” Democrats have been afraid of looking like they’re politicizing impeachment, but you know what they’ve not done? Made the case to swing voters about impeachment. Has that been a mistake?

FMR. SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL: I'm not sure that they have to make the case to swing voters on removing the President from office and impeachment. What they do have to do is lay out a case for swing voters that they don’t want four more years of this chaos. And I think they –

TODD: Do they have to lay out a case that this is legitimate, too? I mean, I had one Democratic strategist said that actually swing voters, even those against impeachment, as long as they know it was a legitimate investigation, they’re not going to punish Democrats for it.

MCCASKILL: That’s exactly right. And I think that’s what they’ve been focused on, is trying to get this information out in a consumable way to those voters that are not like us.

TODD: Yeah.

MCCASKILL: That are not following every detail, and every nuance of every story. And the other thing that I think is important to remember is for them to do what the Republicans have done, we would have to embrace Trumpism. We’d have to say, “The truth doesn’t matter, you can go out and lie.” Dick Durbin would have to get on the dias today and just spew lies like Ted Cruz did on Meet the Press and on other shows, where we’ve had Republicans totally go off the rails and not be truthful about whether or not there’s some DNC server in the Ukraine that really was responsible for election interference. So I really think – I’m proud that the Democrats are not resorting to the same tactics the Republicans are using. And I’m going to be optimistic here and say I hope that the party is rewarded for it.

TODD: What do you make of the fact that it – because I do think it’s like, should Democrats feel good that it’s taken Republican spending $10 to 15 million to keep the numbers as they are? Or should they ask themselves, did we make a mistake not answering?

MCCASKILL: Well, you know, I think there will be plenty of time to do that. And I don’t think this election next year will be won or lost on impeachment. I think the election next year will be won or lost on health care and, frankly, “Are you just tired of this nonsense? Of the craziness? Of the chaos? Or do you want to put on an old pair of comfortable bedroom slippers and have a president who actually believes in norms?”

TODD: Maya, this challenge of, frankly, a political case, when you’re trying to deal with legal issues. Right? And look, Frank [Figliuzzi], you guys are trained to keep the politics out of this. And yet, this is having a huge impact on all of this.

MAYA WILEY [MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST]: It’s having a huge impact. And I think, To Claire’s point there’s a way to make that impact very clear to the average person who doesn’t care about politics.

TODD: But they only do it at hearings. Should they be doing it in other places besides...

WILEY: Yes, yes.

TODD: ...at 9:00, 10:00 a.m. in the morning in Washington?

WILEY: Yes, they absolutely should. And I think many do when they go out into their districts. And they should do it with disciplined and shared message. And that should be about, “Government is yours. It’s no one else’s. And anybody who takes that from you has to be challenged for it, particularly the people who have the most power in the country.”

NB Daily Congress Trump Impeachment Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Video Chuck Todd Michael Horowitz

Sponsored Links