NEWS AND OPINION:
There was a time on Capitol Hill when Democrats accused Republicans of being cowardly because they did not “stand up” to President Trump, both as a candidate and eventually as president. The Washington Post cited the “GOP’s cowardice problem” over a year ago, as did Salon, which asked, “When did the GOP add cowardice to its platform?” Earlier this year, House Judiciary Chairman Adam Schiff declared there was an “epidemic of cowardice” among Republicans who did not push back against Mr. Trump.
Such criticism appears to have had an effect on the Grand Old Party, and it could cost them. Republican voters have noticed, and are vexed by GOP lawmakers who appear to appease Democrats by not standing fast with President Trump as he faces impeachment. These Republicans are taking the inaction personally.
“It’s completely ticking me off now. I’m to the point where I want to start calling my senator and say, ‘I’m not going vote for you unless you promise to do this to the next Democratic president. I’m done with what’s happening to Trump on a chronic basis,’” one listener told Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday.
“You are so right about this. And all these Never Trumpers, they are falling into it like the biggest useful idiots. If these so-called conservative media outlets continue to publish all of these unhinged Trump’s got to go pieces, Trump’s got to get impeached, we need to get rid of Trump, all they’re doing is accelerating the left-wing takeover of the whole country,” Mr. Limbaugh replied, adding that GOP lawmakers do not appear to be on their game.
“Our so-called representatives are constantly on defense, never advancing the ball, never trying,” he declared.
MEDIA SINS OF OMISSION
“Too often, the media ignore President Trump‘s outreach to racial minorities. The major networks maintain silence in hopes that their socially corrosive lies will stick until November 2020. At least three significant events demonstrate how the big media bury Trump’s bridge-building and, thus, keep the U.S. in a divided, racially explosive rage,” writes National Review columnist Deroy Murdock.
He cites Mr. Trump’s salute last month to 50,000 immigrants from India and Americans of Indian descent — a significant event which received no coverage whatsoever from NBC, CBS and ABC, which instead focused on a movie, a lost dog and football, respectively.
Mr. Trump also appeared at the 2019 Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference in September.
“Here, too, all three evening-news shows entombed this story,” Mr. Murdock said, noting that ABC covered the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders doubling their pay, CBS featured the medical benefits of naps, while NBC showcased a 9-year-old Ohioan who was “lunch-shamed” at school.
The columnist was also annoyed by the media’s absence following Mr. Trump’s call to end anti-Semitism during a National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House this year.
“None of the three big networks spared a moment to report on the president rallying the republic against anti-Semitism,” says Mr. Murdock. “Rather than give Americans all this news, and confirm that President Trump is neither anti-immigrant, nor anti-black, nor anti-Semitic, the Big Three maintain a sarcophagal silence in hopes that their ‘Trump is a racist’ lies will stick until November 2020. This is evil.”
A SUPREME COURT PREVIEW
An event of note on Wednesday: The Federalist Society will host its 2019 Supreme Court Preview at a historic hotel a few blocks north of the White House. Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, and SCOTUSblog columnist Amy Howe are among the participants.
“The Court’s docket already includes major cases involving criminal law, sex discrimination, copyright, DACA and immigration, federal Indian law, and matters of constitutional structure,” the organizers point out.
The event begins at noon — and yes, C-SPAN will be covering it.
THE IMPEACHMENT REALITY CHECK
The current news media strategy is to alarm the American public with drama and innuendo which leaves the impression that there is wrongdoing in the Trump administration, and soon, the wheels will come off. This media maneuver has been around for a while. Consider that Politico published an analysis headlined “Could Trump be impeached shortly after he takes office?” on April 17, 2016 — seven months before President Trump was even elected.
All that aside, here is a fact-driven analysis from Monmouth University which has been tracking impeachment trends for two years.
“At this time, 44% of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, while 52% disagree with this course of action,” reports Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
“Yes, support for impeachment has increased over the last week, but it’s not significantly higher than where it has been at other points in Trump’s presidency. At least not yet,” Mr. Murray says, noting that the impeachment support has inched up in increments — in contrast to President Nixon, who faced jolting jumps in pro-impeachment sentiment in 1973.
Fox News now marks an unprecedented 71 consecutive quarters as the most watched cable news channel of all according to Nielsen — this amounts to almost 18 years in first place. And the numbers: Fox News attracts a prime-time audience of 2.4 million viewers, compared to MSNBC 1.6 million and CNN with 883,000.
It is of note that while the number of Fox News prime-time viewers dropped by 1% last week, the number fell by 18% on MSNBC.
Of the top five programs in cable news, four are on Fox News: “Hannity” (3.3 million), “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (3 million), MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” (2.6 million), “The Ingraham Angle” (2.7 million), and “The Five” (2.6 million).
Fox News also has signed political pollster, Washington Examiner columnist and commentator Kristen Soltis Anderson as a contributor; she debuted on the network Tuesday.
POLL DU JOUR
• 52% of Americans say President Trump should not be impeached and “compelled to leave the presidency”; 89% of Republicans, 53% of independents and 17% of Democrats agree.
• 77% of conservatives, 46% of moderates, 19% of liberals, 61% of men and 43% of women also agree.
• 43% overall say it is a “bad idea” for the House Judiciary Committee to conduct an impeachment inquiry; 80% of Republicans, 43% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.
• 68% of conservatives, 35% of moderates, 15% of liberals agree, 51% of men and 36% of women also agree.
Source: A Monmouth University poll of 1,161 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 23-29.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin