Congressional Democrats had better “grow a spine” if they want to keep President Donald Trump from being reelected in 2020, according to an American University professor.
Political historian Allan Lichtman predicts Trump will win the next election if Democrats do not immediately begin impeachment proceedings against him, telling CNN it would be both “constitutionally” and “politically” right to do so.
Lichtman’s warning carries some weight as he’s correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections and believes, following the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, that Democrats need to “do their Constitutional duty.”
Prompting a chuckle from CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Lichtman warned Wednesday of a Trump victory “unless the Democrats grow a spine and do their Constitutional duty, and move into an impeachment inquiry.”
“It’s a false dichotomy to say Democrats have a choice between doing what is right and what is constitutional and what is politically right. Impeachment is also politically right,” Lichtman said.
He explained his system of 13 “key factors” which determine whether the current party in the White House will continue to maintain its position. If six or more factors, such as economic conditions and foreign policy, stack up against the party in power, they will lose.
The Trump administration is down only on three of those factors, Lichtman explained, which are losses by the GOP in the midterms elections, a “lack of foreign policy success” and Trump’s “limited appeal to voters.”
But impeachment would “nail down” a fourth key which is “scandal,” he explained, noting how that factor played out in the 2000 presidential election for former Vice President Al Gore and his loss after President Clinton’s impeachment process.
We have a Republican Party with no principles but a spine and a Democrstic Party with principles but no spine. Dems could still grow a spine if it’s leaders stop equivocating and move to an impeachment investigation of @realDonaldTrump, the most dangerous president in US history.
— Allan Lichtman (@AllanLichtman) May 30, 2019
“Let’s not forget, impeachment is not just a vote in the House,” Lichtman added. “It involves public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry, and, what everyone forgets, a public trial in the Senate in which House prosecutors present evidence, present documents, make opening and closing statements.”
“You very well might be correct,” Baldwin interjected, “but if you look at it the other way, Trump is daring Democrats to impeach him. He sees this a potential galvanizing moment for his party…might that not backfire on Democrats?”
“Absolutely not,” Lichtman replied. “Why would Democrats believe an inveterate liar like Donald Trump? Obviously, he’s trying to dissuade the Democrats from doing the one thing that could defeat him in 2020.”
He pointed to the “evidence and the gravity” of the case against Trump being “infinitely stronger” than that against Clinton when he was impeached.
“Democrats are fundamentally wrong about the politics of impeachment and their prospects for victory in 2020,” Lichtman told CNN’s Chris Cillizza on Tuesday.
“An impeachment and subsequent trial would cost the president a crucial fourth key — the scandal key — just as it cost Democrats that key in 2000. The indictment and trial would also expose him to dropping another key by encouraging a serious challenge to his re-nomination,” he said.
“Other potential negative keys include the emergence of a charismatic Democratic challenger, a significant third-party challenge, a foreign policy disaster, or an election-year recession,” Lichtman added. “Without impeachment, however, Democratic prospects are grim.”
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