Between conspiracy theories and acts of contortion, the political trial to reside President Donald Trump began. Republicans seek to win it in the Senate. Democrats seek to win it in the court of public opinion outside the Senate. The strange dichotomy of this political judgment is that in the era of social networks, what happens inside is not necessarily what happens outside. Two trials are taking place here, the one that mandates the Constitution, designed with an impressive balance of shared powers, and the one that occurs outside the Senate, where everyone has and shares an opinion.
The first goal for Republicans is to defeat the attempt by the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to subject Donald Trump to a residency trial. That will be achieved by pure arithmetic. Republicans have a majority of 53, Democrats are 47, and two-thirds of senators are needed for a residence. That is, 67 votes to get Donald Trump out of the White House, before his term ends. That is, a total of 21 Republican senators would have to vote in favor of residence. Let's put that in perspective – 21 Republican senators should favor leaving their party without a president (and without a candidate) in the middle of the election year. Will this convergence or agreement between opposing sides be given to safeguard the letter of the Constitution and protect the institutionality of the Presidency? I do not think so.
This residency process has centrifuged political forces in opposite directions. The Democrats in favor of taking it out and the Republicans in favor of leaving it. That assault will be won by Republicans.RELATED
The second goal shared by both sides has to do with who dominates the management of public opinion. If the Democrats do not achieve residency, they may lacerate the president enough that he does not win reelection. It is there where we will see that the Democrats, with or without votes, will have an opportunity to score some points. For Democrats, it will require a walk along a fine line between not projecting themselves as political opportunists who tried to reside a president without evidence and effectively communicate the truth about acts of obstruction to the justification and abuse of presidential power.
The challenge of the Democrats is to demonstrate that this residence is not camouflaged. They must anticipate to the early electorate that, although the Constitution has its process in which they do not prevail, it is the people who will adjudicate these charges against Trump on election day. If they do well, they will be able to remove the president of the White House, but in the November elections, not through residence between February and March 2020. I do not believe that the wait of several months causes so much damage, if the purpose is the same. The means justifying the end.
That sophisticated political engineering of what happens in public opinion is more important than what happens within a Senate dominated by Republicans. If Donald Trump goes out the wide door of the Senate with the votes to remain in the White House, as anticipated, it can be seen as an important victory that will give him greater political musculature, months before the elections. There is the great danger to the Democratic side. The best route for the Democrats is to try to dominate the dominant environment that is public opinion and focus more on the purpose than on the process.
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The least that should concern us is whether Wanda Vázquez must be a candidate, but what he wants to be for. The task ahead of the country must transcend the chimeras of a candidacy, writes Roberto Prats
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