Democrats crying “impeachment” are the boy who cried “wolf.” Like the boy in the fable, they will find they have worn out the cry. And like the boy, they will be the ones to suffer for having done so.
In the story, a shepherd boy repeatedly excites the townsfolk by falsely claiming he has seen a wolf. Eventually, the exasperated townspeople come to ignore his cries.
Like the boy, Democrats have been crying for impeachment for every perceived Trump offense — many of which exist only in their own imagination. Originally centering on Russia, failure there drove them to Ukraine. Their calls have been no more limited by rationality than geography. They simply want Trump gone from the White House … and have since before he arrived there.
After nine months controlling the House, and many pursuing impeachment by another name, Democrats finally proceeded formally on September 24. Yet despite over two months of formal impeachment proceedings, President Trump appears to be suffering little effect.
On September 24, the same day Speaker Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry, Rasmussen released its daily tracking poll showing President Trump had a 53-percent job-approval rating. On December 5, his job approval rating stood at 52 percent. Of course, it takes more than a one-day snapshot to get a full picture.
On October 25, President Trump hit his impeachment low of 43 percent. It came during six consecutive days of results below his 2016 popular vote total of 46 percent. But his results over the last five weeks have been distinctly better.
Since November 5, President Trump has recorded 24 days at or above his 2016 popular vote percentage. Only twice has he been below it. He is currently riding an 11-day winning streak.
Certainly, 46 percent may seem a low threshold to clear, but there are real reasons it should not be discounted. Most obviously, he won the presidency with that level of support. More ominously for Democrats, there is reason to believe President Trump may not stop at where he was.
Reasonably, this should be as good as it gets for Democrats. They are inflicting the most serious weapon they possess in a setting they fully control. Yet despite two and a half months of full one-sided frontal attacks, they have nothing to show for it. From here, it only gets harder, which can only be better for President Trump.
On just the vote to begin a formal impeachment inquiry, Democrats lost two of their own and gained no Republicans. Democrats should lose more during votes on articles of impeachment. Once, the case goes to the Senate, it gets harder still. If Democrats lost votes in a one-sided show they controlled, they should lose even more in a fair trial Republicans control.
As the situation becomes harder for Democrats and they lose more votes, it gets easier for Republicans, because opposition to impeachment becomes increasingly bipartisan. And as opposition becomes increasingly bipartisan, those Americans who are not already strident Trump opponents will become more resistant to it.
Democrats have not simply overplayed their hand; they have played it over and over and over again. They had worn out their case before they had begun to even pursue it. They had made it old news before they made it actual news. Cheapening impeachment may prove costly indeed, and Democrats have only just begun to pay it.
The boy who cried wolf desired to get a reaction. Ultimately, the reaction was the opposite of the one desired. The boy had no one to blame but himself.
The same circumstances apply now to the Democrats. They desired above everything to delegitimize Trump and drive America from him. Instead, they have delegitimized their effort.
By continuously calling for his impeachment at every turn, they have diluted impeachment’s meaning. They have reduced it from the ultimate constitutional tool into a cheap political one. Because it is no longer appearing what it was, Americans are reacting (or rather, not reacting) accordingly. If it is now just another weapon in the interminable Washington war, Americans are not going to take it — or those pursuing it — seriously either.
In the fable, a real wolf finally did appear, and the boy, unable to summon the exasperated townsfolk, was devoured. In the impeachment story, the Democrats still have not produced a real wolf, but they continue crying nonetheless. In the end, the Democrats may get devoured, too — only in this story, it will be by the townsfolk.