Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., introduced an article of impeachment in the House of Representatives against President Trump, saying the firing of FBI Director James Comey constituted an act of obstruction of justice. He argues the charge falls under the banner of "high crimes and misdemeanors" spelled out in the Constitution.
Sherman's impeachment article states:
In all of this, Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.
It seems Democrats have not learned anything from the 2016 election. They are behaving the same way Hillary Clinton did during her campaign, making the entire race about Trump's fitness for office instead of what voters found to be important. Clinton's campaign assumed wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Instead, she lost 680,000 votes in those three states down from former President Barack Obama's 2012 total, allowing Trump to win those three states by about 77,000 votes and handing him victory over Clinton.
Democrats are running around beating the drum of corruption to anybody who will listen. Democratic voters hear it. They don't like Trump, but everybody knows that.
Democrats have to reach the middle. It starts not only with running candidates in districts that represent the people in those areas but also understanding people who are more concerned with what the president is doing for them as opposed to issues about Russia.
This isn't to say Democrats should shrug their shoulders at Trump's behavior, but there's a difference between oversight and criticism versus blatant political posturing. Like it or not, Trump exercised his executive authority to fire Comey. That Trump handled it with the political skill of junior high school president is irrelevant.
To think impeachment is the proper response for the president carrying out an action he's authorized to do under the Constitution is absurd. Impeachment may be a political process, but Democrats will get nowhere using impeachment as a political tool.
If this sounds familiar, you're old enough to remember 1998. Republicans used the possibility of impeaching President Bill Clinton as a means of expanding their House majority. The run up to impeachment proceedings played out over the mid-term elections. Newt Gingrich, knowing the possibility of convicting Clinton in the Senate was slim (impeachment in the House requires a simple majority. In the Senate it requires a two-thirds majority) motored on throughout the fall promising big gains for Republicans.
The GOP lost five seats in the House.
If you look at the latest major polls about Trump, he is upside-down in three key areas: the economy, foreign policy, and healthcare. If Democrats focused a cohesive campaign around the president's failings in these areas, they'd be able to make a play for moderate House districts across the country. Instead, they have members introducing articles of impeachment before Special Counsel Robert Mueller finishes his investigation.
If Democrats attempt to use scandal as a means of winning control of Congress, they'll fail. Just like Hillary Clinton.
Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is the assistant managing editor at RedState, as well as a contributor to National Review and The Atlantic.
If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.