FROSTMAN COLUMN: Impeachment theater reminiscent of recall-Walker fever in Wisconsin

FROSTMAN COLUMN: Impeachment theater reminiscent of recall-Walker fever in Wisconsin

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‘The 10 Counties That Will Decide the 2020 Election.” The title of a story in The Hill from Sept. 4, which named Wisconsin’s own Sauk County as one of those counties. The spotlight shone when CNN paid a visit Nov. 16-17.

In advance of their visit, I was contacted by Miguel Marquez of CNN. Marquez was seeking voters who had no opinion on President Donald Trump, those who switched allegiances, or remained on the political fence. In our conversations, Marquez found few independent voters willing to come forward. Marquez and I agreed Trump is indeed a very polarizing figure. It was great to talk about our little haven of communities, and the political climate in which we are living. Whether you are an avid supporter of the president, or steeped in rabid dislike contending he is not your president, Trump is indeed one of those who can invigorate and alienate all in the same sentence.

One overriding question CNN had for folks was whether the impeachment theater playing out in Washington, D.C., swayed any voters. The story appeared Nov. 18 on CNN during Erin Burnett’s “Outfront” program. (Visit cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/11/18/swing-state-voters-wisconsin-impeachment-election-marquez-vpx.cnn)

One theme you may hear in the story is perhaps a dislike for Trump, but a question about whether he has done “enough” to warrant impeachment. It appears clear the American people want clear evidence, but continual efforts have shown little.

A Dec. 1 Newsweek story, relayed a “FoxNews Sunday with Chris Wallace” appearance by Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who relayed “the House decided to launch an impeachment inquiry because the “president decided to pressure [a] foreign government to target an American citizen for political gain, and at the same time withhold $391 million in military aid from a very vulnerable Ukraine.”

“We do have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on a potentially out-of-control executive branch,” he said. Wallace responded, “But congressman, Democrats have been making that case — you’ve been making your best case to the public for two months now. You just finished 30 hours of televised hearings, 12 witnesses, and the public apparently isn’t buying it at this point.”

Funny how Congressman Jeffries leaves out the part about former Vice President Joe Biden blackmailing Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating a company whose leadership included Biden’s son, Hunter. Democrats forget how capable Biden is of gaffes and blunders. He launched his “No Malarkey” bus tour in Iowa, while millennials googled the word “malarkey.” Campaign officials said Biden was “the bee’s knees.”

How’s impeachment playing in our pivotal state of Wisconsin? A Marquette University Law School poll released Nov. 20, was covered in a HotAir story the same day. The story relates, “In the new poll, 40 percent of registered voters think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 53 percent do not think so and 6 percent say that they do not know.

In October, before public hearings began, 44 percent favored impeachment and removal from office, while 51 percent were opposed, and 4 percent said they didn’t know. From net -7 on impeachment to net -13 in just a few weeks, coincidentally as the public phase of the process has begun playing out.”

Impeachment of a president should not be based on public opinion, but on a review of the evidence at hand. However, evidence is proving to be scant at best.

Their processes are clearly different, but I can’t help but see comparisons to the recall fever that hit Wisconsin in 2011-12. They share the idea of undoing the most recent election. Many folks seemed to hate Gov. Scott Walker with a comparable level of vitriol to Trump. No rationale behind it, they just hated Walker, and Democrats sought to capitalize on that anger in the recall push. Of course, that attempt fell with a thud.

I worked many doors during those highly volatile days, and later as an Assembly candidate in 2012. I spoke with dozens of voters who didn’t care for Gov. Walker or his efforts, but didn’t think what he did merited a recall, and subsequently voted for Walker. It doesn’t appear Democrats learned anything from the Walker recall. I see similar reactions to Trump’s potential impeachment efforts resulting in more support for Trump. Just as the recall zealotry pushed voters to Walker, wild accusations at the president may have the same effect.

Generally, those who support Trump do so with fervor, and will continue to do so even as “Impeachment Theater” continues. Americans are growing weary of the constant drone of investigations yielding very little, and see the efforts for what they are as a political sideshow, and deserve better.

Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at scfrostman@gmail.com.

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