On Tuesday, Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas instructed Democrats that the first rule of Impeachment Club is that you do not talk about Impeachment Club, at least in mixed company.
"The signs are clear we are headed for a massive Democratic wave" in the midterm elections, exulted Kos, who believes Dems will pull it off if they emphasize health care ("voters strongly back the Democratic approach") and taxes (the recently passed GOP bill "poll[s] like absolute shit") and "avoid issues that energize conservatives," most of all one mega-issue:
Talking about impeachment in campaign settings effectively puts Trump on the ballot. And if Trump is on the ballot? His supporters will turn out.
We don’t want his supporters to turn out. We want them home, sulking about the swamp and how McConnell and Ryan have stood in the way of Trump’s efforts to Make America Great…
…Impeachment [will be] implicitly on the table. Everyone knows a Democratic Congress’s first act will be to investigate the fuck out of that Orange Asshole…
…Republicans are doing a good job of demoralizing and suppressing their own base vote. Let’s give them an assist by staying quiet on their hottest-button, most-motivating issues, and keeping Trump off the ballot by avoiding impeachment talk.
Except here at Daily Kos. Amongst ourselves, we can talk impeachment all we want!
On Wednesday, Salon's Matthew Sheffield dampened Democratic impeachment enthusiasm by noting a mid-December NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey finding that the public decisively opposes impeachment proceedings against Trump (54 percent anti to 41 percent in favor). Sheffield thinks those numbers aren't likely to change much:
Given America's deeply divided media environment -- where conservative Republicans tune in to outlets tailored specifically to them while the rest of the country gets its news from mainstream sources -- getting Republicans to take impeachment seriously may prove extremely difficult, short of a "smoking gun" directly linking Trump to Russian collusion or obstruction of justice. And such hypothetical evidence still might not prove persuasive to Republican voters, who have been conditioned to mistrust all sources of supposedly objective information…
With Fox News repeatedly airing segments comparing the Mueller investigation to a coup d’état and conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones claiming that a “deep state” network of unnamed bureaucrats is out to get Trump, getting any significant Republican support for impeachment will be challenging.