Doug Schoen: In the aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats would be wise to move on


There are two big no’s to come out of the Kavanaugh hearing – one that has been around for a while, the other that has just joined.

What are they?

The first is that there should be no talk of impeaching Justice Kavanaugh—now or ever.

Politically, it’s a loser, and substantively, it undermines the credibility of the Supreme Court and it makes the Democrats look even more like sore losers than they already do now.

Make no mistake– the hearings were contentious, people of good will were on both sides, and it was possible for credible arguments to be made on both sides of the question.

Nonetheless, in America, once contentious and hard-fought debates are over, we need to come together again—both as a nation, and in terms of our political process.

Ultimately, as a society, we cannot keep litigating different issues over and over hoping for different outcomes. That is wrong substantively; it is wrong politically; it is wrong ethically; and it is wrong morally.

So, for Democrats, such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, to say that they are going to investigate Kavanaugh for perjury and related issues if the Democrats take the House and/or Senate is not only premature, but a bad mistake, and one that will only redound to the Democrats’ detriment.

Moreover, such a move would embolden President Trump to continue saying what he has been saying, which is that the Democrats are a radical left-wing party that stand only for impeachment—both of the newly-appointed Justice Kavanaugh, and of the president himself.

Which brings me to the second “no” – no more talk of impeaching Trump.

There can be no serious talk of impeachment before Robert Mueller’s report. And since that is unlikely to come during the election, the best advice I can give my fellow Democrats is to just put impeachment – in all forms, whether it be presidential or judicial – aside.

What the Democrats need to get back to are issues—such as health care, immigration, and education—on which they have substantial arguments against both the Trump administration and a Congress that has only passed one serious and substantive piece of legislation – on taxes. And even that one piece remains problematic if not downright unpopular.

The Democrats can likely win the House, and (though increasingly unlikely) the Senate – but for them to maximize their appeal, they need to focus on what voters care about.

Ultimately, Democrats should not talk about undermining democracy and democratic values in ways that a large percentage of the electorate would find unhelpful if not harmful.


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