In commenting on another website, it occurred to me that my last post on this topic may have overstressed the role of public opinion as an independent variable to which politicians must respond, without noting that politicians can also shape public opinion. Thus, I indicated that the Democrats are smart not to be initiating formal impeachment hearings now because they don’t yet have sufficient public support for that course of action. But ordinary citizens take cues from their political leaders.* Some voters–especially Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents–may not favor impeachment because they assume that, if big-name Democrats aren’t pushing for impeachment, it’s probably not appropriate. So, I think it’s a good thing that some of the Democratic presidential aspirants are calling for impeachment. I would like to also see Pelosi and the rest of the Dem Congressional leadership to be somewhat more explicit in acknowledging that impeachment is an eventual possibility and may become a necessity. They are already moving in that direction. It will be interesting to see how public opinion changes.
* Example—Republican voters used to be overwhelmingly distrustful of Vladimir Putin; over the last couple of years polls have shown them to have an increasingly benign view of him. Why do you think that might be?