As Trump impeachment trial starts, the Biden Democrat agenda crashes into reality
Union anger over job losses, inflation worries, likely acquittal undercut new president's clout.
A month ago, Team Biden and its Democrat allies in Congress had a heady plan to appease their liberal base.
Impeach Donald Trump a second time, alleging he incited the Capitol riots. Blast out COVID-19 vaccines, and pass another stimulus. Impose climate policies. And raise the minimum wage nationally to $15 an hour.
Just a few short weeks into Joe Biden's presidency, those liberal ambitions have crashed into stark economic and political realities as Trump's trial readies to open Tuesday in the Senate.
Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO that spent millions to get Biden elected, excoriated the new president's climate policies this past weekend for erasing thousands of well-paying union jobs with the shutdown of the Keystone pipeline from Canada.
Gas prices, which hit the working class hard, are showing signs of creeping up.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned Monday that the Democrats' plan to impose the $15-an-hour minimum wage would cost 1.4 million jobs, adding to an already uncomfortably high unemployment level.
A new poll by Just the News added to the red flags Monday, showing a solid majority of Americans believed raising the minimum wage would be a job killer.
Twenty days into his presidency, Biden's purported hopes for a bipartisan COVID stimulus bill foundered for lack of Republican buy-in. And now even some Democrats, like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, are questioning whether the current $1.9 trillion price tag is too much.
Current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also warned that inflation may soon rear its ugly head with all of the government's deficit spending, saying it was a "risk" of the Biden stimulus plan.
Meanwhile, talk of rapidly vaccinating Americans slammed into the reality of supply shortages and highly disorganized local health care systems, as well as fears that new variants of the coronavirus are poised to create long-term challenges.
And the emotionally charged case that Trump incited the Capitol riot with his Jan. 6 speech, has developed deep cracks. Less than a half dozen Republicans have shown any interest in conviction as the facts increasingly show the riot was not spontaneous but rather planned for days and weeks with fund-raising, training, and combat threats.
Even the former Capitol Police chief has weighed in with a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the attacks exhibited a "high level of coordination," undercutting the Democrats' spontaneous incitement narrative even further.
The likelihood of Trump's conviction has waned as the premeditation evidence mounts, and now Democrats once gleeful they could end the 45th president's ability to ever hold office again are now pressing to get the trial over quickly as acquittal seems assured.
"It's not clear to me that there is any evidence that will change anyone's mind," Hawaii's Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz told Politico.
Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, often an opponent of Trump, acknowledged the obvious, observing, "Both sides would kind of like to wrap it up fairly quickly."
The Senate trial will start Tuesday with a debate over whether the event is even constitutional with Chief Justice John Roberts refusing to preside, Trump already out of office, and a legitimate debate over whether Trump's speech was protected "free speech" as Democratic law professor John Turley has argued.
Once a dream of Democrats, the trial is feeling more like a burden to them as other elements pose obstacles and challenges to the Biden agenda.
Even Biden himself has little interest in watching the trial, his chief spokeswoman said Monday. "I think it's clear from his schedule and from his intention that he will not spend too much time watching the proceedings," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
The last few weeks recall the old adage that in Washington it is a lot easier to say what you are going to do rather than doing it.
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