Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's testimony last Friday was more than just the coup de grace for Donald Trump’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
It was also a testament to the stunned outrage most of us have experienced every single day since this craven administration took office. A portrait in consummate dignity, Yovanovitch made it clear she was shocked by Trump’s shabby behavior. Not a syllable of her narrative was dulled by weary cynicism. Rather, her stoic intensity was roiled whenever she recounted how unconscionably she’d been treated. Yovanovitch’s pain was palpable. In her new piece, the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser observed, "As with most truly memorable public moments, there was something raw and unexpected about Yovanovitch’s appearance on Friday; it cut through the rote posturing and partisanship to get at an essential fact. Yovanovitch reminded us that all of this is, in fact, amazing and shocking and outrageous. It is not normal.”
Not surprisingly, Trump himself underscored the day’s leitmotif by hate tweeting Yovanovitch even as she testified. Branded “witness intimidation” by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, even Fox News anchor Bret Baier said that Trump was “adding, essentially, an article of impeachment in real time.”
The silver lining is that last week's the news whiplash broke in our favor and in strong opposition to Trump and his gang of grifters. Daily Kos covered the litany of woe including the conviction of Trump stooge Roger Stone on all 7 counts, two powerful hearings that generated increased public support for impeachment, and the rebuke of Trump's magic on the campaign trail — this time in Louisiana, where Democratic incumbent governor John Bel Edwards defeated Trump sycophant and multimillionaire businessman Eddie Rispone.
First, let’s start with how Americans are feeling about impeachment. Here are the toplines from an ABC News/Ipsos poll released today:
*21% say they made up their minds about impeachment after the first week of public hearings. Among them, 60% think Pres. Trump should be impeached and removed from office.
*An overwhelming 70% of Americans think President Donald Trump’s request to a foreign leader to investigate his political rival, which sits at the heart of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, was wrong.
*51% believe Trump’s actions were both wrong and he should be impeached and removed from office. As the hearings continue, we should expect to see that slim majority rise.
When it comes to Democratic electoral fortunes, the end of the 2019 cycle brought more good news. Trump took a drubbing in two out of three of the recent southern gubernatorial contests. As Daily Kos writer Greg Dworkin reports, "President Donald Trump campaigned hard in three conservative Southern states this fall, aiming for a string of gubernatorial wins that would demonstrate his political strength heading into impeachment and his own reelection effort. The plan backfired in dramatic fashion.” Instead, Democrats won in Louisiana, where Edwards prevailed, and in Kentucky, where Andy Beshear defeated an incumbent. Of the candidates Trump backed, only Tate Reeves in Mississippi won.
But the real story is how the Democrats turned the southern red tide blue by sweeping the suburbs, just as they did when they flipped the Virginia legislature several weeks ago. “If you had any doubt that Trump was a human repellent spray for suburban voters who have a conservative disposition, Republicans getting wiped out in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisville and Lexington should remove it,” said Tim Miller, a Republican strategist. That suburban strategy bodes well as we start laying the 2020 foundation in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
And so we soldier on to the 2020 campaigns. Several faithful readers have asked to compile a list of Top Congressional Races for 2020 that will help us flip the Senate and enhance our House majority. My self-imposed deadline is Thanksgiving. That way, we can rally crucial early support for Democrats who need it most. Stay tuned for details.
So, until then, I’m leaving you with wisdom and wit from two comedians. First, Bill Maher offers a simple but powerful message of holiday survival: Let it go. As Maher quipped, “Celebrate Thanksgiving — don’t try to win it.” Find out how in this edition of “New Rules.”
Next, for those of you who couldn’t make it to see Seth Meyers at our “Conversations on the Green” series last month, you can listen to the podcast here. In one of my all-time favorite interviews, Seth demonstrates why his kindness, his smarts and his rapier timing have made him one of the kings of late night comedy.
Finally, I have a favor to ask. I’m a social media neophyte and I know this may be a slippery slope. But, I’ll do anything to defeat Republicans in 2020.
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