https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/588894-memo-to-ted-cruz-americans-want-solutions-not-more-pointless-impeachments

“Whether it’s justified or not, Democrats weaponized impeachment.”

That’s Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a recent episode of his podcast, “The Verdict with Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats, Cruz set for showdown over Russian pipeline Overnight Health Care — Presented by AstraZeneca and Friends of Cancer Research — Former advisers urge Biden to revise strategy Cruz: ‘Mistake’ to call Jan. 6 a ‘terrorist attack’ MORE,” regarding possible impeachment proceedings against President BidenJoe BidenAre we investing trillions on what matters? Biden eulogizes Reid as a fighter ‘for the America we all love’ at memorial service Fox News tops ratings for coverage on Jan. 6 anniversary events MORE when the GOP takes back the House of Representatives. And yes, it’s basically guaranteed that Republicans will take back the House after the November midterms given what’s occurred over the past 75 years. Per Gallup, presidents with an approval rating below 50 percent have seen their party lose an average of 37 House seats. The GOP needs to flip just five in the House and net one in the Senate. 

“They used [impeachment] for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him,” Cruz also argued. “One of the real disadvantages of doing that is, the more you weaponize it and turn it into a partisan cudgel, you know, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” 

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“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” he later wrote in a tweet to promote the podcast. 

 

Note: Where Cruz is correct is the part about Democrats weaponizing impeachment for partisan purposes and cheapening the process irreparably. In 2019, the phone call between then-President TrumpDonald TrumpFox News tops ratings for coverage on Jan. 6 anniversary events Sunday shows preview: Congress marks Jan. 6 anniversary; US, Russia to hold talks amid rising tensions Democrats must close the perception gap MORE and Ukrainian President Zelensky in which Trump urged Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, was ill-advised but didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense. 

The gambit ultimately failed, as it was always expected to, with Democrats coming nowhere near the number of votes needed to convict in the GOP-controlled Senate. And the first impeachment of Trump certainly wasn’t the Nixon impeachment in 1974, when 410 members of Congress voted in favor of starting the impeachment process, while just four voted against. In 2019, not one House Republican voted in favor of starting impeachment proceedings. 

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The second impeachment of the 45th president was even more profoundly ridiculous, which didn’t conclude until weeks after Trump left office. The goal of impeachment, of course, is to remove a president, so why bother if said president is already at Mar-a-Lago? And by the way, this doesn’t absolve Trump for his ridiculous election rhetoric leading up to that horrific day on Jan. 6, as I wrote in this space shortly after the riot. 

 

But just because Democrats watered down and weaponized the impeachment process doesn’t mean Republicans should do the same. Yes, it will be the reddest of red meat for the vehemently pro-Trump base — an “I” for an “I” (as in impeachment). But if the party begins talking about vengeance through pointless impeachment hearings – because Biden won’t be removed without a two-thirds vote – it’s a huge rake to get smacked in the face with.

America has serious problems right now: Inflation is at a 40-year high, for example. More than 7-in-10 voters blame Biden for his handling of the cost of basic goods and services (inflation). Two-thirds say the president is failing in his efforts to help their wallets. 

 

On violent crime, 16 major cities set homicide records this year, and the president and vice president (a former district attorney and attorney general) rarely speak about it. Biden-Harris is polling in the 30s on their handling of the issue.

 

 

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More than 2.2 million migrants entered the U.S. through the Southern border in 2021. Even House Democrats in border states are slamming the administration for its inaction on the crisis. Biden-Harris is polling in the 20s here. 

Throw in other major issues such as COVID-19, education and foreign policy (See: Afghanistan), and Democrats have very little to run on from a positive-message perspective. 

Republicans need to drop any talk of impeachment. Most of the public has no appetite for it. Instead, the party should lay out in clear and easy-to-absorb terms exactly what it plans to do and how those plans differ from those of the Democrats. Given how far to the left Democrats have shifted, drawing a right-of-center contrast should be an easy homework assignment. 

Forget Twitter wars. Forget about owning the libs. The American people yearn for Washington to start working for them again, and not to settle scores and waste the country’s time through another inane impeachment process. 

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist.

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