More than two months into the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, the views of the American public on removing the president remains largely unchanged.
What has changed however, is the country’s faith in the government.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) believes that there isn’t “any fact that would change the minds of GOP lawmakers, as some Democrats are still hoping for Republicans to give in with President Trump like with former President Richard Nixon.
The Himes said he was a “little stunned by the unanimity on the Republican side,” especially among retiring lawmakers who don’t have to be concerned about surviving a GOP primary had they gone against Trump, according to NBC News. “We’re in a place right now where all that matters to my Republican colleagues is the defense of the president,” Himes added.
“We’re living in a really different era,” former GOP House member William Cohen said. “The partisanship is deeper. It’s a cynical, suspicious society. The conspiracy theories that were once fringe elements have been allowed to filter into the mainstream.”
Cohen was one of seven Republicans out of 19 sitting on the House Judiciary Committee who green-lighted impeachment articles against Nixon, as well as one of the most outspoken critics of Watergate at the time—but things have changed.
The American public has lost its faith in the government.
CNN’s Kyle Feldscher in a Nov. 29 analysis explained why Americans are still largely divided on whether the president should be impeached—with public opinion remaining virtually the same since October.
The fact that “the Senate is unlikely to convict Trump” even if he is to “be impeached by the House” has “Everything to do with the public itself: Americans no longer trust their government,” Feldscher wrote.
A Nov. 26 Quinnipac University Poll reflected this: Despite that millions have tuned in to watch the hearings on television before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees for the past few weeks, the public stance on impeachment did not change.
“The televised impeachment hearings haven’t had much of an effect on the president’s approval rating, or how voters feel about impeachment,” Quinnipac University pollster Tim Malloy said.
“That’s not great. And it points to a hard truth: House Democrats are going to have a tough time making their case to people they haven’t already convinced because most people generally think their lawmakers in Washington are lying to them,” Feldscher wrote.
But the American public still seemed to trust its government more back in the day than it does now, according to a Pew Research Center study published on April 11 on Public Trust in Government From 1958 to 2019.
“In the end, the hardest part of the impeachment inquiry for Democrats may not be proving Trump committed an impeachable offense. It may be convincing a jaded American public that it matters,” Feldscher wrote.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are positive that Democrats won’t be able to sway the American public and that the president’s re-election is ensured.
“The Democrats have just hoisted themselves on their own petard, guaranteeing Donald Trump re-election in 2020,” Fox host Jeanine Pirro said on Dec. 7 of Democrat efforts to remove the president. “Nancy Pelosi, wrapping herself in God, country, and the American flag has called for the impeachment of the 45th president of the United States, unleashing her looney, leftist partisans in the most blatant political effort to impeach a duly elected president in history, who they have viciously attacked since day one.”