Donald Trump’s acquittal is creating a number of issues for the Democratic party as the national election approaches. He was found not guilty of multiple articles of impeachment and will not face removal from office or other disciplinary actions.
The recent end of the impeachment process seems to have helped Trump’s approval numbers and prospects of re-election. This was a concern that some Democrats expressed before the process began. Democrats are now in the process of making some tough decisions regarding how they will approach the rest of the election year to salvage some chance of reclaiming the presidency.
Many outside observers have also noted that tensions between the two political parties are at an all time high. This was highlighted when Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of Trump’s State of the Union address at the conclusion of the speech. Actions such as this demonstrate that little may be accomplished for the benefit of Americans in Congress this year, as both parties remain deadlocked in a bitter battle over who will win the White House. A few members of Congress have stated that they lack optimism regarding issues such as healthcare reform, because partisan differences have prevented any kind of progress or compromise so far.
The Democratic Party must also decide whether they want to continue investigations into allegations of misconduct against the president, or let those issues take a back seat as the election approaches. Poll numbers show that these efforts have generally not affected Trump’s base of support, and that those who favored impeachment and continued investigations were not likely to vote for Trump regardless of the outcome. John Bolton, who used to work as a White House national security adviser, claims to still have condemning information about the president, and has said that he is willing to testify if necessary. Jerry Nadler told the press immediately after the impeachment that Bolton would be utilized at some point in the future, and that efforts to look into corruption would not end.
Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats remained confident that they had done the right thing by following through with impeachment proceedings. Pelosi had initially opposed impeachment efforts until evidence of possible bribery during Trump’s dealings with Ukraine emerged. Other Democrats echoed Pelosi’s sentiments that the party needed to move forward after these facts were revealed, and that it was in the best interests of their party and the nation to do so.
However, some more moderate Democrats think that continued investigations and other attacks on the president actually contribute to the Republican narrative that Democrats are only out to get Trump at the expense of the country. This creates an idea that they do not legitimately want to address important issues such as healthcare and immigration. Representative Correa of California, who speaks for several moderate Democrats, stated that investigations and related matters should remain a “side show” while politicians work to improve the country by fixing big picture issues.
Trump’s impeachment versus other presidents
The most recent impeachment process was troubled due to the fact that both parties had very different ideas regarding whether the president had actually committed a crime or not. In United States history, proceedings to impeach a president have traditionally been a bipartisan effort.