The Corner

White House

The Political Impact of an Impeachment Push

Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines argues in the New York Times that the conventional wisdom about the Republicans’ drive to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998-99 is wrong: It didn’t do great harm to the Republicans. He is, of course, trying to make Democrats less fearful of the prospect of impeaching President Trump. Whether or not you share his aim, though, his basic point seems to me correct.

I also think the political downside of impeachment may be lower now than it was then. In the late 1990s, voters were basically happy with the state of the country (in August 1998, Gallup found 60 percent of the public was “satisfied” and only 36 percent “dissatisfied”) and didn’t want to see political turmoil. These days, voters are not happy with the state of the country (last month Gallup found 69 percent “dissatisfied” and 29 percent “satisfied”) and are used to a great deal of political turmoil.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Culture

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
World

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More