As Democrats formalize an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, it’s important to remember that the media has been fantasizing about President Donald Trump’s impeachment since before he even took office.
In fact, Vanity Fair published a piece on Nov. 14 2016, five days after Trump won the 2016 election, speculating that he could be impeached right away. Since then, countless liberal-leaning outlets have published stories deeming the Trump presidency over or seriously imperiled. The Atlantic wrote a piece in May 2017 title: “The Trump Presidency Falls Apart,” the Economist wrote in April 2017 that “The Trump Presidency Is In A Hole,” while The New Yorker began speculating about removing Trump through the 25th Amendment the next month.
“I believe that invoking Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment is no fantasy but an entirely plausible tool—not immediately, but well before 2020,” Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe told The New Yorker.
After Trump weathered an initial storm during his first year in office that included the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, attention began to turn to the 2018 midterm elections. Wishful thinking among liberals and never-Trump Republicans was that the 2018 midterms would result in a Democratic landslide and Republicans would respond by abandoning Trump, effectively ending his presidency. Former Republican Florida Rep and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough predicted shortly before last year’s elections that Trump would not even stand for re-election in 2020.
“I don’t think Donald Trump is going to run for reelection,” Scarborough said. “He didn’t want to be elected president. He didn’t think he was going to be elected president. He didn’t even think he was going to get the Republican nomination. He’s going to cash out.”
The 2018 elections were a mixed bag for the president. Democrats did take the House as had been predicted, but Republicans were able to pick up two seats in the Senate to expand their majority. Nonetheless, some media outlets saw a Democrat-controlled House as an opportunity to bring Trump to heel. Ahead of the midterms, “political risk analyst” John Raines predicted Trump would resign his office rather than face the wrath of a Democratic House Majority. (RELATED: Trump On Impeachment: ‘It’s The Only Way’ Democrats Can Stop Me)
“If the Democrats win in 2018 as far as the House of Representatives, they can then actually publish the tax returns of the president,” Raines told CNBC. “So is there something in those tax returns that could actually cause damage to the president? All of a sudden he feels compelled to do something like resign.”
Following the midterms, U.S. News senior politics writer David Catanese wrote a story titled: “Winter Is Coming For The Trump Presidency,” in which he predicted the newly-elected Democratic House would overwhelm the Trump administration.
“House committee chairs in-waiting are priming to pounce on everything from the Department of Homeland Security’s family separation policies to the mystery around Trump’s unreleased tax returns to the details of what really transpired during the infamous Trump Tower meeting with the Russians,” Catanese wrote.
Democratic House Chairman such as Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler have been aggressive in throwing out subpoenas and investigating the president, but their endeavors have not produced the results that “Resistance” pundits have hoped for. Several Democratic investigations remain held up in court, including an emoluments lawsuit and a subpoena for the president’s tax returns that is currently being held up in court, and is unlikely to be resolved before the president faces voters again next November. Scarborough’s prediction that Trump would “cash out” and not run for re-election also turned out to be wrong. The Trump campaign is in full swing, with a brand new slogan, and a massive war chest. (RELATED: Washington Post Gives Schiff Four Pinocchios For Whistleblower Claim)
The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently announced a record fundraising haul, pulling in $27.5 million in September, over four times what the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised that month. The RNC’s joint fundraising effort with the Trump campaign raised a record $125 million in the third quarter of 2019. The joint fundraising effort has raised a record $308 million so far this year, and has a reported $156 million cash on hand. On the other hand, the DNC remains millions of dollars in debt, as big money donors fear the party is moving too far to the left.
However, not all the news in recent months has been good for the president. Trump is still trailing most Democratic presidential candidates in the polls, including in critical swing states. Polling on the topic of impeachment has also not been going the president’s way, as a new Fox News poll showed a majority of Americans supporting Trump’s removal from office. Still, doomsday predictions for the Trump administration have turned out to me more “resistance” fan fiction than reality-based speculation. (RELATED: Impeachment Proceedings Usually Move Switly, But Democrats Are Playing It Slowly)
By all measures, the Trump administration is on steady, if not sterling ground. The president has significantly better campaign infrastructure than he did in 2016, has a war-chest worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and is still being favored by oddmakers to win re-election. Trump defied media predictions by winning in 2016, and now he’s defying them again by remaining in office.